Regent’s Park College JCR has passed a motion to “reimburse transgender students for the purchase of items such as binders, packers & packing underwear, bras, breast inserts, and gaffes.”
The proposers of the motion, Ciara Samuels and Cody Fuller, said the trans binder fund would work to improve the welfare of trans, non-binary, and gender non-conforming members of the JCR.
Samuels, Regent’s JCR president, told Cherwell: “I decided to propose this motion to support our trans and/or gender non-conforming and non-binary students to make them feel more comfortable.
“We had money in our budget and I think the best thing that we can do with that is to help support our students.
“There is definitely demand from our JCR for a fund of this kind, so it seemed like a great use of money.
“At Prescom, I brought up this idea and collated motions from a couple of different colleges in order to make sure that our motion was in line with other colleges and presented in the best way.”
The motion passed, with only one vote against.
Fuller, a member of Regent’s JCR Social Equalities Committee as well as the committee for the SU’S LGBTQ+ Campaign, said: “Colleges are strongly encouraged by Oxford SU’s LGBTQ+ Campaign and by the LGBTQ+ Society to introduce gender expression funds in order to reimburse students for dysphoria alleviating items and clothing.
Fuller said: “There was an increasing demand for such a scheme within our college.
“I have been reassured greatly by the positive response JCR members of Regent’s Park College have had to my suggestions over the past few weeks and I am hoping that the introduction of this reimbursement scheme will be the first step in a new wave of reforms in college that will promise improved welfare for trans and/or non-binary and gender non-conforming students here.
“This is an essential measure in order to help trans students feel comfortable and supported by the JCR, and it is also of paramount importance in the context of Re- gent’s Park College’s commitment to inclusion, acceptance and a strong emphasis on welfare.
“I am positive that this re-imbursement scheme will help students in college acquire and finance these greatly needed items as well as have the confidence that they have the full support of our undergraduate community.”
The binder fund will help trans people acquire certain garments that are specially designed to change one’s gender expression and presentation, and help alleviate gender dysphoria.
Besides the fact that these garments are “specialised and often expensive,” other factors, such as anxiety or circumstances at home, may further prevent a trans person from buying them.
Exeter College and St John’s College JCR already have similar funds, while Wadham College students can be reimbursed for such items by their trans officer.
Alex Jacobs, Regent’s LGBTQ+ officer, said: “I think the gender expression fund will have a really positive impact on trans students at Regent’s Park, and demonstrate our JCR’s inclusive atmosphere.
“Coming on the back of the college’s recent abolishment of the annual rainbow flag referendum, making the decision to fly the flag permanent, the passing of this motion shows that Regent’s is making an active effort to be more inclusive of LGBTQ+ students.
“Cody Fuller’s determination and effort in setting up the fund is admirable, and I think the fund will be of great benefit to trans students and Regent’s community as a whole.”
Matthew Jones, the college’s incoming LGBTQ+ officer, said: “The fact that the JCR has passed the motion is an exceptional move in the right direction towards equality between everyone. It shows, most movingly to me, how everyone cares about LGBTQ+ welfare regardless of their involvement in the LGBTQ+ community.”