Writing my Common App Personal Statement about being transgender?

Hey, I’m a high school senior applying to colleges as a trans man (born female but transitioning into male). I’ve been out for a few years now, I’ve been on hormones for a little over a year, and I just had top surgery over the summer. Being transgender has had a profound impact on my life, so what better than to write about it on my Common App essay?

I want to write not about how I’ve struggled with being trans, but how I’ve worked hard to help others in similar situations from having to deal with what I’ve dealt with wrt being trans. For example, for the entirety of last year I met with the principal and superintendent of my school multiple times to discuss creating a gender neutral bathroom in my school. The first day of school this year, the bathroom was there–and now any trans students in or out of the closet at the school have a bathroom they can use without fear of discrimination, all thanks to my work. I’ve also spoken–both individually and as a part of a panel–in front of dozens of principals/superintendents/teachers of various schools to educate them about the importance of creating a trans-friendly environment at school and how to properly handle a trans kid in their classroom. I’ve also volunteered at LGBT Pride and was a part of my school’s GSA for a year. Basically, I want to write about how I’ve turned the biggest struggle of my life into something positive both for me and for kids in similar situations; I want to write about how I’ve used my tough experiences to help others, and how I’ve grown into a person who’s kind, compassionate, and understanding because of it.

I’m applying to liberal universities so being trans won’t be a hindrance on my application, but I’m worried about the uniqueness of my essay. There will be at least a few dozen transgender people applying to each college I’m applying to, most of whom will probably write their essay about being transgender in some form or another. My essay, I think, will stand out among those because I’m going to focus mainly on the positives of my mostly negative experience, but in the sea of transgender applicants I don’t think this essay will be “original.”

I don’t know, what do you guys think? Any suggestions?

You seem to have a solid idea of what you want your essay to focus on, so why not? I think you are overestimating how many transgender people will apply. As long as your voice is authentic, go for it.

I think you’ll have to be careful. Not because of the topic, but because I can see how it might be easy to concentrate more on the struggle itself than on selling your application. Know what I mean? The point isn’t to educate (though heaven knows it’s needed) or inform about the struggle, but to show a part of you that’s not already shown on the application.

It can be a powerful essay, but you only have 650 words. I think you’ll want to tell your story briefly, then talk about YOU and how this life change has made you a person they’ll want to have on their campus. Don’t concentrate on the others. And Lindagaf is right-- don’t necessarily focus on other transgenders— they may have already fought that battle, or there may not be many there at this point in time (just curious-- how do you know there will be a few dozen? )And if there are a few dozen, make sure that your essay isn’t one of 36 on the exact same topic, the same battle and the same victories.

. Focus on how you’re a better person-- in whatever respect you choose.

I think it’s going to be a delicate line in 650 words, but it’s absolutely worth a shot.

Personally, I think I would choose something completely different for the essay, then include this in the “Is there anything else you think we should know?” section of the app. That way, you still get to include this vital part of your life, while using the other essay to “sell” your application.


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Applying While Transgender by DJ Rock


July 17, 2019

  • in Uncategorized

A few weeks ago, I took some much needed vacation time to attend World Pride in New York City and celebrate the 50 th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots – a momentous occasion in US history that many argue sparked the modern LGBTQ+ Rights Movement. Throughout Pride Month, we were reminded of Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera – Black and Puerto Rican transgender women who started the Stonewall Riots and are the reason why our country has had so much progress when it comes to the LGBTQ+ community. At the same time, we were sadly reminded that while some in our community have gained many rights, the reality for transgender folks (particularly trans women of color) is that progress has not been as drastic for their community.

This reminded me of a conference I had recently attended, where admissions officers and college counselors were discussing how we can support transgender students in the college application process. One of the biggest takeaways I took from our conversation was that many transgender students want to know why we are asking about their gender identity and if it will be important when they are applying to us. Additionally, our admissions office is striving to be as inclusive to transgender students as possible, but admittedly do not know all of the answers. Thus, I thought I’d be transparent and share some things that I think about when it comes to transgender identity and applying to college.

Why do we ask?

When we are reviewing applications, our first duty is to try to understand the world in which our applicants are coming from; we want to know the context of your environment so that we can evaluate your achievements, accomplishments, and setbacks within your individual context. For example, if I am reading an application from a student in rural Arkansas who has limited opportunities to extracurricular activities and is working a part-time job to support their family, I would take their circumstances into consideration while looking for markers of excellence in their application and I will understand that their application will look different than students from other parts of the country.

The same is true for transgender students. We know that struggling with gender identity can create a lot of strain in high school that could affect a students’ academic performance , we know that some transgender students experience bullying which could contribute to different behaviors in the classroom, we know that teachers may have bias against transgender students which could come up in their letters of recommendation, and we think that for some students, their trans identity may be incredibly important to who they are as a person as we try to learn more about them.

Do you have to disclose to us? Certainly not. However, do know that if you do disclose, your transgender identity will never be held against you in our admissions process .

Do you have to write an essay about trans identity?

Certainly not! We ask 5 short answer essays in our application, including about the community you come from and a hardship that you’ve had to overcome. For some students, writing short essays about their trans identity to answer those questions is the best way for them to fill out their application. If that’s your case, go for it! These can be powerful and helpful essays.

However, we also know that (like all students), transgender students are multifaceted individuals. We ask a drop-down question about gender identity, and there is also room for additional information on our application. You totally can write an essay about transness, or you can let us know in other places on the application and use your essays to write about other aspects of your life. The choice is truly up to you.

What if I am not “out” to my family/guardians/school community?

This is something that has been on my mind recently when thinking about supporting our trans applicants. Some of our transgender applicants are completely “out” to their communities and are advocates in their hometowns; other transgender applicants have not told anyone in their community and a college essay may be the first time they are disclosing this aspect of their identity.

If a parent/guardian/counselor calls our office to inquire about you – what pronouns should we use? If a student has already disclosed in an application that they are trans, we would hate to misgender them. At the same time, we would never want to accidentally “out” a student to someone in their community. Most of the time, when someone calls, we have no idea where a student is at in their coming out process (and this may change throughout the application cycle, just a like a student’s gender identity may change throughout the application cycle).

One solution is to not use gendered language at all in our communication. This is something we’re always striving for, even though it is challenging because we are socialized to thinking about gender as being binary in so many different ways (I challenge cisgender readers of this post to pay extra attention to how much gendered language they use/see for the rest of the day – it’s shocking when you focus on it!).

For students applying – if this is something you’re concerned about, let us know! We want to be as open as possible, and we will protect your privacy. In your application, or in an email to our office, let us know if you are “out” or not and which pronouns we should use with your family (if you are comfortable doing so). MIT is not a regionalized office, but for other colleges that you are applying to, you can also get in touch with your direct regional representative to tell them more about your particular situation. Just know that college admissions officers want to support you as much as we can during this process, and the more we know the better we can do so.

What about overnight stays?

I do believe that MIT does have a lot of supportive policies for trans students – including that our housing assignments are made by your gender identity. We will never place you in a living situation you are uncomfortable with because of your gender identity (comfortable beds is something I cannot promise).

If you are coming for an overnight visit during Campus Preview Weekend, our Weekend Immersion in Science and Engineering, or any other program run by the admissions office, please let us know if your gender identity is a concern of yours . We have forms where we ask about gender and where you’d like to stay, but we also know that forms and checkboxes are never perfect, especially when it comes to identity. You are more than welcome to call us or email us and talk us through your housing concerns so we can find a host to support you. Also, I personally love it when students let me know about ways in which we can be more inclusive – including on our overnight visit request forms. The onus is on us to make the forms as inclusive as possible to begin with, but we are constantly learning and growing ourselves. Many great steps towards inclusion in our process have come because students have reached out and told us about ways we can be better.

One other area I struggle with during our programming is going around the room and introducing ourselves with pronouns. I used to do this at every event because I did not want students to be misgendered by others. At the same time, I know that it can be a lot of pressure for some students to have to “out” themselves (or lie about their identity) if they do not want to say their pronouns in a public setting. Our Title IX Office has recently come out with stickers for pronouns, so that folks who want to be visible and clear about their pronouns can. I have seen the stickers work well, but I also know that introducing oneself with pronouns can be empowering and a public way to show support for the trans community. My goal is to create the most inclusive space that I can, and I still cannot tell if the stickers or public declaration is the best way to go. In an ideal world, everyone would inquire about other people’s gender all of the time, but as a society we are clearly still far from that utopia.

In conclusion, clearly we all have a lot of growth and learning to do. Our work is not done until every transgender student can apply to our institution and not face any obstacles, barriers, or roadblocks. If you are transgender and would be gracious enough to give me your feedback on our process, including things you did or did not enjoy, I am always excited to listen and learn. I also know that it is not your responsibility to educate me, so I will continue to read as much as I can.

I hang a drawing of Marsha P. Johnson at my desk so that every single day I am reminded of the folks in my community who gave me the opportunity to express myself as authentically as I can today. In Marsha’s memory, I will continue to advocate for the transgender community.

Update: Sadly, I no longer work at MIT :( HOWEVER, if you do have questions as a trans applicant, feel free to reach out to Emily Sheldon, our liaison for LBGTQ+ Services. #StayQueer

trans college essay

MIT’s LBGTQ+ Resources

Previous Blog Post about Trans@MIT

MIT’s Support Statement for Trans Students

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Transgender Students in Higher Education

  • Full Report

This report reviews previous research and presents new findings from interviews, surveys, and focus groups conducted with transgender students. It provides recommendations for institutions of higher education regarding the creation of transgender-inclusive communities.

