Southern Utah responds to denial of transgender student housing


Southern Utah University (SUU) responded via comment in a news report from KUTV CBS 2 on their denial of housing for a transgender student.

InterstateQ.com originally reported on Dec. 14 that Kourt Osborn — one of my many friends from the 2007 Soulforce Equality Ride — had been denied housing on the SUU campus based only upon his gender-identity.

From the news report:

“[A letter] has to state clearly, by a doctor, are we dealing with a male student or a female student, because that’s the only two kinds of housing we have on our campus.” Voice of Dean O’driscoll, who is the assistant to the school’s president.

O’driscoll, who is the assistant to the school’s president, says Kourt has not been denied housing in the male dorms. His application has not even been considered because he hasn’t provided the proof the school needs.

O’driscoll admits proof of gender is not required of all students — just those who are transgender.

Mincing words… would we expect less from a university? “His application has not even been considered because he hasn’t provided the proof [of gender] the school needs” ???

You’ve got to be kidding me. Where are the proof of gender checks for all students?

Again, from the news report:

“I identify entirely as a male. I got really tired of the world treating me as someone I’m not,” said Osborn.

So for next school semester, Kourt says he applied to live in the male dorms. He was denied. He says the director of housing asked for written proof from a doctor that he’s getting hormone treatment and surgery to make him a man. Kourt says he felt insulted.

“Really dehumanized, degraded, demoralized,” he said.

[…]

“My sense is it’s really an archaic way of dealing with transgender people. It’s a really archaic to believe people of different genders can’t live in an apartment together,” he said.

Kourt says the school’s housing director left him a phone message telling him he was denied. He wants an apology for the way he’s been treated.

Dean O’driscoll, the administrator at the school says he’ll apologize to Kourt, if he feels he was mistreated. But Kourt will only be considered for housing if he pays the 200 dollar application fee and provides proof of his gender. He says the school has accepted a transgender into student housing in the past.

A YouTube video on gender-blind housing from a long, long time ago… and Fox News is sickening. I use it, however, to make a point: You don’t just have to have male only and female only housing (give the video about 7 seconds to catch up with audio at beginning):

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Comments
5 Responses to “Southern Utah responds to denial of transgender student housing”
  1. beth says:

    You don’t just have to have male only and female only housing.

    Well in a way you do Matt. It’s either uni-sex, and uniform or male and female based on historical dichotomies, otherwise you have separate but equal, if you’re suggesting separate house for trans.

    Even Male/Female split is “Separate but Equal”, but good luck enforcing unisex dorms as law.

    I’m at work and can’t see all the links, but certainly this individual could provide proof, could he not? That seems reasonable.

  2. A. says:

    “I dunno who’s attacking transgendered students…”

    Well… try transphobic 19-year-old college students they’re forced to room with…

  3. jeff says:

    There is no just and equitable reason for discriminating against a person” who presents somewhere along the gender continuum differently than their physicality. All these “reasons,” “Don’t know what bathroom to send them to.., What dormitory, etc.” are discriminatory and unjust. Even though I’m conservative, I can’t think of a valid legal theory for denying rights to people who are “differently gendered,” or whatever term you choose to call it.

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