A national survey by the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network found that 75% of transgender individuals feel unsafe at school. They also found that those who are able to persevere had significantly lower GPA’s, were more likely to miss school out of concern for their safety, and were less likely to plan on continuing their education.
This raises the discussion around gender inclusivity, specifically on campus.
Asher Di Giuseppe is studying Visual Effects and Editing at Fanshawe College and identifies as a transgender male. He explains that gender inclusivity means, “treating people exactly the same as everybody else, regardless of how they identify.”
He was enrolled at Fanshawe before he came out as transgender and says that Fanshawe was quite helpful towards meeting the requests he had. He explains that, “this year, I wanted to change my name in the system. Fanshawe was really great and easy going about it all, which just took that much more of a weight off my shoulders.”
Western University recently put 50 posters around campus washrooms promoting gender inclusivity. The signs read, “Western respects everyone’s right to choose a washroom appropriate for them. Trust the person using this space belongs here.”
This initiative by Western is beyond encouraging to Asher and he says that, “if Fanshawe were to follow, it would help a lot of people with a sense of peace that may be missing from their day-to-day life.”
Eric Sloat is a consultant with the department of organizational development and learning at Fanshawe College. He helps organize workshops for Fanshawe staff that aim to deliver multi-level messages about being respectful, treating each other with respect, and honouring each others differences. Eric says the goal of these programs is to, “ensure that these employees, especially instructors, feel equipped and ready to provide students with a safe learning space, no matter what the situation may be.”
Fanshawe offers various groups for students apart of the LGBTQ+ community, including Spectrum Fanshawe and the Positive Space Ally Program.