On Saturday, Morehouse College Board of Trustees voted to begin admitting transgender students in 2020.
As one of the nation’s oldest historically black colleges and all male institutions, Morehouse prides itself on “preparing young men to change the world.”
According to the new Gender Identity Admissions and Matriculation Policy, all students “must self-identify as men” and in the event that a male student begins transitioning into a woman, they will lose eligibility for enrollment.
In addition, Morehouse officials state that they will continue using the “language of brotherhood.” Meaning that “masculine pronouns,” will be applied in addressing their student body.
Prior to this policy, Morehouse has made a solid effort to improve the inclusion of their LGBT students. Morehouse held its first Gay Pride in 2010 and offered the first LGBT course in 2013.
These changes were implemented in response to several issues over the past decade regarding the LGBT community on campus. The 2002 assault of Gregory Love, who suffered from a fractured skull in a targeted attack and their 2009 controversial dress code, prohibiting students from wearing women’s clothing are both separate incidents that have changed the climate of Morehouse.
“I think Morehouse having the courage to speak to issues of masculinity in today’s environment is important,” said Morehouse College President, David Thomas.“For 152 years, the world has, in some way, seen Morehouse as the West Point of black male development.”
“I can’t speak for all HBCUs, but we know in the black church there has largely been silent on this issue,” Thomas said. “I can imagine there may be people who would say, ‘Why would you even raise this?’ I say to those people we live in an era now where silence on these issues is actually not helpful. For us, as a school for men, it’s important for us to set clear expectations about what that means. That’s what we’re trying to do with this policy.”