Transgender student in housing fight with local college - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Transgender student in housing fight with college: 'Somebody has to stand up'

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NEWBERG, OR (KPTV) -

A transgender college student and his school still have not come to an agreement on where he'll live next year as they continue a housing battle that has lasted for more than a week.

"I have the right, as any other male, to live on campus with males," said Jayce M. "I'm going to fight for that."

In the past week, Jayce's fight has grown to more than 14,000 supporters. Each signed a petition, which was boxed and delivered to the campus of George Fox University.

"We hope they'll reconsider their initial decision," said Paul Southwick, Jayce's attorney.

The college's original decision said Jayce can't live with his male friends on-campus next year; instead, he could live alone in a single room, or live off-campus.

For the last year, Jayce has been in the female dorms. During that time, he has completed his sexual transition to become a man.

In its last statement to FOX 12, the university said: "George Fox strives to be a Christ-centered community, and our residential facilities are single sex because of our theological commitments. The student's request to switch from female-only on campus housing to male-only on campus housing is one that many institutions would struggle with."

Jayce's attorney has recently filed a complaint with the Department of Education.

"Because it receives federal money, the university needs to abide by non-discrimination standards," Southwick said.

"I think if they sit with the question long enough, of where should Jayce live, they're going to land on the side of dignity," said supporter AJ Mendoza.

"It's great that the conversation is finally happening for him, but it's disappointing that it's happening this way," supporter Naomi Lee said.

Jayce hopes his fight doesn't have to come to the point of a full investigation. If it does, he's prepared to see it through.

"I'm hoping that the school will listen and grant me on-campus housing," he said. "For the future, I hope that I'll be able to pave the way for future transgender students as well as any other people that are being marginalized."

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