We See You. We Stand With You.

This morning the newspapers carried yet another ominous headline: the Trump administration has rescinded protections for transgender students. I am not the right person to weigh in on the legal issues here, and in any case there are plenty of thoughtful people doing so already. I do want to say that as president of a residential university, withdrawing protections from people who are vulnerable to discrimination and abuse is a failure of moral obligation, and of imagination. It is shameful and hurtful.

At Wesleyan, we will continue to ensure that our transgender students receive all the protections necessary to secure their equal participation in the life of the university.

Last summer, I sat next to transgender activist, writer and alumna Jennifer Boylan ’80 at a talk by then Attorney General Loretta Lynch. Ms. Lynch underscored the importance of the civil rights issues at stake in regard to the federal government’s work with transgender Americans. Addressing the transgender community directly, she emphasized “we see you; we stand with you; and we will do everything we can to protect you going forward.”

It just so happens that Ms. Boylan and Alexander Chee ‘89 will be speaking at Wesleyan next week. On Friday, March 3 at the Smith Reading Room at Olin Library, they will be reading from their recent work and discussing queer politics on campus and beyond.

Let’s make the same commitment to any vulnerable members of our community that Attorney General Lynch made to transgender people: We see you; we stand with you; and we will do everything we can to protect you going forward.

Queer Past Queer Future poster DRAFT

8 thoughts on “We See You. We Stand With You.

  1. I live and work in the UK and take an interest in Wesleyan and Michael Roth because I admire your stance on higher education, community, environment and opportunity, and the way you put this into practice. This is even more important now than in recent times, if that is possible. I fully support your commitment to all members of the community – thank you for being an inspirational voice in education. Others see and support you all around the world.

  2. We see you/LOVE trumps hate/Democracy IS IN THE STREETS/RESIST/She persisted/YES WE CAN/Home (Avenue) RULE

  3. We are living a new era, changes in our attitude must be to collaborate with each other we are one the I all congratulate count with my person I am to serve you

  4. Sorry, I don’t get why anyone has to declare their sexual orientation….I don’t run around demanding this that or the other for being “straight” or feel the need to share my personal directions… My attitude is “keep it to yourself” as I am not interested in your sexual orientation.

  5. Thank you Michael Roth,

    You are what a University President should be.
    More than just a kiss up to the wealthy alumni who want a better football team!

  6. From Australia we view the recent events in America with dismay and the majority stand with those in the U.S. who speak out. It is worth noting, in view of the above comment, that it is not about the sexual orientation of transgenders that we write about but it is the issue of freedom – freedom to be oneself, to not be harassed by the particular politics or political stands of those who purportedly govern for the “good of the whole country”. In effect we stand up for ourselves, our ideals and our view of a fair go for all.

  7. Mary Ellen Rioux, it is not about sexual orientation, it is about the gender orientation. Too many people think this is about sex but it is not. This is about ‘transgender’.

    Mr Roth and Wesleyan are doing amazing work in voicing their support for advancing the human value.

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