  • Abbie E. Goldberg Affiliated Scholar


In 1960, only 45% of youth recently completing high school entered a two- or four-year college (U.S. Department of Education, 2018). In the Fall of 2015, almost 70% of high school graduates were enrolled in college (U.S. Department of Labor, 2018). About 10.5 million undergraduate students (62%) attend 4-year institutions, and 6.5 million (38%) attend 2-year institutions (National Center for Education Statistics, 2018), with only about 60% of students who initially enroll in four-year institutions completing a degree within 150% of normal time from their initial institution (Kena et al., 2016). Institutions of higher education serve learners who are diverse in terms of race, class, ability status, sexual orientation, and gender identity, and may face challenges in effectively meeting the needs of, and retaining, such diverse students. Institutions of higher education may struggle in particular with addressing the needs of students who identify as transgender (trans) or gender nonconforming (TGNC) (Beemyn, 2003, 2016).

Many trans students experience discrimination and harassment at college, which may have implications for their academic success and retention. The U.S. Transgender Survey (USTS), a survey of over 27,000 trans adults, found that 24% of respondents who were out as or perceived as trans in college reported being verbally, physically, or sexually harassed at that time—with 16% of those who experienced harassment having left college because of the harassment (James et al., 2016). The National Transgender Discrimination Survey (NTDS; Grant et al., 2017), which surveyed nearly 6,500 trans respondents, found that individuals attending college, graduate school, professional school, or technical school reported high rates of negative treatment by students, teachers and staff, including harassment and bullying (35%). According to the NTDS, participants experienced a variety of barriers to attendance in school—including harassment, financial issues related to transition, and lack of financial aid—that in some cases forced them to leave (i.e., K-12 or higher education). Students of color and trans women were especially likely to highlight these barriers (Grant et al., 2017).

Stolzenberg and Hughes (2017) found that almost 19% of trans first-year students reported major concerns about financing their college education, compared to 12% of a national sample—concerns that are supported by data showing that these trans students (a) came from families with lower annual parental income, and (b) received more financial aid, compared to the national sample. 2

Experiences of harassment and bullying within the higher educational setting may be preceded by even worse treatment in secondary school. Estimates indicate that as many as 75% of trans students report feeling unsafe in high school because of their gender expression, and 50% of trans students report being prevented (e.g., by school officials) from using the name or pronoun that match their gender, highlighting how structural and interpersonal forms of stigma intersect (Movement Advancement Project & GLSEN, 2017). National survey data suggest high rates of harassment (78%) and physical assault (35%) perpetrated against trans students during grade school (i.e., K-12), causing nearly one in six students to leave school (Grant et al., 2017). 3

In turn, many trans students—especially those who were out as trans in high school—may begin college with a history of victimization. College has the capacity to reinforce the gendered and transphobic treatment that many students have already experienced in school and in society, leading to poor academic and psychosocial outcomes; or, to support and empower these students (who already show signs of resilience, in that they have completed high school and enrolled in college), thus enhancing academic and personal success. For students who were not out as trans in high school, college can play an important role in facilitating gender identity exploration—such as by providing the supports and resources needed to allow students to navigate this process while staying in college.

The current report reviews research on trans students’ experiences in higher education with the goal of informing knowledge and practice by higher education administrators as well as policymakers. In this report, attention is paid to the institutional structures and interpersonal contexts that reify and enforce biased treatment towards trans students, or which serve as sources of support and transformation. The report concludes with recommendations to institutions of higher education regarding the creation of more trans-inclusive communities.

The report draws in particular from a multi-stage, multi-pronged project conducted by the author, which involved (a) focus groups with seven nonbinary (e.g., agender, genderqueer) trans college students, which in turn informed the development of (b) a large-scale survey disseminated to over 500 trans college and graduate students, about three-quarters of whom were nonbinary trans, and one-quarter of whom were binary trans (e.g., trans man, trans woman) and (c) interviews with trans students, nine of whom were binary trans and five of whom were nonbinary identified. All quotes are from participants in this multi-pronged project. 4

Colleges and Universities as Gendered Institutions

Colleges and universities typically reflect and reinforce societal genderism in practices, policies, and norms (Marine & Nicolazzo, 2014). Trans students seeking to express their gender identities encounter pressures to conform to socially constructed gender norms in terms of appearance, dress, and pronouns (Catalano, 2015), which affects all trans students but especially nonbinary students. Nonbinary students may struggle with presenting themselves in ways that are consonant with their gender identity (e.g., using pronouns other than “she/her/hers” or “he/him/his”) inasmuch as they face particular scrutiny for not seeking to conform to or be seen as “either” gender (Goldberg & Kuvalanka, 2018; McGuire, Kuvalanka, Catalpa, & Toomey, 2016). Cisnormativity and genderism are evident in multiple domains within the higher education microsystem, from physical structures to official records to policies to curricula to classroom practices (Bilodeau, 2005)—and, over time, may create chronic stress for gender minorities actively navigating their identity within such restrictive and potentially alienating structures. According to gender minority stress theory (Hendricks & Testa, 2012), structural forms of stigma create stressful environments for trans people, which may contribute to problematic affective, cognitive, and behavioral responses, and result in compromised well-being (Perez-Brumer, Day, Russell, & Hatzenbuehler, 2017).

Sex-segregated restrooms represent one institutional feature that excludes trans people and/or exposes them to harassment, which causes them significant stress (Seelman, 2014a, 2014b, 2016; Singh, Meng, & Hansen, 2013). Gender-inclusive and/or single-stall restrooms are rare or nonexistent on many campuses (Goldberg, Beemyn, & Smith, 2018a; Seelman, 2014b). Sex-segregated housing represents another institutional feature that contributes to exclusion, invisibility, and discomfort for trans students (Goldberg et al., 2018a; Seelman, 2014b). As one white college student who identified as a trans man said: “Most of our university dorms are split by sex so I was forced to live for three years on the half of the building that related to the sex on my ID rather than how I identify. It made me very uncomfortable, and considering how I present, I’m not sure anyone else was comfortable with it either” (Goldberg et al., 2018a). Nonbinary students face particular challenges with regard to accessing housing options that are safe and comfortable. As a white nonbinary student in Goldberg et al. (2018a) said:

I only have one issue: Gender-blind housing. Currently, students are assigned housing based on a binary choice of M/F. I believe it is easy to change your official university gender, but housing only sees those two options. Students are automatically randomly assigned a roommate of the “same” gender, unless they request “gender-neutral housing.” But “gender-neutral housing” just means that you have to specify a particular person of the “opposite” gender that you want to live with. There is no option to just be randomly assigned a roommate of any gender. For a nonbinary person, this is very othering.

Significantly, some colleges and universities have adopted gender-inclusive housing policies, but these are considerably diverse. For example, some allow students to live in the same room with one or more roommates of any legal sex or gender identity, and others offer apartment-style housing wherein each student is given a room with a locking door within a larger apartment (Krum, Davis, & Galupo, 2013).

Forms, documents, and records can also be alienating for trans students, who routinely confront paperwork that only allows male and female as gender options, does not differentiate between sex and gender, and provides no means for students to change their gender marker without legally changing their “sex.” In addition, few institutions enable trans students to use the name they go by, rather than their “dead” (i.e., birth, or legal) name, on records and documents, and the institutions that do offer this option do not always advertise it effectively or make the process easy (Beemyn & Brauer, 2015; Campus Pride, 2018; Seelman, 2014a, 2014b). In their study of over 500 trans students, Goldberg, Beemyn, and Smith (2018a) found that some respondents reported that their colleges and universities had instituted a chosen name process, but described it as incomplete or inefficient. As one white trans man said: “The preferred name option is not utilized for anything except the school login, leaving the email that everybody sees, and your name on school documents, as the birth name, which needs to be fixed.”

Colleges and universities also vary greatly in the extent to which they have policies that protect trans students, staff, and faculty from harassment, with community colleges and religiously affiliated institutions typically offering fewer protections (Campus Pride, 2018; Goldberg et al., 2018a). Despite the fact that, over the past decade, more than a thousand colleges and universities have added “gender identity” to their nondiscrimination policies (Campus Pride, 2018), such policies are not always enforced, wherein faculty, staff, and students who engage in transphobic language and acts are not always held accountable (Goldberg et al., 2018a; Seelman, 2014a, 2014b). Similarly, institutions’ health insurance policies are often trans-exclusionary: they do not cover counseling, hormones, and/or surgery for trans students or staff (Campus Pride, 2018 5 ; Goldberg, Kuvalanka, Budge, Benz, & Smith, 2018b), despite evidence that such coverage would ultimately be cost-effective for insurance companies (Padula, Heru, & Campbell, 2016).

Cisnormativity and genderism are also evident in the context of the classroom (Pryor, 2015; Pusch, 2005). Trans students often experience avoidance or antagonism from faculty and other students, leading them to feel anxious, uncomfortable, and possibly threatened (Bilodeau, 2005). Often, faculty do not take seriously students’ requests to use their affirmed (as opposed to birth or legal) name, creating anxiety and discomfort for trans students (Goldberg et al., 2018a).

Download the full report

Related Publications

Age of individuals who identify as transgender in the united states, gender expression, violence, and bullying victimization, suicide thoughts and attempts among transgender adults.

Stolzenberg and Hughes (2017) conducted an analysis of data from the Cooperative Institutional Research Program (CIRP) Freshman Survey (see: http://heri.ucla.edu/cirp-freshman-survey), which was modified in 2015 to allow students to indicate whether they identify as transgender. That change allowed them to disaggregate data for a sample of incoming first-year students consisting of 678 transgender students from 209 colleges and universities, which they then compared to the national norms for all incoming first-time, full-time college students. See: https://www.aacu.org/liberaleducation/2017/spring/stolzenberg_hughes

Gender identity, assigned sex at birth, and race were all important factors in determining risk for sexual assault, physical assault, and harassment and bullying. For example, multiracial students reported a higher incidence of physical assault than students of other races; respondents identifying as trans men who were assigned female at birth reported especially high rates of harassment and bullying; and respondents identifying as trans women who were assigned male at birth reported especially high rates of physical and sexual assault (Grant et al., 2017).

