A historic men-only institution is now opening its doors to transmen.
Following the footsteps of its sister school Spelman College, the Historical Black College/University Morehouse College has recently made an important announcement. The college will soon be opening its doors to transmen.
Morehouse, the alma mater of many notable names such as Martin Luther King Jr., Oscar Winner Spike Lee, and Samuel L. Jackson, made this announcement on Saturday (April 13, 2019). The school will be accepting transgender men as students for their fall 2020 semester.
“I think Morehouse having the courage to speak to issues of masculinity in today’s environment is important,” Morehouse College President David Thomas told the Associated Press. “For 152 years, the world has, in some way, seen Morehouse as the West Point of black male development.”
Terrance Dixon, Morehouse’s Vice President of Enrollment, shared his glee at seeing the updated policy.
“In a rapidly changing world that includes a better understanding of gender identity, we’re proud to expand our admissions policy to consider trans men who want to be part of an institution that has produced some of the greatest leaders in social justice, politics, business, and the arts for more than 150 years,” Terrance Dixon said in an official statement, according to NBC News.
That said, it isn’t all happy news. Morehouse, at the end of the day, is an all-male school focused on uplifting, enlightening, and educating black men. As such, the new policy is only focused on transmen and not transwomen, as one angry BuzzFeed reporter pointed out.
In fact, the new policy specifically excludes “individuals who identify as women regardless of the sex assigned to them at birth.” Plus, any student who transitions to female during their time at the Atlanta school will be ineligible to graduate there.
But is that fair? Again, Morehouse was created on the mission of educating black men. Like it’s HBCU peers, the school was built at a time when it was taboo to educate black people. As such, the history, legacy, and mission of this and other HBCUs are important to their existence today.
But as this new policy, and the school’s Vice President of Enrollment, suggests, the school is willing and able to update its rules in order to match modern times. In addition, all HBCUs are more than welcoming to non-black students. So, could Morehouse eventually decide to allow female students through its doors? Only time will tell.
In the meantime, neighboring all-female school Spelman college does accept transwomen into its mix. The similarly historic institution adopted a similar admissions policy for transwomen in 2017 and had its first transfemale graduate last year.