• Sara Rimer

    Senior Contributing Editor

    Sara Rimer

    Sara Rimer A journalist for more than three decades, Sara Rimer worked at the Miami Herald, Washington Post and, for 26 years, the New York Times, where she was the New England bureau chief, and a national reporter covering education, aging, immigration, and other social justice issues. Her stories on the death penalty’s inequities were nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and cited in the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision outlawing the execution of people with intellectual disabilities. Her journalism honors include Columbia University’s Meyer Berger award for in-depth human interest reporting. She holds a BA degree in American Studies from the University of Michigan. Profile

    She can be reached at srimer@bu.edu.

  • Cydney Scott


    cydney scott

    Cydney Scott has been a professional photographer since graduating from the Ohio University VisCom program in 1998. She spent 10 years shooting for newspapers, first in upstate New York, then Palm Beach County, Fla., before moving back to her home city of Boston and joining BU Photography. Profile

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There are 21 comments on What Transgender Means to Me

  1. The gall of this article when BU has refused, even when requested, to state its support for a Yes in Question 3! Many MA universities have stated their support: https://www.freedommassachusetts.org/education/ and I am embarrassed and horrified that the university’s leadership chose not to do so, even when asked by a BU student group to do so. The message it sends to transgender and transgender-supporting members of BU is terrible. Shame on President Brown for choosing not to make the right moral choice and for making BU not be on the right side of history.

      1. I use the closest one. Here is Massachusetts I cannot (for now) be forbidden that privilege. And even if question 3 fails, I will still use the closest one.

    1. This is a political matter, and the university should not take a stand on political matters, both as a policy and as a nonprofit. In my opinion, this includes BU today as well.

    2. First off, nothing on Sara Rimer; this seems like a difficult article to put together, and she did it as well as expected.

      However, I agree with Bruce and feel this is a great example of BU doing the bare minimum to herald itself as a progressive institution. I’m an undergrad trans woman at BU, and I have found that across departments BU’s policies are frequently ambivalent and occaisonally hostile towards trans students, despite simultaneously using us as fodder for their public relations and admissions campaigns. These policies are well-documented by BU student groups and elsewhere.

      Trans students even get it better than most of my peers who are underrepresented minorities, especially my peers who experience disability. The Office of Disability Services staff are great people, but the Office is chronically understaffed, underfunded, and underappreciated. For example, one of my close friends who is visually impaired is forced to be her own ombudsman each semester by asking her professors individually to do two simple things: (1) save her a seat at the front and (2) give her large-print exams. Many have refused during her career at BU, and the ODS made powerless by university policy. For another great example of the institution’s hostility towards people experiencing disability, ask anyone in the Deaf Studies program what it took to get ASL recognized as a language in CAS, and about the discriminatory practices the college still leverages against them.

      This article is just another in a long line of BU attempting to cover up its for-profit motives with an air of progressiveness. I was not surprised to see it in my inbox this morning, but I was sad.

      1. I don’t think it’s necessary to compare the trans experience to the experience of those with disability. I happen to have lived both.

        I would like to point out that this milquetoast article conveniently left out that the chances of your ID getting changed are slim to none. That there is no pathway to changing your name in the roster system. Similar to your friend, I have to email my professors every semester and ask them to change my name and pronouns. Some have refused. When they refuse, I have no real pathway of making them do it.

        Gender neutral housing is practically nonexistent. The university puts the onus on students to discover and apply for it, and the university controls who gets access to it. Even if every trans student applied for GNH, there are not enough beds to cover all students.

        Bottom line: trans students and students with disabilities should not be pitted against each other.

      2. Hi Cassandra. I am an undergrad Psych major at BU. I am doing a research project for my “Sociology of Childhood and Youth” class. My research project is about Trans peoples experience with their younger years, specifically as it pertains to relationships with peers. Let me know if you might be interested in a 30 min interview sometime this week. Over the phone works also!! :)

    1. I don’t get the luxury of being able to make voting decisions based off of economic policy, foreign affairs, or taxation….I am forced to vote literally on who thinks I exist. You get to worry about taxes when I get to worry about whether my passport will get me detained in a foreign country because the administration decides what constitutes my gender. You get to worry about withdrawing from trade deals when I have to scour health policies to make sure ‘being transgender’ isn’t a preexisting condition. You get to complain about immigrants when I get to watch the department of justice agree that I could be legally refused emergency medical treatment because my ambulance happens to go to a religious hospital.

      At what point does this matter to you? When you see how I can’t afford a house because the coverage for transition-related health care is removed? When I’m beaten at a foreign detention center when they realize I wasn’t born with an F, because my passport is revoked mid-travel and replaced with one that doesn’t match my appearance? How about when I have a heart attack, and die sitting outside a hospital on the curb because the religious surgeon on duty that day decides that it must be God’s will upon a trans person? (all of which are CURRENTLY, RIGHT NOW in process of trying to be legally implemented by this administration).

      Please don’t let it get to there before you realize that your taxes went up anyways after voting for your lower-taxes guy. Don’t let you look in the paper to see that we went into that war anyway, or that those refugees in need still are resettled in your town anyway…..and people like me end up paying the price for your vote. Realize this matters to people you know, right now, and that your vote could either protect people you love, or could seal our future.

      Vote yes on 3 <3

        1. My sister was stopped along with with two cis women by a BPD officer. She was detained and spent two hours in handcuffs because her state ID said male, which the officer interpreted as probable cause that she was soliciting.
          No apology from the pig, just a “haha, wasn’t this funny, we can’t actually charge you with anything, get lost.”

          1. The phrase “pig” here is slightly harsh, wouldn’t you agree? I understand your position, you think it’s unfair that your “sister” was detained for expressing herself in public in a non-traditional way. Although I will have to know more details to form an opinion on this case. Details such as the time of the day this happened, whether “she” was dressed in a flirtatious way that may have caused the officers raise suspicion, or if I as a normal male would have received the same treatment had i dressed the same way “she” did, details like these matter, and I think if one honestly answered these questions he would very likely start to understand the officers’ position. Unreasonable officers do exist, but please don’t use that term to insult those sworn to provide safety to us. Try being civilized before calling each other names.

  2. The irony of the LGBT taskforce leader using the term “transgendered” is not missed on me. It’s outdated and offensive, and so is comparing the experience of being cis and perceived as trans to actually living the trans experience. Come back when you have an actual article.

  3. BU, you can do better. Please openly support the VOTE FOR YES ON 3 in order to protect the trans community at our university as well as support having gender neutral restrooms!

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