A series of papers related to this project are published, in press, and in preparation. See, for example: Goldberg & Kuvalanka, 2018; Goldberg, Beemyn, & Smith, 2018a; Goldberg, Kuvalanka, Budge, Benz, & Smith, 2018b; Goldberg, Kuvalanka, & dickey, 2018c; Goldberg, Smith, & Beemyn, 2018d.

According to Campus Pride, a total of 86 colleges and university currently cover gender transition related medical expenses (e.g., hormones; gender affirming surgery); see https://www.campuspride.org/tpc/student-health-insurance/

Building Future Leaders & Safer, More LGBTQ-Friendly Colleges and Universities Since 2001

trans college essay

Campus Pride Trans Policy Clearinghouse

Are you a prospective student wondering what campuses have gender-inclusive housing? An administrator researching trans-inclusive health insurance models to implement on your campus? A parent looking for trans-friendly colleges and universities for your child? You’ve come to the right place! The Campus Pride Trans Policy Clearinghouse is the premier resource for transgender policies at colleges and universities.  The clearinghouse is updated regularly by Dr. Genny Beemyn, a noted scholar on trans issues in higher education and the Director of the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s Stonewall Center.

Now you can search trans policies at colleges and universities across the United States:

Colleges and universities with nondiscrimination policies that include gender identity/expression, colleges and universities that cover transition-related medical expenses under student health insurance, colleges and universities that list campus gender-inclusive restrooms on their website , colleges and universities that provide gender-inclusive housing, colleges and universities that allow students to have the name and pronouns they use for themselves on campus records.


Colleges and Universities with a Trans-Inclusive Athletic Policy


Historically Women’s Colleges with Trans-Inclusive Admissions Policies

To become a trans advocate on your campus, learn more about the  Suggested Best Practices for Supporting Trans Students and see how your campus scores on the Trans Checklist for Colleges and Universities . Also, check out these trans resources from other individuals and organizations. If you have any updates or edits, please contact Genny Beemyn at [email protected] .

Want to do more as a trans ally? Campus Pride challenges you to navigate your campus as if you are an incoming trans student. Consider the following:

  • Visit the Registrar, Student Health Services, Residence Life, etc.
  • Note potential roadblocks, concerns and issues you encounter
  • Actively work with staff and administrators to address these concerns.
  • Become a trans ally and help make your campus safer and more trans-friendly.

Meet the Clearinghouse Coordinator

trans college essay

Genny Beemyn, Ph.D., is the director of the UMass Amherst Stonewall Center, the campus LGBTQIA+ center. They have published and spoken extensively on the experiences and needs of trans college students, including writing some of the first articles on the topic in the 2000s. Among the books Genny has written are The Lives of Transgender People (2011); A Queer Capital: A History of Gay Life in Washington, D.C. (2014) ; and the anthology  Trans People in Higher Education (2019) . With Abbie Goldberg, they edited The SAGE Encyclopedia of Trans Studies (2021) . They are currently writing  Campus Queer: Addressing the Needs of LGBTQ+ College Students with Mickey Eliason for Johns Hopkins University Press. In addition to being the coordinator of the Clearinghouse, Genny is an editorial board member of the Journal of LGBT Youth , the  Journal of Bisexuality , the Journal of Lesbian Studies , and the  Journal of Homosexuality . They have a Ph.D. in African American Studies and master’s degrees in African American Studies, American Studies, and Higher Education Administration. More about Genny can be found on their website: www.gennyb.com .

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trans college essay

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Teaching Students About Calcium Compounds

Teaching students about capillary waves, teaching students about the definition of mass shooting, teaching students about examples of dicotyledonous plants, teaching students about the differences between infant and toddler ages, teaching students about the government of egypt, teaching students about lagrangians, teaching students about obverse logic, teaching students about metal bonding, teaching students about the surahs in islam, most interesting transgender essay topics to write about.

trans college essay

Most Interesting Transgender Topics to Write about

  • Transgender People and The Rights Act of 1964
  • Bathroom Discrimination Against The Transgender Community
  • Injust and Inhumane Transgender Discrimination
  • Understanding Transgender People and the Discrimination They Face Today
  • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights
  • Treatment and Support for Transgender Children
  • Transgender Individuals and Sex Reassignment Therapy
  • Violence against Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transgender
  • Women, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights
  • Transgender Sexuality and The Transgender Rights Movement
  • Philosophy: Transgender and Radical Freedom
  • Transgender People Face Harassment and Discrimination
  • Oppression and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Persons
  • Understanding The Transgender Phenomenon
  • Stigma and Discrimination That Transgender Individuals Experience
  • Hate Crimes Against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender
  • Discrimination Against Transgender Individuals Within Society
  • Building Relationships With Transgender Individuals
  • Domestic Violence and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Relationships

Good Research Topics about Transgender

  • Beyond Depression and Suicide: The Mental Health of Transgender College Students
  • Transgender Rights and Representation in Sports
  • Gender Dysphoria and the Persecution of Transgender People
  • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Inclusion
  • Critical Race Studies Program Panel Detention Conditions Facing Queer and Transgender Immigrants
  • S. Politics and Society: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Political Identity
  • The Health and Well Being of Transgender High School Students
  • The Pros and Cons of Transgender and Gender Nonconforming
  • Comparing Intersex and Transgender Females
  • Capitalism and Its Impact on The Transgender Movement
  • Transgender Surgery and the Separation between Mind and Body
  • Gender Differences between Effeminate Boys and Transgender
  • How Schools Can Support Transgender Students and Improve School Climate
  • The Transgender Community For Hate Based Crimes of Violence
  • Public Bathroom Controversies Due to Transgender Issue in America
  • The First Transgender Woman to Speak at a Major Party Convention in America
  • The Causes and Solutions to the Mental Health Issues of Transgender Youth
  • Sexual Orientation, Sexual, and Transgender Orientation
  • Researching and Working for Transgender Youth: Contexts, Problems and Solutions
  • Transgender Orientation and The Transgender Community
  • Why Transgender People Should Use the Public Restroom that Matches Their Gender Identity

Good Research Topics about Toyota

Logic: everything you need to know.

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Matthew Lynch

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The Transgender Bathroom Bill is one of the hot topics that has been going around the news and media, especially in Texas and North Carolina. This topic has been around since 2016 and it has only grown more and more ever since then. The Transgender Bathroom Bill stems from transgender rights. The bill was created to define the rights and access to public toilets for transgender people. The current arguments circling around this bill is that transgender individuals should be […]

Discrimination of the LGBTQ Community

Since the beginning of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) community, it has been one of the most discriminated against groups in the world as they are denied the basic rights that most people get to enjoy. Today, it is still legal to discriminate someone based on their sexual orientation or gender identity in thirty states. The following pages will inform readers on discrimination of the LGBTQ community by the general public, in schools, and in the workplace. […]

Transgender Youth Issues

One who might be of a minority race facing issues like poverty may very much find the risks and struggles of coming out to be more severe due to circumstances they are already dealing with. On the other hand, one who may be of a privileged group, and very high class may find it much easier to deal with coming out and may have much more social support. As a social worker using intersectionality theory, keeping these things in mind […]

Transgenders in the Church

As the issue of gender identity and how to handle it has become more prevalent over the recent years, churches in the United States have been forced to make decisions about their ideologies regarding these individuals. As was the case with homosexuals before them, transgender and non-binary persons have long faced discrimination from religious groups, in large part due to the church struggling with how the concept of transgender persons fits in with the traditional idea of the creation of […]

Gender Problems in our Society

Over the years gender has been a problem in our society that we cannot avoid. We live in a society based on two and only two sex categories (male and female) leading to sex itself being a socially constructed category. Gender refers to the socially constructed characteristic of men and women, such as roles, norms and relationships of and between them. Many questions come into play on what does sex mean in terms of your gender role as a man […]

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The Effects of the Ostracization of Transgender Youth

There is a roughly estimated one million individuals in the United States who identify as transgender. Often these individuals begin to feel some form of disparity between their gender identity and their biological sex at a very early age, frequently before puberty, and sometimes at as early as only a few years old. Unfortunately, within our society, there is a very large amount of stigma associated with transgenderism and people frequently react poorly to it, even when it is being […]

Transgender Youth Coming out

Transgender youth all around the world face the common social and emotional challenges of “coming out”. This can be a struggle for many of these individuals who are in young adulthood, still developing. Trying to balance dealing with the process of coming out and the stigma that comes along with it while attempting to explore, make commitments and deal with the social norm’s society creates are all challenges that may hinder a young adult’s development. Young adulthood is a very […]

Anti LGBT Discrimination

Anti LGBT Discrimination The lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) population has long fought for their right to equal treatment with some progress made. As society's values change and adjust to become more accepting of this marginalized community, the more our policies and lawmakers include them. Anti-LGBT policy is at risk. Under the Trump administration, the federal civil rights law, Title IX, that bans sex discrimination, would enact that sex only include female, or male orientation and is strictly determined […]

Use of Public Restrooms by Transgender People

For years, transgender people in the LGBTQ community has been fighting for their civil rights. The rights to marry who they love, the rights to protect their country by joining the army, and now the rights to use the restroom of their choice. More and more transgenders are demanding the right to use the public restroom that identifies their sex. “Over 30 percent of trans people report not eating or drinking so they can avoid going to public restrooms,” Laverne […]

