In May 2015 the George School Board of Trustees approved a new policy written specifically to support transgender students. The first of its kind among peer schools, the policy seeks to help George School be a “safe space for students to express their identity authentically and to support students’ emotional and mental health.” The policy was highlighted in a recent edition of Friends Journal that focused on gender and sexuality.
“Affirming Ivy: How Way Opened at George School to Support Transgender Students” tells the story of Ivy, a junior girl at George School.
“Ivy officially changed her name to Ivy only a few months ago. But even at a young age, she remembers wishing she were a girl—once waking up her mother in the middle of the night to tell her so. At four years old, she had no way of knowing that one day she would again tell her mother she was a girl—this time definitively—or that her gender identity would help set the wheels in motion for a new policy at George School to support transgender students.
There are approximately 700,000 transgender individuals in the United States, according to a 2011 study by the Williams Institute, a think tank at UCLA Law that researches sexual orientation and gender identity law and public policy. Ivy is not the first transgender individual to attend George School—nor will she be the last—but she is the first student to benefit from the recently approved policy to support transgender students, and she is the first to choose a dorm based on her gender identity, not her assigned sex at birth.”
Ivy’s experience at George School has been an exceptional one. “Her friends, unequivocally supportive, [have] helped explain her transition when Ivy struggled to find the words. A former roommate sent a text to a third of the junior class celebrating Ivy’s decision and encouraging her classmates to be supportive. In a way, her transition at George School was easy.”
“‘It’s George School; I wouldn’t expect anything different,’ said Ivy.”
The full article can be read online at www.friendsjournal.org.