A growing number of Chinese students who go to the US for college and university are being forced to hide their gender, as US universities and colleges are increasingly turning a blind eye to their concerns.
The issue has gained prominence after the US Senate voted in September to require universities and schools to comply with a series of new laws, including a requirement that schools offer a “safe and respectful environment for students” to allow students to feel comfortable.
The rules also stipulate that schools must provide transgender and gender nonconforming students with access to bathrooms, locker rooms and other facilities that correspond to their gender identity.
But with many schools and colleges not requiring the gender of their students to be recorded, the trend of hiding their gender has only grown.
And as the Trump administration seeks to roll back Obama-era rules, many of the schools are not allowing their students or students of color to use the restrooms and locker rooms that correspond with their gender.
The US Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights said the number of students being forced by the schools to change their gender to match their legal birth certificate has doubled since the start of the year.
“While there has been a modest decrease in the number who have attempted to use a private facility to change gender on the basis of a legal birth gender, the number continues to grow,” the department said in a statement.
“These students have been forced to change and the Department of Justice will continue to pursue this enforcement action in accordance with Title IX, and other federal laws.”
Some students are even being forced into using the facilities that are in violation of federal law.
Last month, a Chinese student in Florida said she was forced to use an open bathroom stall that was designated for a male student, the Miami Herald reported.
She was one of at least three Chinese students in Florida who were forced to leave their classrooms at the University of South Florida for fear of being expelled, the newspaper said.
In October, a 19-year-old woman in New York City was forced out of her school for being transgender.
The woman was allegedly asked to use men’s restrooms and to change her clothes in the hallways, The New York Times reported.
But the majority of transgender students at US colleges and universities have been able to use restrooms and bathrooms that correspond their gender identities, the AP reported.
A student at the US Naval Academy was among several transgender students forced to share a room in the early 1900s.
The student was reportedly forced to shave her head and use a male-only restroom, and a student at a private school in the US was able to switch to using women’s restrooms in 2017.
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