The Case of Transgenderism

Since the very introduction of Gender Identity Disorder (GID) to the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), many controversies have been made apparent. LGBTQA activists have years since said it was a poorly veiled, discriminatory attempt to restore the category of homosexuality, or promote “preventative treatment.” Because of this controversy, GID is now listed as gender dysphoria, and sexual development disorders have been introduced. Is this condition unjustly listed as a dysfunctional disorder, or is there legitimate science […]

Types of Discrimination Exists in the Diverse LGBTQ Community

In the past few years, people in the United States of America who identify as being a part of the LGBTQ community are progressively encouraged each day to publicly announce their desired sexual orientation due to recent strides in equality. When looking back into history of America, there were countless events where individuals who came out as homosexuals in the past were viewed as 'disturbing' and 'inappropriate' and were severely punished for doing so. This resulted into the tragic reality […]

Suicidality in Transgender Teens

Gender identity is defined as one’s sense of being a male, female, or other gender. It is the individual’s own connection to their gender which defines who they are. Many people feel as if the sex they were born with does not match with the gender they identify with. In many cases, people may identify as transgender. Transgender individuals believe, “the sex assigned at birth is discordant with their gender identity” (Sitkin & Murota, 2017, p. 725). An example of […]

Transgender: Reality and Representation

“I planted a tounge for the divided sexual personalities.I felt the urge to write when I could retaliate with the coinage of sapumsakar against the denial of identity thrust by the word napumsakam.” One survival strategy of the main stream ideology for up keeping the status quo is to neglect certain social realities that may have the potential to subvert it. Transgender and transgender issues are real, but the conservative societies pretend it to be negligible. Transgender people live among ourselves. […]

Disenfranchised Transgender People of Color Current Events

Ever present and always relevant, transgender issues deserve a lot of traction and there is this excelling push for reformation. Nonetheless, passionate hearts, old and young continue to fight for their own. Whether you are an ally or personally affected, the drive for change still remains. I, myself, a member of the LGBTQIA also referred as Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex and Asexual community, proud representative of the “B” and as a woman of color I am fully aware […]

The Oppression of Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender and Questioning

The LGBTQ is a standard abbreviation for Lesbians, Gays, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning individuals. In a recent study according to (Gates, n.d.), there are approximately 9 million people who identify themselves as members of the LGBTQ Culture in America today. According to (Greve, 2016) This indicates the LGBTQ Culture is larger than the population of 40 American States. According to the past 14 years of hate crime data, Mark potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center recently told the PBS […]

Gender Identity and Expression

Deep inside the young minds of our students are the seeds of growth and responsibility. They would like to foresee themselves as being productive and effective members of their community and our society. Parents and guardians of our young adolescents have profound provision of commitment of guiding and supporting them to reach their greatest potentials and significance to the nation. They offer their limitless and boundless care during the most precarious stage of being an adolescent; their identity and development […]

A Nurse’s Guide in Caring for Transgender and Gender-Variant Youth

Abstract With the increasing number of transgender youth and families seeking medical care, they often turn initially to their primary care provider, pediatrician, or nurse practitioner for guidance. Creating and maintaining a positive identity is a developmental step for all adolescents; however, trans youth have the additional challenge and pressure of integrating a non-conforming gender identity with their cultural and ethnic backgrounds, personal characteristics, and family circumstances. This places pediatric healthcare providers in a unique position to guide and support […]

What it Means to be Transgender

Being transgender is a very controversial topic. Some people say being transgender bad and that your commiting a sin, some people say it's alright and to do what you feel what's right as long as you're being true to yourself, and other people just don't care. I believe being transgender is not good or bad. But the question being asked, is transgender good or bad? This not the real question, the real question that people are asking is transgender a […]

Harry Benjamin: a Pioneer in Transgender Care

Early Life and Education Harry Benjamin was born in Berlin, Germany on January 12, 1885 to a German mother and Jewish father. He was the oldest of three siblings. His father converted to Lutheranism shortly before Dr. Benjamin’s birth. Dr. Benjamin enjoyed opera from a young age, and was enamored with singer Geraldine Farrar, who sang at the Royal Opera. In his frequenting of opera houses, he became acquainted with a house physician, and began to learn his trade from […]

What is it Like to Grow up Transgender or Gay or Lesbian

Gender-neutral education gives the child the opportunity to try himself in different social roles and choose the one that will be related to his character and personal wishes (or not at all - there is such an option too). Studies show that calm is the most important thing in transgender or gay or lesbian child rearing. If this behavior is perceived as meaningless, then it means nothing to the child. But if the parents begin to tell the child that […]

More Common in the LGBTQ Community

If a person identifies themselves as transgender, this means that their gender identity and/or expression does not match the sex that they were when they were born (Arcelus et al., 2018). There are many studies that have tested to see if transgender individuals tend to get more depressed than other individuals. Being transgender growing up can cause one to get bullied more and they also tend to have more peer rejection. Even the individual's family sometimes rejects them (Arcelus et […]

Transgender Individuals in the Military

There is an ongoing debate / argument as to whether or not to allow transgender individuals to severed in the military. In order to properly formulate one’s opinion there is to know understand a definition of who is considered a transgender. A transgender can be described as an individual who have a gender identity or in most case a gender expression that is differ from their assigned sex at birth. However some transgender individual can be identify as transsexual if […]

The Rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender

On July 2nd, 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy who originally had initiated the enactment of this act. The proclamation of this act, was the largest change to the Constitution since the reconstruction of the document. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 states that it is unconstitutional to discriminate against race, national origin, gender, and religion in both public places as well as in the workforce. This act […]

Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) Community

Even though our nation’s views about the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) community have definitely changed over the years, there are still huge issues with discrimination and harassment against this community. In human history, gay men and lesbians have been viciously persecuted. Discrimination against LGBTQ continues to affect not only the individuals but our entire society, and more broadly the world. During earlier times, and still today, homosexual rights were not validated because they go against the beliefs […]

All Religion View LGBTQ Life Styles Negatively

The Relationship between religion and LGBTQ community is different from time and place, and different religions. Countless religions in the world view LGBTQ negatively. This Negativity can range from explicitly forbidding to discouraging same sex sexual practices, and sexual reassignment, but liberals and progressive voices actively push social acceptance of the LGBTQ Identities. Most of the LGBTQ have been raised in many different organized religions many cherish their community’s faith but many are being forced to leave those communities’ behind […]

Institutional Violence and Discrimination of Transgender

Transgender individuals continue to experience institutional violence and discrimination. Although the nation has made tremendous strides in improving the welfare of transgender people, a lot still needs to be done to ensure that their rights can be respected. Besides enacting appropriate laws to protect the rights of transgender individuals, it would be imperative to ensure that the society is actively involved in finding a lasting solution to the problem. Institutional violence and discrimination cannot be tackled without the participation of […]

Essay on Transgender Persons

The Human Rights Campaign defines transgender as “an umbrella term that describes people whose gender identity and/or gender expression differs from the sex they were assigned at birth” (HRC, 2018). Susan Stryker further explains stating that transgender refers “to people who move away from the gender they were assigned at birth, people who cross over (trans-) the boundaries constructed by their culture to define and contain that gender” (Stryker, 2017, p. 1); the meanings of trans, according to Stryker are […]

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer

Purpose of the Research The paper will explore and examine issues relating to LGBTQ and come up with newfound knowledge by providing relevant information on the topic. The research is necessary as it will provide different stands of the society about the issue. Although more inquiry has been made on the subject, the piece attempts to give the reader a broader perspective on the issue; the judgment decision lies with the reader on the stand they are going to take […]

Gender Dysphoria & Identity: Teens

Have you ever wondered what harsh cruelties that some teens have to face, because of their gender identity? Gender fluidity is the belief that you feel male one day but feel like a female another day regardless of what sex you were born. Teens that discover they are gender fluid can experience bullying from peers and family. There are many cases of injustices against gender fluid teens experience. The older generations are usually unaccepting of the younger generations gender identity. […]

Controversial Topic : Gender Identity

Transgender Identities bring up the controversial topic of gender identity in society. Gender identity is important because it is a way to self-identify based on expression of the internal self rather than just by the assigned gender at birth. Individuals who identify as transgender women are born male who later in life transition to female. Some argue that transgender women face the same oppression and sexism as cisgender women. Others, such as radical feminists, disapprove of transgender women entirely being […]

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Transgender College Essays Samples For Students

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Do you feel the need to check out some previously written College Essays on Transgender before you begin writing an own piece? In this free directory of Transgender College Essay examples, you are provided with an exciting opportunity to discover meaningful topics, content structuring techniques, text flow, formatting styles, and other academically acclaimed writing practices. Adopting them while crafting your own Transgender College Essay will surely allow you to complete the piece faster.

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The transgender policy was created through a comprehensive and inclusive process involving the leadership of all armed services, members of transgender services, medical experts, advocacy groups, and the Rand Corporation (Defense.gov, 2017). It was to serve members openly so that they may no longer be discharged, and isolated from the military because of being transgender people. Moreover, the policies were to be implemented in stages by addressing the needs of the present service members, commanders as well as the whole force, and ultimately, the forces were to recruit based on transgender.

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Targeting Transgender Children, South Dakota Passes Transphobic School Bathroom Bill

Guest Presenters: Chase Strangio, staff attorney, ACLU- LGBT & HIV Project. The show debates a bill likely to be passed by the South Dakota that prevents transgender students in public schools from using bathrooms that do not correspond to their own gender identity. Chase Santiago, Staff attorney for American Civil Liberties Union is the guest presenter and discuss with Amy Goodman as to how the passage of the bill would mean more persecution for the transgender children.

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Gender Fluidity is Sound

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Lgbt parenting essay.

