About Kyle Lukoff
This piece is a version of a speech given by Kyle Lukoff at Barnard College on June 4, 2011.
I loved being a student at Barnard. My four years here were fulfilling, fun, educational and inspiring. I was so proud to be a Barnard student that I made a point of telling people that I didn’t even bother to apply to Columbia. I fell in love on my first visit to campus, and stayed that way throughout my four years.
I agree that many trans men are an oppressed minority. However, I actively challenge the idea that that should enable trans men to access resources set aside for women.
And yet, I don’t hesitate to admit that I should not have gone to Barnard. At the end of my sophomore year, I realized that I was trans; and by the end of my junior year I began telling people to refer to me by male pronouns and by the name “Kyle.” I felt deeply conflicted about being a man in an all-female space, but decided that transferring so late in the game would be overly disruptive to my life. I decided instead to graduate from Barnard, but make it clear that I did not expect the college to adjust itself to my gender.
I stand by that decision.