Letter to the editor: Trans students at KU fearful

To the editor:

When I entered my freshman year at KU in 2016, I was terrified. For the previous three years I had identified as trans but kept it a secret since I was not in a safe environment. College was the first chance I had to be myself. Employees at the Emily Taylor Center and Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity were quick to meet my needs.

Despite this help, I was still not comfortable with being out. One of my biggest concerns was bathrooms, where I would get stares no matter which bathroom I was in. I knew other trans and gender- nonconforming students who were victims of harassment.

In April of this year, the Kansas Legislature passed SB 180, which makes it illegal for trans people to change our names and sex markers starting on July 1. Additionally, the law makes it possible for us to be fined or arrested for using sex-segregated facilities such as bathrooms.

If I was entering KU this fall, I would be even more scared now than I was then. However, KU has not made a single statement about this issue. KU prides itself on being an accepting and safe environment, and yet has not reassured trans and gender- nonconforming students that they will be safe on campus.

To the KU administrators: Will you take a stance in ensuring the safety of your marginalized students? Or will you turn a blind eye to the dangers facing trans and gender-nonconforming individuals?

Isaac Johnson,



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