Photo via Vanityfair.com
When Caitlyn Jenner sat down with Diane Sawyer a little over a month ago, the world got a peek into the transgender experience in an informed, thoughtful and sensitive manner. Hopeful that this would pave the way for acceptance and cultural change, it turns out it has.
Barnard College, one of the oldest collegiate institutions dedicated to educating women, is one of the many sex-restricted colleges that controversially denies admission to trans women. The policy, which has recently been overturned at similar institutions like Mt. Holyoke and Bryn Mawr, may dissipate next week based on a vote by the trustees. And in an unexpected turn of events, Caitlyn Jenner may be who to thank.
Jennifer Finney Boylan, a trans woman who teaches at Barnard, told the AP that mainstream representations of transgender individuals, from the Caitlyn Jenner interview to Laverne Cox on Orange is the New Black, promotes these issues in even the most traditional institutions.
Let’s hope Barnard will extend admission to those who identify as women, and that more exposure from the likes of Caitlyn Jenner, Laverne Cox, Janet Mock and others will pave the way for better protection of trans individuals under the law and a more sophisticated view of gender in our collective culture.
Watch Vanity Fair behind-the-scenes with Caitlyn Jenner below: