Gender-neutral students feeling comfortable

I’m Jasper Lynch of 402 Morrill. I am in my second year here at Castleton as an art education major and I’m transgender.

I was born as a happy little girl, but as I grew older, I started to realize that describing myself as a happy young man just fit so much better.

Moving to Castleton was a big change in my life and even though I had already been out as trans for a few years, I was placed into an all-girls suite in my first year. I would definitely describe that time in my life as pretty bad.

I became friends with a few of the people there, but soon after, one by one, they all moved out for varying reasons. Some left because of cat allergies, some for money issues and some just because. I wasn’t too sad to see anyone leave, except my second roommate, Thaisyn, and my close friend, Courtney, because me being the trans man I am, I didn’t really feel like I fit in with any of the other women who lived there.

With people moving out, came new people moving in.

For a while, there were only three people living in the suite at a time. But then that number grew to five. I know it’s not a big jump, but that number seemed to be a perfect fit.

Sky, Haley, Ashley, Ben, and me, Jasper.

Now, there really were only four people living in the suite, but Sky’s boyfriend, Ben, was there almost constantly to the point where he was just accepted as one of us, which ended up making me feel a little bit more valid. I wasn’t the only man anymore just hanging out with a bunch of girls.

From that point, we realized we really did enjoy living together. I found a close group of friends who liked me for being me and I wasn’t ready to give that up and have to move into a whole other suite of people I wouldn’t know next year.

Around the time, I also found out about two other things; 1. CU was going to start letting transgender students live in their preferred gender housing and 2. CU had gender-neutral living in the hallway style.

With this information, my suite had an idea.

We had already made a successful attempt of living co-ed somewhat under the radar so why not get this to be a real thing? With the work of us all sending out emails and talking to everyone we could about the idea, everything soon came to fruition.

We had successfully gotten our hands around what seemed like the best idea ever in our lives. Now, I know that maybe exaggerated for some, but for me, I would have dreaded anything else. And no, it wasn’t going to just be five of us taking up a full eight-person suite. With the help of a few people, Eliza, Kathrine, and Sophia, who actually squatted her old room, we found a perfect little place that we could all call home.

We are at the beginning of our second semester here and everything has been great. We have had one person move out, due to personal issues, but she still visits often and there’s no bad blood between us.

We still do go through our own little bumps every now and again, but there have been no major issues. Living in a gender-neutral suite has been just as successful, if not more successful for us. I get to live with my close friends, but I also get to be a dude and chill out with my roommate. There seems to be a happy medium in our suite with the amount of dumb stuff we do. There aren’t too many testosterone-filled guys doing stupid or dangerous things because they can or think it would be funny, but we also don’t have an extreme amount of passive-aggressive actions on one another. We push each other to be better while accepting each other for who we are.

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