A transgender nursing student is suing a private Christian school for $500,000 in damages after being expelled for checking the box indicating female on the school’s admission application despite the fact that the former student is biologically male.
Domaine Javier was kicked out of California Baptist University in Riverside, California in August 2011 after shrewdly deciding to appear on an episode of the MTV documentary series “True Life,” reports KABC-TV in Los Angeles. The subject of the episode was the challenges transgender people face.
Javier’s lawsuit, filed February 25, alleges that Cal Baptist violated state anti-discrimination laws. It also claims breach of contract.
“CBU suspended her, excluded her from campus, and expelled her for one reason: she is transgender,” the lawsuit charges, according to The Press-Enterprise of Riverside.
Javier had received a $3,500 academic scholarship from Cal Baptist as well as a $2,000 music scholarship, the suit says.
After getting expelled, Javier took a job at a fast-food joint and has recently enrolled in the nursing program at Riverside City College, a community college.
Javier says the information on the admission application is accurate. The 25-year-old has identified as a female for many years.
Javier came to the United States from the Philippines in 2007, notes KABC.
“I didn’t do anything wrong,” Javier told The Press-Enterprise during an interview in 2011. “They said, ‘On your application form you put female.’ And I was like, ‘Yeah, that’s how I see myself.'”
In the same interview, Javier said that Cal Baptist officials discovered the MTV “True Life” appearance while carrying out a background check. The episode in question — titled “I’m Passing as Someone I’m Not” — first aired in April 2011, a week before “I Have an Embarrassing Medical Condition.”
It’s unclear if school officials actually learned of Javier’s gender identity by watching the MTV show. It’s also unclear exactly how long Javier attended Cal Baptist before getting kicked out.
Javier’s attorney, Paul Southwick, accuses Cal Baptist of unfairly besmirching his client’s good name.
“They’ve falsely accused her of fraud and of concealing her identity,” Southwick told The Press-Enterprise. “She was humiliated and forced to delay her education and career.”
Cal Baptist attorney Theodore Stream had no comment on the lawsuit.
Documents from Cal Baptist that Javier’s attorney attached to the lawsuit suggest that Javier’s expulsion was a result of “fraud, or concealing identity.”
Students are also prohibited from “submission of false documents including financial aid and admissions related documents.”
The CBU student handbook contains a slew of rules under the section on “general community social expectations.” Sex outside of marriage, pornography, alcohol and tobacco, gambling, fireworks and slingshots are a few things that are verboten.