August 2nd was simultaneously the best and worst day for Yanna Awtrey, a transgender man who had been suffering from gender dysphoria as he received an email saying that he will no longer be able to attend college due to having top surgery, according to NBC.
On that day he underwent top surgery to remove his breasts and flatten his chest and while he was pleased with the results, the person he was staying with was upset when she visited him in the hospital and said that he was no longer welcome in her house and then shortly after Awtrey received an email from the Vice President for Student Services at Welch College, a Free Will Baptists Church institution in Tennessee, Jon Forlines saying that he is also no longer welcome to stay at the dorms, leaving him effectively homeless and without an education. Forlines offered Awtrey a one week stay at a hotel and money for food.
Awtrey was very understandably upset about receiving that email and said: “I did not expect the email because I was physically vulnerable after the surgery and do not have an income nor can I work for a few months following the surgery” and that the physical pain of the surgery is “nothing compared to witnessing a lack of empathy for our fellow man.”
He was instructed to sign a withdrawal form that said that leaving Welch College was his responsibility but he refused to sign it which led to a disciplinary hearing on August 7th in which the disciplinary committee explained that Awtrey’s top surgery was in violation of the school’s student handbook, saying that the surgery was an act of “sexual perversion.” Awtrey argued that it clearly was not an act of sexual perversion but a corrective surgery to help alleviate his gender dysphoria but the school would not listen and instead suspended him for two semesters and said that he can reapply but he would most likely not be accepted.
Awtrey has plans to stay with someone while he recovers from his surgery but the damage done by Welch College is too great to be reversed completely and considering the fact that there is a disproportionate number of LGBTQ people who are homeless, what the school did was possibly the worst thing they could have done to a student. However, Awtrey does not regret the surgery and even said that he plans on looking for a job after he recovers, so at least he is not completely disheartened by this whole ordeal.
But this can’t be easy for him.