Women's College Rejects Transgender for Being 'Male'

Smith turns down Calliope Wong because home state considers her a boy

By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 22, 2013 11:55 AM CDT

(Newser) – A transgender student had her application to Smith College rejected because a government financial aid form indicated she was a "he," reports USA Today. Calliope Wong, who was born male but has identified as female for years, got this letter in reply to her application:

  • "Smith is a women's college, which means that undergraduate applicants to Smith must be female at the time of admission. ... Your FAFSA indicates your gender as male. Therefore, Smith cannot process your application."

"I cried the day my papers came back. I still feel like crying," wrote Wong on her blog, and Facebook and Tumblr campaigns supporting her quickly followed. Both Connecticut, where Wong lives, and Massachusetts, where Smith is located, don't recognize a change in gender without a court order or surgeon's letter to prove that a person's sex has been changed surgically. However full vaginoplasty (feminizing genital surgery) generally isn't an option when someone is just 17 or 18, says Wong. She tells the Huffington Post that she will not appeal the ruling but hopes to keep the issue alive for future applicants. Click for more.

A transgender applicant to Smith College has been rejected because her federal financial aid form labeled her as male.
A transgender applicant to Smith College has been rejected because her federal financial aid form labeled her as male.   (Shutterstock)
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