Last week, various news outlets reported that the United States Department of Health and Human Services is considering a change to the federal definition of gender that would restrict the rights and protections currently available to those who identify as transgender and gender non-binary. Many in our community are deeply and personally impacted by this disturbing news. Please know that we are paying close attention to these developments and are committed to supporting you in any way we can.
We do not know if or when this proposed change will come to pass. However, one thing is certain: the existence of transgender and gender non-binary people is not hypothetical or abstract, nor should it be up for debate. You have a right to live without fear, to be visible, and to thrive. Harvard College’s position on this matter will not change. Our current non-discrimination policy includes protections on the basis of sex and gender identity, and we affirm and celebrate the diversity of gender identities and expressions represented in our community.
I want to remind you that on November 6th, Election Day, we will have an opportunity to uphold the rights and protections of transgender and gender non-binary people right here in Massachusetts. If you are a member of the BGLTQ community, an ally, or an advocate, I encourage you to learn more about the Yes on 3 campaign. In addition to voting, I invite you to participate in a public education phone bank on Tuesday, October 30th, 6-9pm in Wasserstein Hall 1015 at the Law School. Please RSVP here if you plan to attend.
Finally, I extend a warm invitation to visit our space in Grays Hall. Our staff, including your fellow undergraduates who serve as interns, are eager to provide support, connection, and information to anyone seeking them. You can schedule a one on one conversation with an intern or reach out to us at BGLTQ@fas.harvard.edu or by phone at 617-496-5716. For your reference, I've attached a document about gender diversity. You can also find a list of resources for transgender students on our website.
We will not be deterred by forces that seek to drive us further apart when we know that we are stronger together. Thank you for being a part of this community.
Sheehan Daniel Scarborough
Director, Office of BGLTQ Student Life