I am a college instructor, and I have a freshman student who is transitioning from male to female. I have never before met a person in this stage of transition. She is pre-operative (i hope that's the right term), taking hormones, and dresses/presents as female. She uses a female name and prefers "she," "her," etc. This caused a bit of confusion on the first day, as the class roster lists her under a distinctly male name, but we got through it.
I want to make sure my classroom is a welcoming place for her. My syllabus states that no hate speech (racist, sexist, homophobic, etc) will be tolerated. There have been some strange/dirty looks from other students, some sniggering in the hallways, etc. No one has really bothered her, at least not in the classroom, but I can tell that at times she's not entirely comfortable.
Basically I want to be as supportive as possible without being creepy/overbearing, and I want to make sure that the first semester of college is a positive experience for all of my students. Are there online resources you would recommend? I googled around and the number of sites out there is overwhelming. What should I read?
I realize this question may seem silly/uneducated/ignorant, and that's probably true. I'm not nearly as educated as i'd like to be on trans issues-- so if any of my language offends, or is WAY off base, please let me know!
Help me VP, you're my only hope!