Women's College Returns Transgender Student's Application

By Michelle Garcia

Originally published on Advocate.com March 20 2013 1:20 PM ET

A female transgender high school senior who applied to Smith College, a women's college, was told she did not qualify to attend because she is not legally recognized as female in her home state of Connecticut.

Calliope Wong's application and fee were returned to her earlier this month. In a letter to Wong, Smith's dean of admission, Debra Shaver, told Wong that "Smith is a women's college, which means that undergraduate applicants to Smith must be female at the time of admission."

Smith College does have protocol to welcome transgender students, only as long as they legally identify as female at the time of admission. The school's policy also accepts transgender men if they transition after they become students.

"I am not a rapist; I am not a criminal, and it is not fair to assume that I am such a person," Wong wrote on her blog. "Thing is, I’m a girl who wants to just wants her fair shot at Smith."

While Wong told the Keystone Student Voice that she has identified as female throughout her adolescence, her FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) identifies Wong as male. To be recognized as female in Connecticut, Wong would have to undergo sexual confirmation surgery, a costly and complicated procedure for a teenager.