As the transgender community gains increasing visibility in society, women’s colleges have begun to address new questions about who is eligible to attend. One such question is whether students who come out as transgender men after matriculation are eligible to remain enrolled and graduate from these institutions. The main claims relevant to this discussion are (1) colleges’ right to retain their identity as all-women’s institutions; (2) the parallel rights of cisgender female students who explicitly choose to attend an all-women’s institution, and (3) transgender students’ competing right to avoid arbitrary or capricious dismissal based on gender identity. This Note posits that contract law provides a useful framework for colleges to evaluate this question since both express and implied contracts form the basis of the student- college relationship. Ultimately, this Note argues that, although solutions that satisfy all parties are impossible, harms can be minimized if transgender students are permitted to graduate and given appropriate support throughout the transition process, and other policies are adapted to address the concerns of cisgender female students.
Elizabeth A. Heise,
Contracting Around Gender Constructs: Transgender Men at Women's Colleges,
Mich. J. Gender & L.
Available at: https://repository.law.umich.edu/mjgl/vol26/iss1/4