Valpo Needs to Try Harder

“Not all trans people want a surgery; they just want to be seen as the gender they’re presenting as.”

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Transcript for Valpo Needs to Try Harder

Valpo really tries to be accommodating to people with differences, but I mean, I know someone who—in the Physics department, I think, and she has a lot of disabilities, and the thing that also sucks for her is that there are a lot of invisible disabilities.  So because she’s not in a chair or something, professors don’t really believe her that she’s tired all the time and she feels ill, and that sometimes it’s hard to get out of the bed in the morning.  So they’re not really understanding to her needs even though she’s documented with Disability Support Services.  I was not aware that professors are not forced to follow those accommodations, that at their own discretion they can just go, ‘Nope, I’m not accommodating you.  Sucks to be you!’  Like, you know, you’re trying to do what you love, you’re trying to do the best you can at your schoolwork, you’re pulling yourself out of bed every day.  And your professors are just like, ‘Oh, you’re not in a chair.  You’re not coming to class in your pajamas.  So obviously, you can’t be that sick.’  I feel like that’s one way that Valpo needs to try harder, because I think it’s kind of despicable that professors can just be ableists in that way and say, ‘Sucks to be you.’  And just like, I wish they’d be a little more updated on trans issues as well.  Because, I mean, the fact that they actually have a ruling on trans students is nice, because they are acknowledging our existence.  But I still think it’s kind of crappy that—the ruling is that if you enroll as one gender and you wish to be—it to be changed to the one you identify as, you have to send the school like, paperwork from a doctor documenting your surgery.  A lot of students don’t have the money to get a sexual reassignment surgery, so it’s kind of a ridiculous request, because it’s like, ‘Hey, you need to have a surgery that you can’t afford right now.’  If you actually want that surgery. Because not all trans people want a surgery.  They just want to be seen as the gender they’re presenting as.

  • Natalia Terzic

    Wow, I didn’t realize how problematic some aspects of campus are. I thought that anyone who required the Disability Support Services had to be accommodated by professors since they have no control over their disabilities, and it’s really horrifying that professors can pick and choose which disabilities they deem “good enough excuses” for being behind in a class. It’s also deeply upsetting that transgender students have to show documentation for gender reassignment surgeries to change their gender in their campus documents. One’s genitalia does not dictate one’s gender, and Valpo having guidelines like this just further shows how grossly obsessed society is with whether or not transgender people are their identified gender “down there.” Just… gross.

  • Emily Doherty

    I had no idea that professors at Valpo were so misunderstanding of certain disabilities, especially with all of the information given on disabilities in near every syllabus for near every class. The transgender issue / rule is something I never knew even existed at Valpo? You have to document your “surgery”? That is so despicable to think that a university priding itself on welcoming each and every type of person would do something so horrific.