Calliope Wong, a student currently winding down her time at Amity Regional Senior High School in Connecticut, believed her application to Smith College (a women's liberal arts college in Northampton, Mass. that used to be a husband-hunting lodge for wealthy, straight white women and now boasts a queer population upwards of 20 percent of the student body) would get a fair evaluation. Correspondence over the summer with Smith's Dean of Admission Debra Shaver seemed to imply as much, but on March 10, Wong received an extra shitty rejection letter: her application to Smith wouldn't be considered because Wong, a male-to-female transsexual girl, wasn't recognized as female in her home state, and, therefore, still listed as male on her federal financial aid application.
On March 10, Wong posted a picture of her rejection letter on a brand new Tumblr she'd created in an effort to help transwomen like herself get a real chance at applying to Smith. Although the school does have a relatively progressive protocol for including transgender students, according to The Advocate, that protocol only covers students who legally identify as female at the time of admission (or transition after matriculating). In order for Wong to be considered female in Connecticut, however, she'd have to undergo sexual confirmation surgery, which can be a costly and complicated process ( a recent law passed in Argentina aimed at giving trans people easier access to ID cards highlighted the problems inherent with letting legal identity hinge on a costly medical procedure).