Politics & Policy

Students: Transgender Student Can’t Be Diversity Officer Because They Are a White Man Now

Wellesley College students are okay with him on campus, but not in a leadership position.

A student who was born female felt perfectly comfortable identifying as a man at Wellesley College — until people said he shouldn’t be class diversity officer because he is now a white male.

Timothy Boatwright was born a girl, and checked off the “female” box when applying to the Massachusetts all-women’s school, according to an article in the New York Times. But when he got there, he introduced himself as a “masculine-of-center genderqueer” person named “Timothy” (the name he picked for himself) and asked them to use male pronouns when referring to him.

And, by all accounts, Boatwright felt welcome on campus — until the day he announced that he wanted to run for the school’s office of multicultural affairs coordinator, whose job is to promote a “culture of diversity” on campus.

But some students thought that allowing Boatwright to have the position would just perpetuate patriarchy. They were so opposed, in fact, that when the other three candidates (all women of color) dropped out, they started an anonymous Facebook campaign encouraging people not to vote at all to keep him from winning the position.

“I thought he’d do a perfectly fine job, but it just felt inappropriate to have a white man there,” the student behind the so-called “Campaign to Abstain” said.

“It’s not just about that position either,” the student added. “Having men in elected leadership positions undermines the idea of this being a place where women are the leaders.”

Boatwright told the Times that his high-school friends knew he was transgender, but he identified himself as female on the application to Wellesley because he didn’t want his mom to know. Of course, Wellesley is also a female school, and “it seemed awkward to write an application essay for a women’s college on why you were not a woman,” he said.

— Katherine Timpf is a reporter for National Review Online.

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