Editorial: Transphobia should be fought on all fronts, even at home


For 15 years, Julie Nemecek has worked as an associate professor of adult studies, teaching business and communications at Spring Arbor University.

All of this changed last week when the university decided to not renew Nemecek’s contract.

The problem? Until 2003, Nemecek worked for the school as John. That year, Nemecek transitioned to Julie.

Spring Arbor says Nemecek’s decision to live as a transgender woman is “in direct conflict with the ideals we uphold,” according to a statement submitted to Between The Lines.

Instead of backing down, Nemecek has chosen to stand in her truth. A mediation session between the parties is scheduled for March 6. Students have rallied around their professor, organizing protests and discussion panels to examine transphobia.

Unlike gay and lesbian employees, who have no federal job protections, transgender employees who experience discrimination have a better case in court, said her attorney Randi Barnabee.