Changing the Frame: Queering Access to Higher Education for Trans* Students

Document Type

Article - Merrimack Access Only

Publication Title

International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education

Publication Date


Abstract/ Summary

College access and graduation results in significant life advantages, including higher lifetime incomes, better physical and mental health outcomes, and greater rates of civic engagement. Unfortunately, trans* youth have been systematically prevented from full participation in post-secondary education due to genderist practices and policies. Employing a queer theoretical frame, this manuscript identifies three critical junctures in the college access process where genderist norms inhibit college access and persistence for trans* youth. Five specific strategies for queering college access by ending or minimizing the impact of genderism are advanced, including cultivating the role of school counseling personnel as advocates, reformation of admissions practices, and attention to fostering gender-inclusive co-curricular activities and student communities.