GLBT refers to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals in the society who have the zeal to undertake parenthood responsibilities. In this regard, people who are engrossed in LGBT parenting would have a preference of parenting one or more children. It is important to note as Mallon (269) has done that GLBT parents have got the same reasons behind parenting as heterosexual people. He furthers this idea explaining why a significant number of GLBT parents get into parenthood when they are single with an intention of creating a family.

Example Of Transgender Essay

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Making a decision to undergo Sex reassignment surgery takes a lot of courage and commitment. Besides, the patient usually has a lot of expectations now that the very part of the body is changed permanently. During the various stages of transition, the patient experiences numerous psychological and physical challenges. If not addressed efficiently, these challenges may have a critical impact on the life of the patient after the transgender surgical procedure.

Challenges before SRS – Pre-operative stage

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In this discussion two articles have been selected for reflection. They are ‘Prisons for our Bodies: Closets for our Minds by Patricia Hill Collins (2004) and Keeping Sex in Bounds by Abby Ferber (2004). First a summary of both articles will be presented. Afterwards an interpretive analysis of gender and intersections will be explained. Thirdly, my personal reflections will be offered and finally an evaluation of how both articles articulate contemporary gender issues will be highlighted.

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After hearing such negative sexist talk directed towards a colleague, I would take several measures aimed at ensuring that the perpetrators of the act know that their actions are wrong and should not be repeated. I would also put effort in supporting Jim, who in this case is the victim, encouraging him and urging him to stay strong in a bid to make sure that he comes out a much stronger individual. The best means of communicating would be face-to-face communication as it is a rich channel that enables instant feedback and suitable for personal conversations (Cameron, p.68).

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(Institution Name) The state chosen where there exists effective legislation for the protection of rights of people belonging to all sexual orientations from discrimination is Illinois. In the state, sexual orientation and freedom of practice of same-sex marriage was legal since 1962 till 1996 when it was finally banned. In November 2013, same-sex marriage once again regained legal recognition.

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81 Transgender Essay Topic Ideas & Examples

🏆 best transgender topic ideas & essay examples, 📌 most interesting transgender topics to write about, 👍 good research topics about transgender, 💯 free transgender essay topic generator.

  • Leslie Feinberg: Transgenders in “Stone Butch Blues” On one hand, traditionally, the transgenders have never assumed the authority held by men in the society and on the other hand, there is the issue that arises in a situation comprising of families composed […]
  • Transgender issues in “The Crying Game” and “M. Butterfly” The acceptance of the phenomenon of transgender status in contrast to widely spread stereotypes on it is one of the central themes and moral messages of the 1992 movie The Crying Game and the 1993 […]
  • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Sexuality in the Hispanic Culture Men are the breadwinners of the family, a duty that requires men to play the father figure role in the family.
  • Transgender Students on Colleges: Needs and Challenges In order to accommodate all the involved groups of people, there is no attributed definition of transgender due to the diversity of the subject.
  • Xaniths as a Transgender in Omani Culture The Xaniths are the third gender within the Omani social system. The Xaniths represents the transsexuals and homosexuals within the Omani society.
  • Transgender Inclusivity in Higher Education The individuals and organizations opposing trans inclusion in higher education stress that one of the main purposes of all-female colleges is to ensure the safety of the female students.
  • Transgender People in the USA The statistics are impressive and, no matter how unpleasant it is to some of us, we have to face the reality that quite a large number of people in our society can be classified as […]
  • Women in Sports: Policy for Transgender Players Drawing from this elucidation, the proposed policy statement on transgender participation in mixed leagues will not require transgender athletes to prove their gender identity through the testimony of professional experts and psychologists; on the contrary, […]
  • Transgender Bathroom Rights and Needed Policy In both articles, the subject of the study is the right of transgenders to access bathrooms according to the preferences of these people.
  • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender at Life Stages In general, all people are claimed to be equal in the USA, however, there is a high possibility to lose a job or fail to be applied to it if one is a representative of […]
  • Transgender Issues in Modern Society The legalization of gay marriage in many countries did not lead to the eradication of homophobia, protection of women’s rights did not eliminate sexism and gender inequality present in many aspects of life, and the […]
  • Cancer Screening in Lesbians, Gays, Transgenders Moreover, one of the diseases that are the burden of American society as a whole and the LGBT population, in particular, is cancer.
  • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Subculture The pioneers of such campaigns disagree with the ideas and behaviors associated with the LGBT Subculture. These celebrations “have also made it easier for different members of the subculture to network and exchange their views”.
  • Racism in Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Transgenders Instead of supporting one another as members of a minority group, these people arrange internal arguments within the society of LGBT that leads to the increased feeling of depression and psychological pressure on behalf of […]
  • Health Care for Transgender Individuals However, the medicalization of transsexualism made it more difficult to receive the treatment as individuals have to prove that they have such problems, and it is not just a temperate state of their mind that […]
  • Transgender Bathroom Rights and Legal Reforms One of the themes that deserve discussion is the possibility of creating transgender baths and the rights that can be given to this category of the population.
  • Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for Transgenders The representatives of the EEOC are able to investigate each case of discrimination in different organizations using the law and the intentions of people to leave in an equal society.
  • Growing Up Transgender: Malisa’s Story on NBC News It is essential to develop a better understanding of the concept of gender in relation to children and their development to ensure the protection of the interests of all people and, thus, improve their lives.
  • Ethical Issues of the Transgender Rights One of the most significant burdens transgender people experience is the recognition of their identity. Therefore, to increase the chances for transgender adults’ health care, it is important to pay thorough attention to any signs […]
  • Transgender in Jewish Religion Transsexual people identify as or desire to live and be accepted as a member of the gender opposite to that assigned at birth.
  • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Ideation, Correlations With ‘Suicidality’ In addition, experience of verbal ill-treatment and physical assault intensified feeling suicidal for both heterosexual and gay or bisexual men, not just for homosexual men alone as contained in many research findings, and that social […]
  • Harassment of Young Adults Who Are Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning According to the professional code of ethics, it is the duty of a social worker to help people in need and with problems.
  • Why LGBTQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer) Is Becoming Popular In the context of the continuity of experience, morality, and moral values, it is appropriate to emphasize one of the most apparent global trends, namely the gradual recognition of the inalienable rights of the LGBTQ+ […]
  • LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender) in Canada, Japan and China With a perfect understanding of the LGBTQ issue in Canada, my team and I started to compare LGBTQ in Canada, China, and Japan.
  • Anti-Transgender and Anti-LGBQ Violence Crisis in the US The vicious circle of minority stress that leads to marginalization and the marginalization that contributes to the stigma has to be broken.
  • Transgender Athletes in Female Sports Teams Thus, there are two contrasting views: to allow transgender people to compete in the women’s competition or organize separate competitions for them.
  • Considering Social Acceptability of Transgender and Transracial Identities This essay will examine two articles providing different views on transgender and transracial identities and argue that considerations used to support the transgender community are not transferable to the issue of transracial.
  • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Families’ Issues In tendency for this, it is essential to analyze issues faced by such families in the community and thus provide recommendations on approaches to adopt during counseling sessions of LGBTQ families.
  • Transgender Women Should Be Allowed to Compete in Olympic Sports It is all due to the higher level of testosterone in their bodies and that some of them can pretend to be transgender to compete against women.
  • Aspects of Identity: Transgender Status, Gender Identity In many countries in Europe and the rest of the world, the whites always obtain more benefits at the expense of the people of color and other races.
  • Transgender Teenagers and Obstacles They Face Transgender teens are one of the most vulnerable groups of people due to the enormous amount of discrimination and everyday challenges they face.
  • Transgender Participation in Sports Among the successes in resolving the subject of transgenderism in society, medicine, psychology and sports, scientists include the exclusion of transgender issues from the sections of psychiatric diseases, and their inclusion in the section of […]
  • Transgender Women Take Part in Sports Competitions The issues that support this statement are unequal muscular mass of men and women unchanged by transgender therapy; and unequal height and length of the body needed in game sports and jumping.
  • The Article “The Transgender Threat to Women’s Sports” by Abigail Shrier Abigail Shrier’s article The Transgender Threat to Women’s Sports provides a series of arguments and evidence that support the idea of excluding transgender people from women’s sports.
  • The Advantages of Transgender Women Are a Barrier to Women’s Sports The main counterargument of proponents of transpeople participation in women’s sports is that there is no proven link between biology and endurance.
  • Transgender Women in Sports: Is the Threat Real? In this regard, it can be argued that the advantages of transgender women are a barrier to women’s sports. However, the topic of transgender people has received the most discussion in the last few years […]
  • The Issue of Transgender in Sporting Activities Transgender women’s increased body strength and mass make it unfair for them to compete with cisgender women in the same sporting categories. The IOC sets the recommended testosterone level for transgender women to participate in […]
  • The Transgender Teens Policy Issues Problem recognition involves recognizing that policies serving to protect the interests of transgender teens need proper enforcement or even proper formulation to ensure effectiveness in protecting and ensuring the best interests of the children.
  • Transgender Bathroom Policies in Schools The topic of why transgender pupils cannot simply utilize private rooms designated for such gender identification, given that individuals who identify as boys and girls have their washrooms, is at the heart of the discussion […]
  • Transgender People And The Rights Act Of 1964
  • Bathroom Discrimination Against The Transgender Community
  • Unjust and Inhumane Transgender Discrimination
  • Understanding Transgender People and the Discrimination They Face Today
  • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights
  • Treatment and Support for Transgender Children
  • Transgender Individuals and Sex Reassignment Therapy
  • Violence against Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transgender
  • Women, Gay, Bisexual And Transgender Rights
  • Transgender Sexuality And The Transgender Rights Movement
  • Philosophy: Transgender and Radical Freedom
  • Transgender People Face Harassment And Discrimination
  • Oppression And Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, And Transgender Persons
  • Understanding The Transgender Phenomenon
  • Stigma And Discrimination That Transgender Individuals Experience
  • Hate Crimes Against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, And Transgender
  • Discrimination Against Transgender Individuals Within Society
  • Building Relationships With Transgender Individuals
  • Domestic Violence And Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual And Transgender Relationships
  • Beyond Depression and Suicide: The Mental Health of Transgender College Students
  • Transgender Rights and Representation in Sports
  • Gender Dysphoria and the Persecution of Transgender People
  • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Inclusion
  • Critical Race Studies Program Panel Detention Conditions Facing Queer and Transgender Immigrants
  • U.S. Politics And Society: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, And Transgender Political Identity
  • The Health And Well Being Of Transgender High School Students
  • The Pros And Cons Of Transgender And Gender Nonconforming
  • Comparing Intersex And Transgender Females
  • Capitalism And Its Impact On The Transgender Movement
  • Transgender Surgery and the Separation Between Mind and Body
  • Gender Differences Between Effeminate Boys And Transgender
  • How Schools Can Support Transgender Students And Improve School Climate
  • The Transgender Community For Hate Based Crimes Of Violence
  • Public Bathroom Controversies Due to Transgender Issue in America
  • The First Transgender Woman to Speak at a Major Party Convention in America
  • The Causes and Solutions to the Mental Health Issues of Transgender Youth
  • Sexual Orientation, Sexual, And Transgender Orientation
  • Researching and Working for Transgender Youth: Contexts, Problems and Solutions
  • Transgender Orientation And The Transgender Community
  • Why Transgender People Should Use the Public Restroom that Matches Their Gender Identity
  • Chicago (A-D)
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IvyPanda. (2023, September 21). 81 Transgender Essay Topic Ideas & Examples. https://ivypanda.com/essays/topic/transgender-essay-topics/

