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Thanks For Making College Life Even Harder

, , , , , , | Learning | May 13, 2022

I’m employed by the housing service of a prestigious university, directing inbound students to the best options for their needs. One such student is a boy, who, due to not feeling confident in living entirely alone just yet, has decided to not live in a flat and instead to get a bed in the all-male dorms. I give him all the information needed to start the enrolment process and think nothing of it.

A few days later, I get a call.

Me: “Hallo, [University]’s Student Housing Services. How may I be of help?”

Boy: “Hello, it’s me, [Boy]. I called two weeks ago about getting a place in the dorm, but I’ve had a bit of a problem.”

Me: “What kind of problem? Anything serious?”

Boy: “Uh, yeah, the headmaster, or whatever he’s supposed to be, sat me down after the dorm tour and told me I wasn’t a very good fit for the dorm and that I should go look for a flat.”

Me: “That’s weird. Did he elaborate?”

Boy: “No, he didn’t say much else.”

Me: “Okay, then. Do you mind if I inform myself and then get in touch with you by the end of this week?”

Boy: “Sure.”

And so the call ends. I immediately call the dorm manager’s office, figuring that something REALLY major had come up to tell him he couldn’t get into the dorm. After getting transferred from the secretary, in a few minutes, I’m on the phone with him.

Dorm Manager: “Hallo, [Dorm]’s office, [Dorm Manager] speaking.”

Me: “Hallo, Mr. [Dorm Manager], I have been called by a student called [Boy] [Surname]. He says that, after touring the dorm’s facilities, he was told that he wasn’t allowed to take a room. He told me he has not been told the reason behind it. Is that true?”

Dorm Manager: “[Boy]? If she is what I think she is, that’s not her name.”

There’s a long beat, as I’m confused.

Me: “Come again?”

Dorm Manager: “She was not a boy but a girl. I don’t understand what she was trying to accomplish in trying to hide her breasts and pass herself as a boy to enter my dorm, but, regardless, she isn’t supposed to be here. She should go contact the girl student dorm.”

Me: “Huh? His voice sounded quite masculine to me.”

Dorm Manager: “The voice did, but I guarantee you she didn’t look like a boy in the slightest, neither in face nor in body. I am not going to let some kid’s girlfriend sneak in to live with them.”

Me: “I think I’m going to research this matter a little deeper. Something is not quite adding up here.”

And I hang up. While I’m not allowed to access any files that could be considered sensitive, I do notice that [Boy] sustained the admission exam to university under the name he gave me; if this was just somebody’s girl trying to get a free room with her boyfriend, she would have to be extremely committed.

A couple of days later, I decide to send an email to my boss about it and then call the boy back.

Me: “Hallo, [Boy], [University]’s Student Housing Services.”

Boy: “Hallo, any news?”

Me: “Yeah, I’ve called the dorm manager. He has told me you looked like a girl and rejected you on those grounds.”

Boy: “Uhhh… what? Can he even do that? Can’t I appeal that?”

Me: “I think you should give a call to my boss. I’m afraid I cannot help you with this directly.”

And I give him the number. A few hours later…

Boss: “Hallo, [My Name], do you remember [Boy]? [Surname], the one.”

Me: “Yes, I do. I gave him your office’s number.”

Boss: “I have seen his file and talked about it with him. He’s definitely a guy, no two ways about it. Strike out a spot from the dorm. I will deal with it myself.”

Me: “Okay, if you say so.”

And he hangs up. I receive no information about it for a long time until midway through the first semester of university when I receive a call from [Boy].

Boy: “Hello, it’s me, [Boy]. I’m sorry, and I know it’s quite a lot to ask, but would it be possible to find an apartment now?”

Me: “Hello, [Boy]. May I ask why you want to leave the dorm?”

Boy: “I… I don’t feel comfortable in there. The place is nice and all, but the dorm manager keeps calling me to his office and telling me I shouldn’t be here or that I don’t look like a guy or…”

At this point, silence falls.

Me: “Hello? Are you there?”

There’s a long beat, and then I hear some sniffling.

Boy: “Uh… yeah, I’m here. It just hurts to talk about. Can I get a place in another dorm or an apartment with other people, pretty please? I don’t want to be here anymore.”

Me: “I will see what I can do.”

I decide to get the other side of the story just in case.

Dorm Manager: “Hallo, [Dorm]’s office, [Dorm Manager] speaking.”

Me: “Hallo, Mr. [Dorm Manager]. A student has been complaining about your behaviour toward him. His name is [Boy] [Surname]. May I know what is going on exactly?”

Dorm Manager: “What is going on? She isn’t [Boy]. She literally is just some girl who decided to change her name and gender because she liked football. I don’t care how much she likes [Football Team] or how much she wants to lop off her breasts. She is not a man, and she will never be, and I am not going to keep a woman around my dorm just to please some dumb idiot who thinks he knows better than I do. She either gets out of my dorm on her own, or I will make her wish she had never bothered.”

It all finally clicks.

Me: “Oh, okay, I do finally understand. I will be sure to pass this around.”

Dorm Manager: “You’d better. Goodbye.”

Little does he know, I am not going to communicate that to the poor guy.

Me: “Hello, [Boss]. [Dorm Manager] is apparently harassing [Boy] [Surname].”

A deep sigh comes from the other side of the phone.

Boss: “Jesus Christ, [Dorm Manager] really is the dumb motherf***** I thought he was. You’d think he loves long talks with the rector. Fine, I’ll get to work once again.”

To make a long story short: my boss emailed the university’s rector, who in turn demanded that the dorm manager visit him, and apparently, he had quite the choice of words for him. They started arguing, and then the rector gave the dorm manager his walking papers, replacing him with his direct underling, who was much more diplomatic. The trans boy ultimately decided to stay in the dorm and has thanked me, though, really, he had to thank both the rector and my boss.

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