When She Graduates as He

Boston.com – By Adrian Brune

There’s a battle brewing at the Seven Sisters over the growing population of transgender students. The question at its core: What kind of women’s college awards diplomas to men?

Though born a girl, raised a girl, and now attending a women?s college, Isaiah Bartlett didn?t feel quite right being female. Old pictures show a very feminine, rosy-cheeked Allison Bartlett with chin-length dark brown hair. Yet every time her mother coaxed her into a dress for one of those photographs, Allison?s skin would crawl and her mind would race with insecurities. Even coming out as a butch lesbian in her freshman year at Mt. Holyoke College ? and getting rid of those dresses for good ? didn?t seem to solve the problem.

Not long after Allison enrolled, in the fall of 2005, she shaved most of her hair into a mohawk and picked up a few pairs of boxer shorts. Soon she started binding her breasts with an Ace bandage every day before going out. After a year of struggling in school and a semester off to sort out her emotions, the popular 20-year-old psychology major returned to school and went to a talk by fellow student Kevin Murphy.