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This paper focuses on the importance of transgender education in public affairs programs, particularly as its students prepare to enter an increasingly diverse workforce in the 21st century. The paper first connects transgender awareness and education to the social equity literature. To date, attention within the social equity literature has primarily focused on race/ethnicity and, to a lesser extent, on women. However, issues of gender identity and sexual orientation have largely been missing from the social equity dialogue. This paper aims to fill the void. Next, the paper examines the transgender movement as a means to eliminate transgender oppression from the workplace. The paper also includes a survey conducted with 26 University of Vermont public affairs graduate students and 68 undergraduate students across disciplines also enrolled at the university. The surveys revealed attitudes about transgender citizens and their rights. The paper concludes with tangible strategies for working with transgender organizations and infusing transgender education into the public affairs curriculum.


This article was published by NASPAA, and is available at: