Baptist College Expels Trans Student Hours after Surgery

Welch College described the surgery as “sexual perversion,” which is against the school’s rules.

Yanna Awtrey, a student at Welch College in Gallatin, Tennessee, was kicked out of his dorm room after undergoing a “top surgery.” In the trans community to which Awtrey belongs, that means he had undergone a double mastectomy to feel closer to the body that he wants to have. He was expelled just a few hours after surgery.

According to Awtrey, a disciplinary committee told him he had violated the school’s rules on what they called “sexual perversion” and had kicked him out of the college for two terms. Since the college is private, it does not have to fall in line under the Title IX laws. Although the college offered to pay for Awtrey’s expenses during the time he recovered, it only amounted to a week in the hotel.

The National Association of Free Will Baptists is the governing body that operates Welch College, formerly called the Free Will Baptist Bible College. This denomination of Free Will Baptists is known for their conservative views on topics such as sexual orientation. Both of Awtrey’s parents are members of this church and wanted him to attend this college because it reflected their beliefs. His parents are presently serving as missionaries through the denomination, stationed thousands of miles away from their son.

As though being forced from his school wasn’t bad enough, Awtrey also no longer has a stable place to live. The dorms were home to him, and his parents are not in the United States at the present time, they are in Bulgaria and estranged. Although Awtrey has lived in Bulgaria in the past, he is now stuck living in a hotel room until he figures out the next step.

For now, Awtrey has talked with family friends that will take him in while he recovers. From there, he is going to get a job. As for the degrees in biology and theology towards which Awtrey was working, it’s unknown whether he will decide to pursue them at another school or if he’ll have the means to do so.

Awtrey isn’t bitter towards Christianity, though. “I do think of myself as a Christian,” he said. “It’s unfortunate that the worst people I’ve ever met are the people who claim to be Christians.”

Resources

Follow the Conversation on Twitter