‘It can be hard to imagine living in a place where everything you read about it signals that you don’t exist, [and] that it’s going to be hard to get basic healthcare’
Rice University is reportedly struggling to recruit for its 200 open faculty positions because of Texas’ conservative policies, and a sexually divergent gender studies scholar has one idea why.
“There are cases where sometimes people don’t come to Rice because of the perception of Texas,” President Reginald Desroches told Bloomberg. However, he said his school has hired quality people once he can get them to Houston, which is more liberal. The state has a ban on nearly all abortions and also limited “diversity, equity, and inclusion” at public universities. Rice is a private university.
A gender studies scholar at Desroches’ school provided further commentary to the school newspaper The Rice Thresher.
The paper reported:
Tesla Cariani, a postdoctoral fellow in the Center for the Study of Women, Gender and Sexuality who is non-binary and has two long-term partners, one of whom is transgender, said they can understand why it can be intimidating to consider living in Texas as a gender minority.
“It can be hard to imagine living in a place where everything you read about it signals that you don’t exist, [and] that it’s going to be hard to get basic healthcare,” Cariani said.
Cariani (pictured) also said that Texas’ laws and proposals to make it harder for kids and adults who believe they are the opposite sex has caused a “toll.”
“I have seen [the legislation] take a mental, emotional and physical toll on colleagues, but especially on students who may be looking at some of these healthcare bills,” the polyamorous researcher told the student newspaper.
“One of the things that Texas was considering has been to raise bans [on gender-affirming care] from 18 years old to 26 years old, and that would absolutely affect college students if they’re taking hormones or looking into other trans-affirmative [care],” Cariani said.
Cariani’s scholarship “seeks to connect aesthetic and textual legacies of violence to ongoing queer and trans issues such as the fight for gender affirmation and decolonization,” according to the university biography.
IMAGE: Rice University