What if your roommate is transgender? - Macleans.ca

What if your roommate is transgender?

American schools allow transitioning students to pick dorms


Photo courtesy of celesteh on Flickr

Ashley Gunn, the president of the University of South Florida’s (USF) gay student alliance, is applauding her school’s decision to allow transgender students to choose whether to live in a single room, with a friend of their choice, or be assigned randomly to a dorm room with a man or a woman.

But other students aren’t happy about the idea of sleeping next to someone who is physically the opposite sex, or whose gender is otherwise ambiguous. “I can’t imagine going into a room where I think that there is a woman, but it’s actually a man,” student Mohammad Noore told Miami TV station WTSP. “I’d be freaked out by it, creeped out by, maybe even a little disgusted.”

USF is not the first American school to make special provisions for GLBTTQ students who feel uncomfortable living with roommates of the same sex. Rutgers University in New Jersey began allowing students to live with the opposite sex if they so choose after Tyler Clementi, a gay student, committed suicide after repeated taunting from male roommates who exposed his homosexuality. Genderblind, an organization that advocates for gender-neutral campuses, lists 14 American universities with similar policies.


What if your roommate is transgender?

  1. I can understand Mohammed Noore’s concern. I would be a little freaked out and maybe disgusted if I went into a room and there was a Muslim/ Arab in the room.

    Maybe Mohammed should learn a little about diversity and acceptance before making inflammatory statements on matters on which this person clearly has zero knowledge. Remember, bigoted statements work in reverse, as well.

  2. Has a transgender student I would have loved a program/policy like this at my school. My roommate freaked, and I was ordered by the dean to move out, and further recommended by the school councillor to never return to the school. It felt like anyone with power was against me, that my existence was nothing more than a nuisance and something to be heavily avoided. I didn’t mean to do anything wrong I just wanted to go to school to become a doctor someday :( Everything that happened lead to 20+ suicide attempts in under 3 weeks, and pushed my education back. I can’t see anything like this happening to a “normal” student. So why should only the “normal” students study in peace while the rest of us suffer? Just doesn’t seem fair.