Honorees

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Rising Star: Calliope Wong

So far, Calliope Wong has either chosen or coincidentally wandered down a few bent roads throughout her 21 years on Earth. She is a

*Chinese American trans woman,

*a UConn Honors (Class of ’16) pre-med English major who graduated Summa Cum Laude

*a future doctor/researcher/educator with goals of specializing in reproductive endocrinology to better serve the trans community,

*and a noisy, but quite eloquent, activist in the trans community.

She’s most known for her national media campaign, “Trans Women @ Smith,” which prompted Smith College and 7 other historical women’s colleges to become trans woman inclusive in their admissions policies.

After Smith College twice refused to process her college application due to her gender being marked “male” on school documents, Calliope began protesting the school’s legally-dubious decision through campus organizing, petition-writing, and releasing open letters that documented her efforts to the general public. Mainstream media organizations such as the New York Times, ABC News, and MSNBC’s “The Ronan Farrow Daily Show” soon picked up her campaign—this pressure brought Smith and other women’s colleges into a fuller understanding of gender identity and admissions policies fit for the 21st Century.

Currently, Calliope conducts research, volunteers as a Patient Aide, and works as a tutor and college writing consultant for New Haven’s IvyLabs in her gap year before medical school. When she is not otherwise occupied, she is a strange lady who writes poems, sculpts 3D-models, and drafts horror stories about terrifyingly attractive trans woman mecha pilots in space.