Grad school as conversion therapy
‘Free speech’ and the rights of trans and non-binary people on university campuses
in The free speech wars
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In 2018 the New York Times reported that the Department of Health and Human Services was planning to rewrite Title IX guidelines to define an individual’s sex as ‘the sex listed on a person’s birth certificate’. The purpose, evidently, was to abolish the idea of trans people by executive fiat. Meanwhile, some academics have attempted to frame the practice of deadnaming trans academics and students as a question of ‘academic freedom’. This chapter responds in order to attempt to establish a baseline protocol for scholarly discourse with trans and non-binary students and faculty – both in research and in teaching – and to encourage other faculty to sign on to such a protocol. That protocol is: no, deadnaming and misgendering are not acceptable scholarly practices, and no, they are not covered by the principle of academic freedom.

The free speech wars

How did we get here and why does it matter?

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