Redefining The Morehouse Man, HBCU To Start Accepting Transgender Students

by Taylor Staggers

April 13, 2019

Photo by Erik S. Lesser /Getty Images

The Morehouse College Board of Trustees approved the institution’s Gender Identity Admissions and Matriculation Policy (GIAMP), allowing transgender students to be admitted to the college beginning in 2020. The vote happened during the board’s meeting on Saturday, April 13.

In a statement sent to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Terrance Dixon, the school’s vice president of Enrollment Management, writes, “The ratification of this policy affirms the College’s commitment to develop men with disciplined minds who will lead lives of leadership and service.

The policy requires that students and applicants identify themselves as male and does not extend to individuals who were born male and have transitioned or now identify as female.

A few year’s ago Morehouse found it’s self in the midst of a controversy when it released a dress code banning its students from wearing women’s clothing.

The GIAMP is a substantial step for the Atlanta-based institution as it is the nation’s only all-male historically black college or university (HBCU). HBCUs are known to foster and celebrate heritage and traditions however with an evolving society, this news shines a light on the pressure being placed on organizations and institutions to create more inclusive spaces. Dixon also stated, “In a rapidly changing world that includes a better understanding of gender identity, we’re proud to expand our admissions policy to consider trans men…”

There has been a wide range of reactions to this announcement, from anger to excitement and some are pointing out the responsibility Morehouse now has to ensure a safe and welcoming transition.

The school’s decision may not be as shocking as it seems due to many of its leaders have close ties with President Obama’s former administration who advocated for universities to foster policies that were welcoming to the LGBTQ community. Obama was the college’s commencement speaker in 2013, where he received an honorary degree.

Listen to our forever president’s powerful speech:

The home of the Maroon Tigers is not alone in making this culture shifting decision, its sister and neighbor, Spelman College, an HBCU dedicated to the education of African American women, began accepting transgender students identifying as female, this school year.

We wonder what impact the policy will have on membership requirements of the National Pan-Hellenic Council Greek letter organizations on the schools’ campuses and if other HBCUs will follow this lead.

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