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All The Only Ones: I can't wait

Laine Kaplan-Levenson

Laine Kaplan-Levenson

Young people across generations climb a hill in order to reach hormone therapy that is just out of reach.

In part 2, we meet Parker, a senior in high school in Columbus, Ohio. Parker is a top field hockey athlete, but as a trans person, he is faced with making a difficult decision: either pursuing his dreams as a D1 trans field hockey player in college next year, or pursuing his dreams of starting hormone replacement therapy, which could get him banned from playing. We also meet two historical trans youth of the 1960s, Vicky and Donna, both facing barriers to getting the care and treatment they need after repeatedly looking for help.

Our voiceover actors for this episode are Izzy Daniel as Vicki, Michael Bernstein as Dr. Benjamin, Andie Heuther, Lennon Sherburne, Sarah Mosquera, Devin Speak and Anil Oza.

The Writing Center • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


What this handout is about.

In this crazy, mixed-up world of ours, transitions glue our ideas and our essays together. This handout will introduce you to some useful transitional expressions and help you employ them effectively.

The function and importance of transitions

In both academic writing and professional writing, your goal is to convey information clearly and concisely, if not to convert the reader to your way of thinking. Transitions help you to achieve these goals by establishing logical connections between sentences, paragraphs, and sections of your papers. In other words, transitions tell readers what to do with the information you present to them. Whether single words, quick phrases, or full sentences, they function as signs that tell readers how to think about, organize, and react to old and new ideas as they read through what you have written.

Transitions signal relationships between ideas—relationships such as: “Another example coming up—stay alert!” or “Here’s an exception to my previous statement” or “Although this idea appears to be true, here’s the real story.” Basically, transitions provide the reader with directions for how to piece together your ideas into a logically coherent argument. Transitions are not just verbal decorations that embellish your paper by making it sound or read better. They are words with particular meanings that tell the reader to think and react in a particular way to your ideas. In providing the reader with these important cues, transitions help readers understand the logic of how your ideas fit together.

Signs that you might need to work on your transitions

How can you tell whether you need to work on your transitions? Here are some possible clues:

  • Your instructor has written comments like “choppy,” “jumpy,” “abrupt,” “flow,” “need signposts,” or “how is this related?” on your papers.
  • Your readers (instructors, friends, or classmates) tell you that they had trouble following your organization or train of thought.
  • You tend to write the way you think—and your brain often jumps from one idea to another pretty quickly.
  • You wrote your paper in several discrete “chunks” and then pasted them together.
  • You are working on a group paper; the draft you are working on was created by pasting pieces of several people’s writing together.


Since the clarity and effectiveness of your transitions will depend greatly on how well you have organized your paper, you may want to evaluate your paper’s organization before you work on transitions. In the margins of your draft, summarize in a word or short phrase what each paragraph is about or how it fits into your analysis as a whole. This exercise should help you to see the order of and connection between your ideas more clearly.

If after doing this exercise you find that you still have difficulty linking your ideas together in a coherent fashion, your problem may not be with transitions but with organization. For help in this area (and a more thorough explanation of the “reverse outlining” technique described in the previous paragraph), please see the Writing Center’s handout on organization .

How transitions work

The organization of your written work includes two elements: (1) the order in which you have chosen to present the different parts of your discussion or argument, and (2) the relationships you construct between these parts. Transitions cannot substitute for good organization, but they can make your organization clearer and easier to follow. Take a look at the following example:

El Pais , a Latin American country, has a new democratic government after having been a dictatorship for many years. Assume that you want to argue that El Pais is not as democratic as the conventional view would have us believe.

One way to effectively organize your argument would be to present the conventional view and then to provide the reader with your critical response to this view. So, in Paragraph A you would enumerate all the reasons that someone might consider El Pais highly democratic, while in Paragraph B you would refute these points. The transition that would establish the logical connection between these two key elements of your argument would indicate to the reader that the information in paragraph B contradicts the information in paragraph A. As a result, you might organize your argument, including the transition that links paragraph A with paragraph B, in the following manner:

Paragraph A: points that support the view that El Pais’s new government is very democratic.

Transition: Despite the previous arguments, there are many reasons to think that El Pais’s new government is not as democratic as typically believed.

Paragraph B: points that contradict the view that El Pais’s new government is very democratic.

In this case, the transition words “Despite the previous arguments,” suggest that the reader should not believe paragraph A and instead should consider the writer’s reasons for viewing El Pais’s democracy as suspect.

As the example suggests, transitions can help reinforce the underlying logic of your paper’s organization by providing the reader with essential information regarding the relationship between your ideas. In this way, transitions act as the glue that binds the components of your argument or discussion into a unified, coherent, and persuasive whole.

Types of transitions

Now that you have a general idea of how to go about developing effective transitions in your writing, let us briefly discuss the types of transitions your writing will use.

The types of transitions available to you are as diverse as the circumstances in which you need to use them. A transition can be a single word, a phrase, a sentence, or an entire paragraph. In each case, it functions the same way: First, the transition either directly summarizes the content of a preceding sentence, paragraph, or section or implies such a summary (by reminding the reader of what has come before). Then, it helps the reader anticipate or comprehend the new information that you wish to present.

  • Transitions between sections: Particularly in longer works, it may be necessary to include transitional paragraphs that summarize for the reader the information just covered and specify the relevance of this information to the discussion in the following section.
  • Transitions between paragraphs: If you have done a good job of arranging paragraphs so that the content of one leads logically to the next, the transition will highlight a relationship that already exists by summarizing the previous paragraph and suggesting something of the content of the paragraph that follows. A transition between paragraphs can be a word or two (however, for example, similarly), a phrase, or a sentence. Transitions can be at the end of the first paragraph, at the beginning of the second paragraph, or in both places.
  • Transitions within paragraphs: As with transitions between sections and paragraphs, transitions within paragraphs act as cues by helping readers to anticipate what is coming before they read it. Within paragraphs, transitions tend to be single words or short phrases.

Transitional expressions

Effectively constructing each transition often depends upon your ability to identify words or phrases that will indicate for the reader the kind of logical relationships you want to convey. The table below should make it easier for you to find these words or phrases. Whenever you have trouble finding a word, phrase, or sentence to serve as an effective transition, refer to the information in the table for assistance. Look in the left column of the table for the kind of logical relationship you are trying to express. Then look in the right column of the table for examples of words or phrases that express this logical relationship.

Keep in mind that each of these words or phrases may have a slightly different meaning. Consult a dictionary or writer’s handbook if you are unsure of the exact meaning of a word or phrase.

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The Oversexualization of Trans Bodies

Two people hold hands while marching under a trans pride flag in the New York City Pride Parade on June 26, 2022.

A late night on December 16th, 2020, my friend, Jade Careaga, was found unconscious in the middle of the road in Seattle. Jade is witty, charismatic, and wise beyond her years when it comes to personal safety, consent, and agency—attributes she has developed and refined as a trans woman of color involved in sex work. That night, she was planning to meet with a client to go on a date. The man knew she was trans, which was why he pursued her. After the man ran into her porch when parking, the date was called off. Instead of paying her for the damage, he attacked her. Like far too many news stories we read about trans women, Careaga's evening included harassment, violence, and narrowly escaping a near-death experience. I’m incredibly grateful she lived and today advocates for other survivors of sexual violence.

This is an example of what I like to call the “desire to cruelty” pipeline. In a society where only about four in 10 Americans personally know someone who is transgender, most people are left with only depictions of us, with millions of those being pornographic. This is paired with a political system where our healthcare and our right to exist often gets weaponized for votes. As a result, trans people are too often limited to being seen as sex objects—rather than people worthy of dating, falling in love, marrying, or creating families.

