- Leeth named UAB School of Medicine assistant dean for strategic planning
- Coping with holiday grief
- New water plan saves big money
- Campus police offer holiday safety tips
- Alys Stephen Center Screens Walking the Camino: Six Ways to Santiago
- Hospital feeds underprivileged new moms
- UAB’s Alys Stephens Center presents Yo-Yo Ma Dec. 6
- Southern Miss tops Blazers, 62-27, in season ending game
- Henry Panion selected for 2014 Alabama African-American History Calendar
- Enjoy Christmas at the Alys Dec. 2, “The Season’s First Jingle”
- Engineering’s Ning wins ASTM International award
- Collat School of Business unveils sign at celebration
- Heudebert elected master by American College of Physicians
- Anti-aging strategies can improve more than looks
- On campus ‘blackout’ taken in stride
Being Trans and Feeling Honored
Last month, I could have very easily been placed in a period movie where everyone was huddled up listening to the radio about the president or about a war. I was sitting around a table of friends, every one of us in the University Honors Program (UHP). We had just eaten dinner and our phones started going off with email notifications. We had all received an email from the director of UHP. According to a decision made, starting in 2014, all of the separate honors programs would be eliminated and turned into one, generic program.
You would have thoughts bombs went off. We were all upset, raising our voices to talk over each other, and then silence. We starting thinking solemnly about all the what-ifs. I can’t speak on their behalves, but I can speak for me. If I hadn’t of gotten into UHP and chosen UAB as my new home, I probably wouldn’t have gone to college. I probably would have lost motivation my freshman year, and I would have moved back to my mother’s house, and started working at Zaxby’s again.
Then we realized we wouldn’t all have been friends without UHP. Personally, it’s a way to get to know people that I wouldn’t have without the program– how else is an English major going to end up helping people student for psychology and cell bio?
UHP is the first family entering UHP students are integrated in on campus their freshman year. We spend hours and hours in classes together, studying together, and going to lectures and movies together– all educational offering within the program.
The Honors House is my home. My peers are my brothers and sisters, and the faculty are my aunts and uncles. There is no place on campus I feel more welcomed than the Honors House.
I did an assignment for the program last Fall about being trans. It was before I came out to many people on campus. The professor who graded the assignment called me into his office to give my contact information for an alum who transitioned after graduation. It was immediate acceptance.
After publicly coming out as trans, the professors changed the way they greeted me, using my correct name and pronouns. They even changed my name on the mailboxes in the Honors House. They did all of this without me even having to ask. They took family-like initiative to welcome the newer, more confident me into the program. When I saw my name on the mailbox, I couldn’t move, I stopped breathing for a few seconds, and tears filled my eyes. It was the most heartwarming feeling I’ve ever experienced.
UHP is a program that prides itself on being interdisciplinary and culturally diverse. LGBT students now and forever will have a home within the Honors Colleges on UAB’s campus.
Without UHP, I wouldn’t be happy with my education, and I would probably still be a deeply closeted and confused transgender man.
Since the week of that email, it has been announced that all Honors Programs on campus will be staying in tact, and that UAB is working to add-on to the already existing Honors Colleges. The relief was as grand as the snow we received last semester.
It is my greatest pleasure to be a part of UAB Honor’s College. I encourage upcoming freshmen and even sophomores to apply to the honors programs on campus, and to their respected departmental honors programs. The programs, as well as the rest of UAB, are diverse in race, sexual orientation, gender identity, ages, majors, and everything else.