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I need help explaining something to my parents

raleighpuppyraleighpuppy Registered User Posts: 34 Junior Member
So I'm transgender and my parents are aware of this. However, my mom especially doesn't seem to understand than means I need to take extra steps when figuring out if I want to apply to a school like checking out their Campus Pride Index rating, what they offer (i.e. gender neutral housing, hormones as part of student healthcare, covering gender identities in their anti-bullying policies), and how safe I think I'd feel their given this extra factor. She seems to think I'm being super picky, but I think I'm being reasonable. You seem, she keeps pushing UNCW, while I'm iffy on them because, while I'm a resident of NC and I want to major in marine bio, I can't find their transgender student policies and I'm not too convinced it's a particularly trans-friendly school.
How do I explain this to my mom without her thinking I'm being unreasonably picky? I just want to feel safe and accepted on campus, so I feel I should take this into account when applying to schools.

Replies to: I need help explaining something to my parents

  • N's MomN's Mom Registered User Posts: 2,212 Senior Member
    Does she really need to understand this? Is there a reason why you can't do the research on the schools you are interested in and figure out which schools do or don't have the kind of support you want? They may be right that you are picky. Nothing wrong with being picky about a place you are going to spend the next 4 years of your life. Can you just smile and say to her, 'Yup, that's me. Picky. I'm going to live there for the next 4 years, so I want somewhere that I will be happy.'

    Part of being an adult is realizing that you will make choices that they don't understand or approve of, and that's okay. It's just a question of understanding what their concerns really are, addressing those you can address, accepting that you aren't always going to be able to address everything to their satisfaction, and then getting on with the important business of living your own life.

    If the issue is that they won't pay for other schools, then you need to figure out why exactly they want you at UNCW and only UNCW. What exactly are they afraid is doing to happen to you elsewhere? If the issue is that they can't afford more than UNCW, you will have to live within their financial constraints - but can still find schools within that price range or apply for schools where you can get scholarships if they exist.
  • 3puppies3puppies Registered User Posts: 1,715 Senior Member
    First, @raleighpuppy , I love your username. Congrats on thinking about these issues ahead of your decisions. You are completely correct in that you deserve to feel safe wherever you go to school.

    As @Erin's Dad said, it may turn out that UNCW may be more trans friendly than you think, but it is also important to get the whole story, how do people actually treat each other. Will you experience the micro-aggressions that just give you the wrong vibe? How is the Campus Pride Index measured at each school you are considering - my understanding is that while many factors are generally similar, how they are collected/measured can vary a lot.

    Have you visited the campus? Are there other reasons - like geography - that are making your mom want you to consider UNCW? What are the other schools you are considering?

    On the bright side, there is far more information about LGBT-friendly policies at schools than ever before, and you are fortunate to be in the younger generation that will be far more accepting of you than, let's say, your grandparent's generation, or even my own. You may still run into a lot of stupid, but if you think about it, everyone does, regardless as to what makes them unique in a given situation.

    Thanks for sharing your initial post - you have likely helped several people in your situation who may not have begun to think about some of these concerns that you are considering.

    Best of luck to you.

  • donnaleighgdonnaleighg Registered User Posts: 1,577 Senior Member
    While I know nothing in particular about UNCW, there can be a distinction between being LGB friendly, and that last T, some of which you are clearly aware of from your OP. For example, gender-neutral bathrooms are available (AFAIK) in all the dorms at my kid's college, but that may not be true everywhere, and may matter to you. The "T" is something fairly recent on the radar for many places, and some have sorted out their policies more thoroughly than others. It's definitely something that is important for you to be comfortable with.
  • happy1happy1 Forum Champion Parents, Forum Champion Admissions Posts: 24,492 Forum Champion
    edited October 2015
    I think you should have an honest talk with your mom and lay out some of the things you think are important in a college and why you feel you need them. She may be focused on price (not totally unreasonable for the person who will be paying) and may not be considering all of the details that you are. I woudl also visit UNCW and get the lay of the land for yourself -- perhaps try to arrange to meet with someone from the on-campus LGBT organization to discuss your concerns.
  • Erin's DadErin's Dad Super Moderator Posts: 36,424 Super Moderator
    And to add the UNCW student policy on sexual harassment for all genders: http://uncw.edu/policies/documents/04130StudentGenderBasedSexualMisconductPolicy.pdf

    OP, part of the issue that may be pushing your parents toward an in-state option is the high cost of out of state schools.
  • raleighpuppyraleighpuppy Registered User Posts: 34 Junior Member
    @donnaleighg That's what I've tried explaining to my parents and I don't think they understand that LGBT-friendly places don't necessarily include T all the time because, honestly, they don't really all that often, and an LGB-friendly campus isn't what I need; I need it to be transgender-friendly specifically.
  • bopperbopper Forum Champion CWRU Posts: 13,894 Forum Champion
    At this point I would go ahead and apply to UNCW and then use some campus visits to help narrow it down if you get in.

    Can you contact the admissions office or the LGBTQIA Resource Office; and ask for them to send you info on transgender policies? Or come up with a list of questions for them to answer?

    Can they put you in touch with any trans students at the school so you can find out about their experience?

    As far as your mom, maybe show her what a school with good Transgender Resources info looks like.
    Make a spreadsheet with info like:

    gender neutral housing,
    hormones as part of student healthcare
    covering gender identities in their anti-bullying policies
    All Gender Bathrooms
    Gender Change Policy
    Preferred First Name Email Alias
    (got those from http://case.edu/lgbt/resources/transgender/), but maybe look at other colleges and see what they have

    Also put in do they have your major, how big is the college, location, cost, etc.
    Basically show her that these are some of your criteria but not the only ones. She may think you are only concerned with the Trans characteristics, but really you are interested in all of them.
  • oregon101oregon101 Registered User Posts: 5,485 Senior Member
    edited October 2015
    For many mom's the bottom line is that you feel safe.
    Really, just tell her that you are doing the research but you feel scared about landing in a not supportive environment.
    It is true! and she loves you. While she may want to think things out mainly she will want you to feel
    safe/want you to be safe.

    Perhaps she does not need or want all of the minute details.....

    Also, as she accepts you, she may not even get that not every environment is ready yet for a good
    experience for you.
This discussion has been closed.