24-year-old Domaine Javier, who has identified as female since she was a toddler, said California Baptist University officials told her she was expelled for falsely claiming on her application form that she is female. Letters sent to Javier from university officials say she was expelled for "committing or attempting to engage in fraud, or concealing identity" in university judicial processes.
"I didn't do anything wrong," Javier, who was to be a transfer student from Riverside City College (RCC) and had initially been awarded a $3,500 academic scholarship, is quoted as saying. "They said, 'On your application form you put 'female.' And I was like, 'Yeah, that's how I see myself.'" Javier will now return to RCC but cannot enter the nursing program until next fall. "This totally ruined my career path," she added.
Javier said she appeared on an April episode of "True Life" entitled "I'm Passing as Someone I'm Not" in an effort to raise awareness on transgender issues. "I am a girl trapped in a guy's body," Javier said on the show, which also showed a segment of her on a date with a man who cut off the relationship after she told him she is transgender.
I don't know what to think about this, personally. I'm sympathetic - frankly, I can't imagine what she was supposed to do. I mean, if she has applied as a male and showed up in a female body that would have caused an even bigger problem I think. If only administratively. I mean, imagine being assigned a roommate who didn't look like the gender you were matched with.
In a technical sense, I can see CBU's point. If she wasn't legally female, then I suspect she did lie on her application - no matter how she "saw" herself. I wonder if she would have gotten in and received the scholarship if she was perceived as male. (I honestly don't know, but given the career it doesn't seem impossible.) So there's a concern that she got preferential treatment that wasn't warranted, and also I can see there being a larger policy that anyone who uses anything other than his or her legal name gets into disciplinary issues. Because that can be how a lot of people hide their identity. I can see why a blanket policy like that would make sense.
The thing with this situation is, though, it's hard to read the thing that innocently. This is the Baptist church, and they're not exactly known for being LGBT-affirming. I suspect that if I used my middle name rather than my first name, because that was the name I'd used since childhood in conversation and what I saw as mine, well, I can't see myself being kicked out.
Interestingly: not that DADT ever works, but with the transgendered it really doesn't work. You can't show up without being perceived one way, and if your legal and appearance gender don't match, you run into problems. So a part of me wants to allow CBU its theology (however much I disagree with it), I just don't see how a student like Domaine could ever play within their rules without completely changing who she is.
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