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University of South Florida has new dorm options for transgender students

Associated Press

TAMPA, Fla. -- The University of South Florida is offering transgender students the opportunity to live alone or with a friend of a different gender in campus housing.

Beginning Thursday, students can identify themselves as male, female or transitioning on their housing applications. Anyone who checks transitioning can live alone, with a friend or with a randomly assigned roommate. A student's choice of transitioning won't be disclosed to any randomly selected roommate without permission.

Then, in the spring, the Tampa school will begin a pilot program with several "gender-neutral" dorm rooms for any student who wants to live with another student of a different gender. Rooming with romantic partners will be discouraged.

The changes were made after a transgender student complained about being harassed by other students in a residence hall.

Information from: St. Petersburg Times, http://tampabay.com


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So what happens when the randomly selected roommate finds out and gets pissed or even worse ?

I'm transgendered, and I'd be worried about that as well, Brandi. I suppose that's why they have the option to have a single-occupancy room, which is the option I would probably go with in that situation.

What I'm curious about is whether the randomly assigned roommate is of their assigned gender or their target gender.

The USF press release frames the third option as "living with someone comfortable with living with a transgender person". That suggests there will be a question on the housing application form. Students not comfortable would not be included in the lottery. That, of course, doesn't ensure that roommates will get along, or that one that thought they would be comfortable finds out that they're not comfortable when they experience the reality.

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