Letter: NU’s handling of gender-open housing has been an embarrassment

Mykell Shih Miller

I am a transgender alum and former president of Gender Protection Initiative. Although I identify and present as a man, I was assigned to live in a female suite because of my transgender status. Although I loved my dorm (Slivka) and lived in a single, going home every day to a female suite was so awkward and humiliating that I moved off-campus. When William Banis said that special housing accommodation requests for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students were “handled” (A program ‘doomed to fail’, 10/13/2010) he neglected that they were handled with such great dissatisfaction that the affected students formed a student group in order to change the situation.

The Daily is right that the administration acted too hastily and without sufficient care after accepting GPI’s proposal for gender-open housing (‘Administrative stumbles cause troubled first year for gender-neutral housing’, 10/14/2010). However, it is also important to note that the Food and Housing Administration were not at all quick at making their decision after GPI presented our proposal. The administration’s poor handling of the gender-open housing pilot is an embarrassment to the university. It is sickening that I feel more accepted now that I live in Michigan, the state whose assistant attorney general has stalked a gay student without getting fired, than I did at Northwestern.

-Mykell Shih Miller

McCormick‘10; Graduate School ‘10

Former president of Gender Protection Initiative