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Transgender correctness: Objecting to being called “she” before you became a “he”

June 22, 2014

Isn’t there supposed to be a “trans” in “transgender”?

(Editor’s Note: The introduction has been revised after Partridge objected to the use of the pronoun “she.”)

(RNS)  The Rev. Cameron Partridge lives outside Boston with his wife and two young children in what looks like, to those who don’t know them, a typical suburban marriage.

While a student at all-female Bryn Mawr College in 1995, Partridge came out as gay and embraced a call to the priesthood. Partridge then graduated from Harvard Divinity School, transitioned from female to male, was ordained an Episcopal priest, got married and completed his doctorate. Today, he’s a religion scholar at Harvard Divinity School and an Episcopal chaplain at Boston University.

Rev. Cameron Partridge, the religion scholar at Harvard Divinity School and Episcopal chaplain of Boston University. Photo by Kalman Zabarsky/courtesy Boston University Photography

So apparently Partridge was supposed to have been the only male to have ever graduated from all-female Bryn Mawr. How did that happen?

Here’s my favorite part of Religion News Service’s interview with Partridge:

Q: Can you tell the story of how, transitioning from a woman to a man, you came to choose the name “Cameron” for yourself?

A: In a way, the name chose me. I was at a point in my life when my previous name (which I prefer not to publicly disclose) felt like it no longer fit. I wanted a name that conveyed some sense of gender complexity, since I consider gender in general and my own in particular to be less than straightforward.

At the same time, I had no desire to totally jettison the history — including the thoughtfulness of my parents — caught up in my birth name. Then one day when I was getting sushi takeout, the person behind the register “misheard” my old name as Cameron. 

It was a bolt from the blue. I thought, “I think I’ll take that to go too, thanks.”

If I were Bryn Mawr, I’d sue Partridge for enrolling in my school under false pretenses. Bryn Mawr is supposed to be a women‘s college.

Posted by Charlotte Allen




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