Watch More: House of Tulip, a Short Documentary About the Dangers of Being Trans in America

It has been well documented that trans people are four times more likely than cisgender people to be a victim of a violent crime. It’s even more important to point out that transphobia is frequently committed by an existing or prospective intimate partner. According to a 2020 report by the Human Rights Campaign, some of the most violent and lethal attacks on transgender people are perpetuated by men attracted to trans people. Trans individuals are 1.7 times more likely than cisgender people to experience any form of intimate partner violence. Since 2013, 29% of fatal violence against trans people was committed by an intimate partner.

While sobering, these statistics are not surprising. When people discuss transmisia —an updated term to describe prejudice against trans people—being ingrained in society, they typically focus on legislation, or our legal, healthcare, and court systems. But long before trans people were being used as a political talking point, images created by the media, films, and in particular, the adult entertainment industry were influencing what it means to intimately relate to women who are transgender.

At the end of 2022, Porn Hub, the second-highest trafficked sexual content website in the world, reported a 75% increase in searches for trans porn. Google Analytics also demonstrated that American users in the states with the most oppressive legal threats toward trans people exist were largely responsible for the rise in trans-related porn search terms like “tranny” and “shemale.” Mind you, these terms are derogatory and are considered by and large as slurs or pejoratives.

While watching porn can be an earnest exploration where individuals discover something important about their sexuality, it is often a way of expressing one’s desires toward transgender people in private. Sadly, for many consumers, secrecy combined with what is a broadly transphobic culture instills shame. Oftentimes, cisgender males are afraid that their interest in trans women calls their manhood and sexuality into question. In other words, they fear that being attracted to us “makes them gay” and to be gay, in their worldview, is to not be a "real" man.

Cruelty comes not only from shame but also from desire lost. In my personal life, ex-partners have sold and leaked my private photos without my consent to other men shortly after I broke up with them or when they feared the relationship ending. Cisgender and transgender alike, men I trusted and who I thought loved and respected me, chose to violate my privacy and my body for profit. Society teaches men that being with trans women is an attack on their masculinity. They feel loved, desired, nurtured, and cared for by us while simultaneously feeling emasculated, disempowered, and shameful by dating us. They “loved” us until they could no longer have us and then they abused us. While only 4% of the general population have been victims to revenge porn, 15% of lesbian, gay, or bisexual individuals have been threatened by someone who was going to share intimate photos of them. The numbers are likely higher for transgender people.

Desire that is unrequited, covered in shame, or requited then lost can often lead to cruelty. For trans women like me, it is grounded in trans misogyny: the false pretenses that not only is masculinity superior to femininity, but that “male” and “female” are also mutually exclusive and fixed binary categories. While it’s no secret that the U.S. has a historic problem with oversexualizing the feminine body—whether that is pertaining to restrictive school dress codes, to controversies surrounding breastfeeding, to the public shaming of celebrities and athletes who embrace moments of joy and pride by baring their chests , to the demonization of feminist activists who have removed their tops and bras in protest—sexism has always been most amplified among those with intersecting marginalized identities.

As a result, the over-sexualization of trans women is that much harder to grapple with and undo—from sensationalized stories about our medical transitions to calling us “groomers” and “pedophiles” for advocating for laws that will keep trans kids alive, to policing our bodies. And while targeted right-wing and religious media campaigns are openly hostile and depict trans people as predators, even historically trustworthy outlets still obsess over our bodies and transitions and suggest that radical trans-eliminationists' views are balanced, mainstream, and important to consider.

These actions stem from implicit teaching that someone who is perceived as different from the majority is “bad” or a “threat” and therefore, when sexualized, is considered a “fetish” or something to be kept secret. People are taught to see us as a philosophical construct—or worse, a political football. Politicians especially dehumanize us so they can more easily rationalize taking away our rights by signaling to their constituents that they are protecting them from a common enemy and therefore deserving of their vote. The national discourse on trans people suggests we are “mentally ill,” “monsters,” or people to pity. Simultaneously, we are seen as beautiful, “exotic,” and sexually desirable “deviants.” When combined, we are seen as “dangerous” to all—god, family, and country.

Read More: As Texas Targets Trans Youth, a Family Leaves in Search of a Better Future

For years the desire-to-cruelty pipeline has been consistently evidenced to me especially on social media, as I’ve regularly had photos and videos weaponized by public figures and outlets . Paradoxically, people have shamed me for having a large chest and curves and celebrating my bodily experience of womanhood, while simultaneously alleged I’m a “man lying about being a woman.”

We must put an end to the over-sexualization trans women, and the ways to do so are plenty. First, while trans representation has come a long way, the world deserves more stories about trans people from trans people. This includes stories of trans people living normal lives, in loving relationships, doing both incredible and mundane activities—not the butt of a joke, background characters, villains, or just in coming-of-age and coming-out stories.

And until we live in a world where trans people no longer face higher rights of economic oppression in the forms of unemployment, underemployment, and being unhoused, trans people will continue to have to enter sex work as a means of survival. At least 20% of transgender Americans —including myself—have done sex work, and 72% of transgender sex workers have faced physical assaults and sexual violence. Reporting this violence often leads to the arrest of the sex worker and not of the perpetrator of the violence. Decriminalization is the first step to ensuring human rights are protected for sex workers, and ensuring a movement toward ethical trans pornography—made consensually, treats trans performers with respect, and pays trans performers and filmmakers fairly for their work—is key.

Not to mention, everyone, including young people, deserves access to age-appropriate, medically accurate, and comprehensive sexual health and safety education without being shamed or judged. This includes safe sex options and pregnancy prevention. Sex education has been proven to positively impact young people’s lives and decrease the rates of sexual activity, sexual risk behaviors, sexually transmitted infections, and teen pregnancy. Society must learn to relate to and treat trans women in healthy ways. Trans women deserve to be treated with dignity, respect, kindness, patience, and understanding. We all have a responsibility as individuals to unpack and unlearn what society has taught us about relationships, gender, and sexuality, because all of us—including myself—have internalized fear, mistrust, and the dehumanization of trans people. We are all on the journey to understand and ultimately unlearn this social conditioning. Because only together could we begin dismantling the desire-to-cruelty pipeline.

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3 Tips to Creating the College Essay

Student writing their college essay on a laptop

3 tips to creating the college essay:

  • Give yourself enough time to work. You should brainstorm your essay idea and figure out how you want your essay to contribute to admissions committees' understanding of your application. You also want to work on a draft or two and get feedback on your drafts from a trusted source. It is very hard to do this work in a short amount of time.
  • Write what you think you should write, not what you think the admission committee wants to hear. Writing and reading essays are subjective experiences. You want to make sure that you create an essay that you are proud of and that you feel expresses your point. Remember - the more passionate you are about your subject, the more engaging it is for the reader.
  • Make sure the essay gives the reader a greater understanding of you – not about someone or something else. Oftentimes, when we try to describe what we value or what we care about, we do so by talking about someone or something that is a great example of those values and priorities. Be careful not to center the example in your essay and instead, explain why the example resonates with you.

This is a chance for you to share your voice. If you have any questions, reach out to your CU Boulder admissions counselor !

Written by CU Boulder Office of Admissions

  • Application Tips

The University of Colorado does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, pregnancy, disability, creed, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, veteran status, political affiliation, or political philosophy. All qualified individuals are encouraged to apply. You may  view the list of ADA and Title IX coordinators  and  review the Regent policy .

As a student or prospective student at CU Boulder, you have a right to certain information pertaining to financial aid programs, the Clery Act, crime and safety, graduation rates, athletics and other general information such as the costs associated with attending CU Boulder. To view this information visit  colorado.edu/your-right-know .

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Yes, ChatGPT can help with your college admissions essay. Here's what you need to do to stay within the rules.

  • Students who use tools like ChatGPT to write their college essays need to walk a fine line.
  • Colleges will likely penalize students who submit completely AI-generated applications.
  • Using AI to edit or draft the essays may be acceptable though, a tutoring company founder says.

Insider Today

The education sector has had a rough ride with generative AI.

After the release of ChatGPT, some colleges and schools were quick to put a blanket ban on the bot when students began using it to write their essays. Professors and teachers were left with the difficult task of navigating the new concept of AI plagiarism.

Now, several colleges have changed their tune and are encouraging students and staff to use generative AI as a tool — as long as they don't use it to cheat. However, the guidance is still pretty vague, especially when it comes to admissions and college essays.

"The landscape is shifting, but colleges are not unified in their approach to GPT," Adam Nguyen, founder of tutoring company Ivy Link , told Insider. "If you look across the landscape of college admissions, especially elite college admissions, there are no clear rules on whether you could use GPT or not."

In February, I tested the chatbot's ability to write college application essays . The results were relatively successful , with two private admissions tutors agreeing the essays definitely passed for ones written by a real student and probably would have had a shot at most colleges, but probably not the most selective institutions.

There are telltale signs when an entire essay is AI-generated, Nguyen said. For example, there tends to be a lot of repetition, and the essays are generally mediocre.

"If an essay is clearly written by AI, I think they will penalize the student and that application," Nguyen said.

While it's clear students should be writing their own work, it's less clear if students are allowed to use the tech to help them draft or edit essays.

As colleges grudgingly accept that AI is not going anyway, Nguyen said there's a fine line for students to walk.

"If you fill in the details, restructure the essay, and provide the specific language and sentences, that will make the essay your own," he said. "I think many colleges would be fine with that."

He continued, "I would suggest not using it as a default. If you're really stuck, you could use it to start." He suggested that, as a general rule, at least 80% of the essays needed to be edited and changed to be on the safe side.

"If an essay's really good, it won't raise any suspicion, and I don't think most colleges will care that you use GPT to start, as long as they can't tell either," he added.

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Watch: What is ChatGPT, and should we be afraid of AI chatbots?

