The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 46, No. 3 - 62

J. Michael Denton, Leia K. Cain

read as having a particular gender identity"
(Nicolazzo, 2017, p. 168). Some trans people
desire to pass; others do not. Passing can also
be a status ascribed to a person by another
(Nicolazzo, 2017).

Trans Collegians in the
University Environment
In the past few years, higher education and
student affairs research on trans collegians
grew considerably (Catalano, 2015a, 2015b;
Johnson, 2017; Jourian, 2016; Marine, 2017a,
2017b; Nicolazzo, 2017), but the college experience for students who are transitioning, especially in a housing environment, needs better
understanding (Pusch, 2005). Trans students
hold many identities that can affect how they
situate their gender identity in a college setting
(Jourian, 2016).
Marine (2017a, 2017b) observed that the
preponderance of research available on the
college experience unfortunately demonstrates
that often trans students do not feel welcomed
or safe on campus. Rankin, Weber, Blumenfeld, and Frazer (2010) reported hostile campus
climates for those who challenged gender binaries. Nicolazzo's (2017) ethnographic study
underscored how campus spaces perpetuate
the gender binary in ways oppressive to trans
collegians. In short, institutions of higher education largely fail to understand trans students'
experiences or adequately respond to them
(Beemyn, 2005; Singh, Meng, & Hansen,
2013).
Catalano (2015a) found trans men had
many positive experiences in college while still
needing to navigate many challenges. Likewise,
other trans students face a mix of opportunity
and obstacles. Trans students sometimes en-

62

counter oppressive instructors and classmates
(Pryor, 2015) or find some LGBTQ campus
centers oppressive (Marine & Nicolazzo, 2014).
More positively, colleges can provide connections for trans students with other trans students and allies. The development of such
relationships can have a significant, positive
impact (Johnson, 2017; Nicolazzo, Pitcher,
Renn, & Woodford, 2015; Testa, Jimenez, &
Rankin, 2014).
More broadly, higher education policies
reflect and perpetuate societal hegemonic
gender norms. For example, housing students
on single-sex floors promotes traditional gender
ideals (Hamilton, 2007); traditional Greek organizations promote traditional gender roles
(Stuber, Klugman, & Daniel, 2011; Zernechel
& Perry, 2017); college athletics reinforce normative ideals of masculinity and femininity
(Anderson, 2002; Ross & Shinew, 2008); and
romantic and sexual student culture normalizes the gender binary and oppressive gender
roles (Wade, 2017). Despite increased visibility
for trans people (Stryker, 2017), United States
society remains fundamentally rooted in the

More positively, colleges can provide
connections for trans students with
other trans students and allies.

gender binary, validating only two distinct
genders (Gilbert, 2009). Marine (2017a) explored how trans oppression in society results
in economic and educational inequality for

THE JOURNAL OF COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY STUDENT HOUSING



The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 46, No. 3

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 46, No. 3

Contents
The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 46, No. 3 - Intro
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