This article uses a metanarrative of a fictional, gender identity minority community college student (named Zyx) to elucidate and humanize the experiences that students in this population undergo throughout the course of their college career. Using a journal entry format, Zyx (they/them) is followed from the day before their first day at school through to their graduation. Their experience includes being first-generation and mixed race, living through COVID-19, coping with academic failure, and ultimately triumphing over adversity. The story is meant to cover some of the myriad obstacles to success faced by gender identity minorities attending community college while also highlighting their strength, resilience, and humanity. The metanarrative can be read as a stand-alone piece of fiction, but it is also data-driven and has extensive footnotes that explain where the fictional ideas came from including academic and informal research, anecdotal evidence, and stories shared by trans*-spectrum community college students.


metanarrative, transgender, trans*-spectrum, community college, COVID-19

Author Bio(s)

Dr. Megan X. Schutte is an Associate Professor of English and the Director of the Writing and Literacy Centers at the Community College of Baltimore County. Dr. Schutte holds a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from Morgan State University. Her research interests center on equality and inclusion in higher education, particularly for LGBTQIA+ students. When she has time to be a normal human, she loves to travel and watch soccer (often together), design her own shoes, throw axes, volunteer with her dog, and play with her nephews. Go Bills! Please direct correspondence to mxschutte@hotmail.com.

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