Last year, I met with a producer at MTV and in the middle of our chatter, she told me about some of the upcoming subject-matter that would be dealt with on the network's popular "True Life" program. She described the story of a transgendered woman who had been hiding her true sexuality and identity for years. The 24-year-old girl, the producer explained, would date men and withhold the fact that was was, in fact, born a male.
The tale was definitely intriguing, but I didn't think much about it after the conversation concluded. Months went by and the show aired without much fanfare. The woman, Domaine Javier, though, is in the headlines this week. According to reports, Javier is claiming that she was expelled from California Baptist University after officials purportedly accused her of committing fraud.
The Baptist Press reports that Javier, 24, told the Press-Enterprise that she was expelled for “committing or attempting to engage in fraud or concealing identity." See, she checked "female" on her online application form when she applied to the school (and, again, she was born a male). Below, watch Javier explain the scenario:
While the school, which is obviously a Christian higher education facility, allegedly viewed this as fraudulent, Javier claims that she didn't realize she was doing anything wrong. In fact, she has been identifying as a woman, she claims, since she was a toddler. At 13, she began acting on her emotions by dressing, thinking and acting like a girl, she says.
Javier was her high school's valedictorian and she went on to become homecoming queen at her previous school, Riverside City College.
"For me, transgender is a person born in the wrong body," she says. “Like me, I think of myself as female, but I was born in the wrong body -- physically incorrect.”
Now, this brings me back to my discussion with the MTV staffer. Apparently, the college found out about Javier's appearance after doing a background check. Officials then discovered her appearance on "True Life: I'm Passing as Someone I'm Not." The Baptist Press has more:
The university’s code of student conduct includes “refraining from sexual conduct outside of marriage, as defined in the Baptist Faith and Message, June 2000, Article XVIII: ‘The Family: Marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime. It is God’s unique gift to reveal the union between Christ and His church and to provide for the man and the woman in marriage the framework for intimate companionship, the channel of sexual expression according to biblical standards, and the means for procreation of the human race.’”
Below, see some of the footage from the "True Life" program Javier was a part of:
While Javier admits knowing that California Baptist University was a religious school, she had no idea, she claims, that it is affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention. Still, many Christian colleges, whether they are associated with the SBC or not, would potentially have a strong aversion to situations like this.
Now, as a result of her expulsion, she must put her plans to study nursing on hold. Originally, she transfered from City College (where she is now studying again) to California Baptist. She must wait until the fall of 2012 to enroll at California State San Bernardino (a school she declined an admissions offer from originally).
The university, despite what some may see as discriminatory policy, is permitted by law to make such determinations. The Huffington Post explains:
Although California law prohibits employment, housing, government, insurance and other types of discrimination based upon gender identity, private universities like California Baptist University do not fall under such legislation.
The Baptist university would not comment on the case.
(H/T: Baptist Press)