Gender is widely recognized as a major dimension of difference, with implications for social justice and equity on the one hand and opportunities to capitalize on diversity on the other. Trans-gender issues arise in institutions in relation to both trans people and understandings of trans as an aspect of gender that troubles many conventional understandings. The authors’ own encounters with policies, curriculum, practices and procedures, and personal relations in the universities with which they are associated indicate the scale and dimensions of the challenge facing institutions seeking to provide a supportive environment for trans people and understandings of trans/gender. Both universities have demonstrated clear intent to be at least supportive and understanding, but their performance has been uneven. In multiple contexts, they have demonstrated that the understandings of both gender and equity they bring to their working with trans people and issues are limited and simplistic. Working with such understandings, and not recognizing their limitations, perpetuates a culture that erases trans experiences and knowledge and is unable to provide a fully supportive environment for trans people. This limited recognition of and engagement with diversity in the case of trans people and issues offers insights into limitations in recognition and engagement with other marginalized groups and dimensions of diversity and point to needs for richer understandings of diversity to underpin the development of more nurturing and productive institutional environments.
|Keywords:||Transgender, Policy, Higher Education, Equity, Normativity|
The International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations: Annual Review, Volume 12, 2012, pp.67-80. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 335.706KB).
Research Assistant, School of Education, James Cook University, Cairns, Qld, Australia
Associate Professor, School of Education, James Cook University, Townsville, Qld, Australia