2010-09-30

Questions of Equality

Coilhouse.net reports on a transgendered male enrolled in school as a female. This year, the students voted for him as Homecoming King. He won by a landslide, but was disqualified because he is enrolled in school as a female. The students are scandalized, and we can all surely understand their frustration.

But what's the right thing to do here? Would he have been disqualified were he elected Homecoming Queen? Is holding him to his professed gender as per his school enrollment forms an act of discrimination?

The ACLU wants to get involved - and typically I agree with the ACLU - but in this case it seems a little different to me. Which outcome would yield the fairest results for transgendered individuals: official acknowledgement that they are whichever gender they claim to be, or official acknowledgement that they may be either gender, depending on the situation they are in? Which outcome sends the clearest signal to others regarding how the transgendered should be treated?

More importantly, is election of Homecoming Royalty something the ACLU should be chiming in on? Seems a little trivial. It is a voluntary popularity contest, after all...

IMPORTANT UPDATE -- My sister pointed out to me that I have it backwards. The student is enrolled as a female because he has not yet gone through a surgical gender-change. Despite considering himself a male, he is forced to go school as a female.

This basically explains everything. I should read more carefully next time.