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Trans Student Denied Housing

Fight against discrimination at George Fox

Olivia Olivia | 7/30/2014, 11:42 a.m.
Jayce Marcus, a Portland student at George Fox University, is battling school administration for the right to be housed with ...
Jayce Marcus, a transgender student from Portland attending George Fox University in Newberg, is fighting for the the right to be housed with other male students on campus. Olivia Olivia

Marcus sat down with The Portland Observer just before the school came down with its latest decision, and shared some of his thoughts:

Portland Observer: Just as background, are students normally separated by gender at George Fox? What’s normally the rule?

Jayce Marucs: There is a rule you can’t live with the opposite sex while at George Fox, at least while you’re not married.

Portland Observer: How has this been at school?

Jayce Marcus: I have found a lot of support on campus through students and faculty.

Portland Observer: Some people might just transfer to another school or give up, but you haven’t. What made you want to pursue this case?

Jayce Marcus: This is a bigger issue than myself. I am not the only transgender person that will attend George Fox and I am not the only transgender person struggling with discrimination. Also this issue spans outside of transgender issues. This is an issue of discrimination. This is a gay issue, this is a Lesbian issue, this is a bisexual issue, this is a transgender issue, this is a race issue, this is an issue for anyone with a marginalized identity. And this is why I have continued the fight.

Also I am a person of faith and a person of the LGBTQ community. I think it’s important that we have a conversation about religion and LGBTQ issues. This conversation needs to take place. Both the LGBTQ community and the faith community need to learn to be open-minded. As a member of both communities, I think they can coexist as they do for me.

Portland Observer: Do you feel you’ve made any progress at the school recently?

Jayce Marcus: Continuing this talk at George Fox promotes this discussion, and although George Fox isn’t moving as quickly as we want it to move, it’s moving. If I were not there, Gender Neutral bathrooms might not exist. I need to be a part of this community to help it continue this conversation.

Portland Observer: Do they have text from the bible that backs up their policies?

Jayce Marcus: I do not believe there to be anything in the bible about being transgender.

Portland Observer: What kind of advice would you give to students in similar situations throughout the country?

Jayce Marcus: The first thing is, you don’t have to do what I’m doing. You don’t have to go to the media. There is a lot of stuff that you can do behind the scenes that has just as much potential to create change. And if you do choose to do it, to fight against your oppressor, try to keep a level head. Go into it with an open mind. Be open to conversation.

--Olivia Olivia