I started my time at The Baldwin School in September of 1999. After visiting several private schools, my parents essentially chose Baldwin due to their openness to my disability, the fact that they had no hesitations about admitting a four-year-old with a vision disability definitely set them apart from the crowd. So, I began what would eventually become a thirteen-year journey at the all-girls school that would shape me into the person I am today. Until beginning college, I had never really known anything other than single-sex education. All I knew is that I appreciated the confidence it gave me; I have never been afraid to speak up in a classroom, or any other situation when I felt as if I had something meaningful to add. Being in an all-girls environment is something I loved, and even miss. My personal connection to this type of education allowed me to write a paper for my Women, Gender and Sexuality 101 class that I felt reflected both my own strong opinions, as well as my writing skills.
Throughout the semester, we had read several books and articles about controversial topics, some more harsh and jarring than others. For our final paper, we were asked to write a response to an article entitled “When Women Become Men At Wellesley”, which discussed the growing number of transgender male students at the historically all-female college. It chronicled their experiences, why they chose to attend, and stay, at the school, and how they dealt with their situation on a day-to-day basis.
This article was difficult for me to form an opinion on, due to my strong opinions about the benefits of single-sex education, as well as my utmost support of the LGBTQ Community. Of course, I want any person; male, female, queer, questioning, etc. to feel comfortable and accepted. However, I also believe that people choose an all-girls school, especially an all-girls college, for a very specific reason. That reason is likely because they want to be educated around other women, in an atmosphere where they are far less likely to feel judged or ridiculed.
And while these conflicting opinions were difficult to untangle, I still view this paper as one of the works that I am most proud of. This is due to the personal connection I felt towards it, and the way I was able to translate these complicated thoughts into what I hoped was an organized and thought-provoking paper.