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Guest Essay

What a College Degree Meant to Me and My 6-Year-Old

An illustration with four panels: The first and last panels show a woman holding a hand to her forehead. In the other panels are a hand holding a pen and an adult’s hand on the head of a sleeping child.

By Stephanie Land

Ms. Land is the author of “Maid” and the forthcoming “Class,” from which this essay is adapted.

I started my senior year at the University of Montana in 2013 when I was almost 35 years old. My belief, my near expectation, was that a diploma, a piece of paper, could offer me a full-time job with benefits like health insurance and sick days — something service industry jobs never had — and allow me to support my family without government assistance.

While some of my classmates complained that Montana was the only school their parents would pay for, it was my dream. I was there to work, to build a bridge over the welfare gap to get us out of poverty and to learn how to become a published writer. No matter how hard it was to attend college while raising a little girl, it would be better than the unsteady and low-paid work on which I relied for years.

Between classes, I’d go to the university center, where I’d focus on my academic work and try not to worry about whether I had enough paid work that month to make rent or about my parenting responsibilities. I was barely two weeks into my final year of college, and a three-hour break between classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays was my time to just study, because I didn’t always have a relatively quiet home to work in. Not with my 6-year-old’s new obsession with “SpongeBob SquarePants,” anyway.

By this time of the day, other students were mostly gone. I assumed they went to their dorms or an afternoon class or maybe even to work, but a few of them hung out here at the tables. After I speed-walked downstairs to the bathroom, I stopped by the snack store. It accepted E.B.T. cards, the debit cards to spend food stamps, but I was too embarrassed to use mine. I never saw anyone else using one. I walked slowly past the back wall of glass, my mouth watering at the sight of the smoothies, but I couldn’t stomach the prices.

My second class of the day was up on the floor of the building that housed the English department. A warm room with a row of windows meant that I could take off my coat and look outside. Sitting for any length of time often blanketed me in heaviness, though. It felt similar to the sensation of falling asleep after crawling into bed, feeling the weight of my body sink into the cushion below.

I hated it when I got this tired. In the fall semester the previous year, I had an American literature class first thing in the morning that I could rarely stay awake for. In my defense, I started my day that semester at 5 in the morning, when I left my daughter, Emilia, in the care of my roommate before I drove to the gymnasium where she went to preschool to clean it for two and a half hours, went home to get her ready, then dropped her off and immediately went to my first class.

Emilia was now in public kindergarten, so I no longer had the gym to clean in exchange for her tuition, but there still wasn’t enough time to carve out an adequate amount of paid work. Cleaning houses takes time. My earned wages were barely $100 a week, and they went straight toward what food stamps didn’t cover — toilet paper, printer paper, books, clothes, soap, fuel and tampons. Night was my only time to do schoolwork at home, and I stayed up late to finish it after I had cleaned someone’s house, picked up my kid from school, cleaned my own place and made whatever dinner I could.

My experience as a single parent and full-time college student was not uncommon. “Single parents constitute the majority of parenting students, and they are often at a distinct disadvantage,” noted a report released in May 2020 written by Sara Goldrick-Rab, Carrie R. Welton and Vanessa Coca. More than one-fifth of college students are parents, and about one-tenth are single mothers.

In August 2023, the Temple University Hope Center for College, Community and Justice reported an even more staggering statistic: 23 percent of undergraduate students and 12 percent of graduate students face food insecurity, which adds up to more than four million students. Eight percent of undergraduate and 5 percent of graduate students, or 1.5 million, reported themselves as homeless. While I forced myself to focus on my studies, I battled exhaustion, hunger and interruptions due to lack of child care. On my days off from school, I cleaned houses while my daughter was in kindergarten and averaged 10 to 15 hours a week.

The May 2020 report estimated that the lifetime need for public assistance is reduced by $25,600 to $40,000 when a single mother is able to complete her college degree. As a country, this should be a logical investment. A college degree helps to break the cycle of poverty, especially if two generations are supported at the same time by adequate, no-cost, safe and reliable child care.

Yet that would possibly encourage women to remain single and therefore independent. What is also called welfare is now known as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. The program’s purpose , aside from the obvious cash assistance, is to “reduce the dependency of needy parents by promoting job preparation, work and marriage.” And as far back as 2012 , the Department of Health and Human Services also stated its goal to “prevent and reduce incidence of out-of-wedlock pregnancies. Encourage the formation and maintenance of two-parent families.” Even a program originally designed to assist single mothers who had lost their husbands to war has a hidden message: It believes they are not enough and maybe shouldn’t exist.

All of this felt purposeful; as a country, we rely on low-wage work to make everyone else’s jobs possible, even as it complicated my own work as a full-time student. My predetermined place in my societal class added to the feeling that I didn’t belong in college. Academia wasn’t an environment that felt familiar in the slightest. Even so, the disadvantages I faced there — which to me were all-consuming — might not have been apparent to others. While my classmates asked questions about the syllabus, I didn’t know what “office hours” meant and didn’t think to ask for clarification.

The first hour of my afternoon class went by quickly, but it was nonetheless a relief when the professor suggested we take a 10-minute break. I reached into the front pocket of my backpack for my phone. I flipped it open and immediately saw that I had missed three calls and five texts from my roommate.

“Everything is OK,” he said after answering on the first ring.

That wasn’t reassuring. I imagined he was speaking to me from a hospital waiting room. “OK?”

“Did you maybe forget it’s Thursday? Apparently she gets out of school an hour early today?” my roommate’s voice rose at the end of each sentence, and my head felt full of static. I heard ringing in my ears. At Emilia’s school, students were released an hour early on Thursdays to give teachers some prep time, but two weeks into the school year, we still fought to find a routine, and an early-release day was so foreign to me, I’d completely forgotten it was a thing.

“Oh, my God.” I leaned into a wall and slid down to the floor of the hallway. My right hand pressed the phone to my ear while my left thumb massaged the space between my eyebrows, moving up a bit, then back down to start again.

When she had gotten to our apartment and seen the place was empty, my kid, backpack still on, had run back to her bus stop, across a busy street, and knocked on the door of the girl close to her age who had gotten off at the same stop.

She must have been able to say everything that had happened, including going home to discover the babysitter wasn’t there. Emilia didn’t know my number, and I stupidly hadn’t written it on her backpack. The girl’s mom had written a note saying Emilia was at her house, included her phone number and walked four small children across the street and back to leave it taped to my door.

“Oh, my God. Is she OK? Can I talk to her?”

He handed the phone to Emilia, who immediately said, “I looked both ways, Mom! I crossed the street by myself and looked both ways so all the cars stopped for me!”

I couldn’t believe no one had called the police, but maybe it was normal to see small humans running across the street by themselves at that time of the day. I managed not to say any of this and told her how proud I was of her for remembering to look both ways, then asked her to give the phone back.

“Thank you,” I said. I couldn’t catch my breath. “Thank you so much.” I walked down a bit down the hall to the stairwell. “I feel like I’m having a panic attack.”

“Oh, it’s totally OK,” he said, while I had to force myself not to sob.

“I’m so sorry. I…I forgot. I’m so sorry.”

Ten minutes had passed by the time I hung up the phone, and my classmates were funneling through the door back into the classroom. I shoved my phone into my front pocket and rushed to the bathroom, peed as fast as I could, avoided looking at my face while I washed my hands, took one deep breath and held it for five seconds, then walked across the hall, took my seat and sat through a lecture on story arcs.

I can see myself, eyes darting nervously to see if anyone noticed my heavy breathing, so clearly that I want to reach through the lines of words describing my old life to put a gentle hand on her shoulder to say she’s not alone. I want her to feel compassion instead of relentless, unforgiving reminders that she’s not making ends meet and can never do enough.

I wasn’t alone then and unfortunately, if I were in the same position now, I would still need help from others. Though the eligibility requirements through SNAP have expanded to include single parents who are full-time students with a child under 12 to qualify for food stamps, reinstating the work requirement of 20 hours a week only once their child reaches age 6, the need for child care hasn’t changed. I still had to work, I still had to go to class, and I still needed child care for the hours that Emilia wasn’t in school.

A 6-year-old shape bounded toward me when I got home that evening. Before I could put down my backpack, Emilia rushed over and told me about crossing the street and getting ice cream. Our roommate mumbled something about needing to go get some noodles and brushed past me to walk out the door. I looked for evidence that my kid had eaten dinner and found nothing, then looked in the cupboard for a box of mac and cheese and didn’t see one of those, either.

We walked out the back door, then down the alley toward North Higgins, the main street that goes through downtown Missoula. There wasn’t really anywhere close to us where we could both sit and enjoy a meal within our budget. Emilia had grown up almost completely on a food stamp diet — one that was painstakingly budgeted and had no room to purchase expensive produce for the sake of multiple introductions. I had to keep to things I knew she would largely consume without leaving leftovers, since she wouldn’t eat those, either. When we had a bit of extra money, like the beginning of the semester when the student loan money came in, even if I took her to a huge grocery store and told her to get anything she wanted for dinner, she would still pick out a box of mac and cheese and a packet of crackers with the bright orange cheese substance in the middle, which is exactly what she chose that night.

Because my family couldn’t afford to send me to college, by the time I attended on my own, I faced constant, all-consuming stress that caused me to feel like an impostor. Not once did I feel I deserved an education. By graduation, I felt nothing but guilt for the amount of the loans I had taken out to help pay for basic needs like food, housing and child care.

Yet who I was that year, how relentless I was, is who fought to graduate, get off government assistance and accomplish everything I have as a writer. I’m eternally indebted to her.

Stephanie Land is the author of “Maid” and the forthcoming “Class.”

The Times is committed to publishing a diversity of letters to the editor. We’d like to hear what you think about this or any of our articles. Here are some tips . And here’s our email: [email protected] .

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