A community college in Washington state has stopped asking applicants if they are male or female, reports KIRO radio in Seattle.
In place of that simple query, Bellevue College has two convoluted questions about gender identity and sexual orientation.
The application form lists no fewer than seven possibilities for “gender identity” and seven more for “sexual orientation.”
For the question, “What is your sexual orientation?” the answer choices are: bisexual, gay, lesbian, queer, straight/heterosexual, other and “prefer not to answer.”
For the question, “What is your gender identity?” the answer choices are: feminine, masculine, androgynous, gender neutral, transgender, other and “prefer not to answer.”
According to The Daily Caller’s math, then, that’s almost 50 distinct possibilities — none of which are just your basic, garden-variety male or female.
Colin Donovan, the LGBTQ Center adviser at the public, taxpayer-funded school, told KIRO radio that the school is collecting the data in an effort to cater to the few students who say they don’t fit traditional definitions of gender and sexuality.
“We started collecting the data this fall quarter,” Donovan explained. “It’s about being able to track how well GLBTQ, and gender variant students, are doing in school and how we can design better services, better classes, better programs to make sure these students succeed. Up until this point there has been no way to track how that’s done.”
Petri Muhlhauser, who is involved in the school’s LGBTQ Center leadership program, suggested that students who are lesbian, gay, transgender, etc. frequently have unique needs.
“A trans student was in my class and there was an assignment that involved bringing in pictures of your family from when you were a child,” Muhlhauser told KIRO. “She wasn’t comfortable bringing in a picture with her birth sex visual in that picture. She just dropped the class because she didn’t know how to talk to the teacher about it and she was so uncomfortable. And so we’re seeing these kinds of things all the time.”
Muhlhauser added that the data collected from the questions will demonstrate that the school needs a substantially higher number of gender-neutral bathrooms.
Another student in the LGBTQ leadership program, Teague Crenshaw, said those bathrooms are crucial.
“When I was in drag, one day, and I used the men’s bathroom, I got so much flack,” Crenshaw told KIRO. “I had almost everyone in that bathroom saying, ‘Why isn’t she using the women’s bathroom?’ and ‘Let’s take a picture of her.’ And all sorts of crap like that.”
Donovan said the data may be useful in eventually helping students — particularly transgender students — obtain employment after they graduate.
Donovan also swore that the information collected will be completely private and shared with no one.