They’re Crying in the All-Gender Bathroom: Navigating Belonging in Higher Education While First Generation and Nonbinary

The Vermont Connection / April 2020

Colorado first-gen students

Maintaining the sociocultural and interpersonal supports needed to succeed in higher education as a first-generation student can be very difficult due to a lack of familiarity with what brings success. When this identity intersects with a nonbinary gender identity, it further complicates higher education’s challenges and may make solutions impossible to come by. My experience sits at the intersection of these two identities and their gradual collision and connection with success in higher education. Through this narrative, I seek to unpack potential difficulties and nuances for the increasingly diverse body of first generation students and bring attention to the barriers in our social systems which may be blocking current and future students from achieving their full potential.