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What would you do if spring semester your prof was a man, but when you came back for summer semester, he was a she? If you were one of Michelle Stanton's students at California State U., Northridge, you'd just go with the flow.

"I took 10 minutes of the first class of the summer semester to explain," says Stanton, who began her transformation from male to female during the summer semester of 1992. "And I never really mentioned it again in the classroom."

Stanton isn't the only prof who's made the old gender switcheroo. Gender-bending professors (including cross-dressers) can be found at the U. of Iowa, UC, Berkeley, U. of Victoria, British Columbia, Robert Morris College and Quinnipiac College, just to name a few.

York U. philosophy prof Michael Gilbert came out as a cross-dresser when he was teaching a course called Philosophy of Gender and Sexuality. "When I walked into the room, their jaws dropped. I lectured for 10 minutes, to get the class used to the physical sight of me and then I opened it up to questions, and they had a lot of them."

Like Stanton, Gilbert hasn't encountered discrimination since coming out as transgendered. He sees this as progress since his college days, when "there was a girl sent home for wearing slacks. If there's no tolerance on a campus, where will there be?"

By Abby Reed, Haverford College


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