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Any trans professors?


Myles97

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Myles97

Howdy! I am a grad student working on a PhD. Is anyone here a professor? I am nervous about coming out to my work in the next few months, but I’m hoping to be living full time as myself by the time the fall semester starts. I’ve been teaching as a female, but will start presenting as and going by my male name. My department is pretty liberal, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little worried about how it is going to go. Anybody have a great experience being trans at any specific school? Anywhere I should avoid? I’m currently in the south, so I can’t imagine it gets worse lol! 

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Kasumi63

I’m a professor at a university in Japan, so things might be different for you. After teaching here for about 15 years, I came out to my university as an mtf transgender about a year ago, and I haven’t had any trouble at all. In fact, everyone has been extremely supportive—especially my students.

 

Good luck! I hope you hear from some university teachers in the US, too!

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Myles97

@Kasumi63thank you!! I am so glad to hear that your university has been so wonderful. 

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VickySGV

I have three friends who are adjunct Professors in the University of California system who are doing what they like best with a lot of success.  All three are agreed that they hate the same thing about the job which is the grading system and pressures of ending the semesters and quarters, but they have not had problems with colleagues or administrators.  At one point or another they have participated in some activities where they were seen my ultra-conservative folks who had demonstrations on campus and put up with some fallout from the "visitors" (invaders to me) but were supported by the school and their students.

 

We do have some private colleges out here that are run by conservative organization that do not care for Trans faculty, but we also have the Community College systems where Trans people are protected by state law and would most likely be welcomed. 

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Carolyn Marie

Well, she isn't a member here, but one of the most famous trans people in the U.S., Jennifer Boylan, is a professor of English at Colby College in Maine.  I never heard of her having difficulties in her career as a teacher.  I know 3-4 folks locally, most also known by Vicky, who seem to be thriving as instructors..  I'd be very surprised if you ran into any difficulties, except those all women face in STEM fields.

 

Carolyn Marie

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Myles97

@VickySGV and @Carolyn Marie thank you both for sharing that with me. That makes me feel a lot better. I’m from the south and I don’t see a lot of out trans professors around here. I totally understand why, but it had me so worried that maybe there weren’t any. Thanks for giving me hope!!! I definitely want to move either up north or to California after graduation. 

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Jackie C.

I happen to know that the number one authority on steam engines in the United States, if not the world is a trans professor. A friend of mine counts her among their friends (they're all steam-engine enthusiasts together). I don't remember where she teaches though. I just remember that it's somewhere fancy.

 

Hugs!

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Myles, might I suggest you speak first directly to your advisor about how to go about coming out at your university. Advisors are typically going to be on your side, and it is always good to have allies. I am somewhere behind you, still writing proposals towards PhD candidate positions, and made the decision to include my status moving towards transition in my personal letter. I think like Vicki said above, in a few colleges being transgender will be a problem, most not so much.

If my transitioning is a red flag (for any particular university) then I probably would not be interested in contributing my scholarship there anyhow!

I do strongly suspect that the world of academia in general is likely the safest and most open environment to transgender and transgender rights there can be. So you have absolutely chosen a good path. Also note that once you obtain your PhD, you can farm it out worldwide. Thus, for example, any position in any Nordic country will be a zero issue for hiring, etc.

Good Luck!

S.

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