I don’t think you should be encouraging ALL college kids ALL the time to email their professors to come out trans before class even starts. In order to keep their job, there’s pretty much no way a professor can’t say they’ll accommodate the request. But that doesn’t mean they won’t forget, “forget”, be hostile, grade harshly, or otherwise attempt to make the student’s life miserable in ways that the student can’t produce enough proof to complain about. Also, who says all profs are discreet?
realsocialskills said:
I agree with you. Emailing professors ahead of time is not a good strategy for every trans student. Some people do not want to be out to their professors, and they have ever right not to be. It’s a strategy for some people in some situations, not something universally applicable to all trans people.
But for some people, it’s a potentially useful strategy. For instance:
  • If you’re a woman and people know that you are a woman
  • But most people don’t know that you are trans and you’d like to keep it that way
  • And your legal name is something like Bruce.
  • At most schools, your teacher will get a list of students by legal names
  • So they’ll inevitably find out that the government thinks your name is Bruce
  • And, if they take roll, it’s likely that they’ll call you that name in front of everyone
  • This strategy is a way to discretely let the professor know that your name isn’t Bruce and you don’t want to be called Bruce in front of everyone

Or even if you’re just tired of hearing “But why do you go by Alex instead of Molly? Molly is a beautiful name!”. If people don’t know your legal name, they’re much, much less likely to try to call you by it or pester you about it.

It’s not a good strategy for everyone, but I can how it could be helpful for some people, and others in the reblog chain have said it worked for them.