Sub fusc gender restrictions thrown out

Students sitting exams in the coming year will no longer have to wear sub fusc specific to their gender.

As of 4 August, candidates will be able to choose for themselves whether to wear a skirt or trousers or a suit and a black string tie or a white bow tie to their examinations. Until now, transgender students had to seek special dispensation from the Proctors to wear subfusc of the opposite gender.

Earlier this year, OUSU passed a motion to remove gender restrictions from academic dress. The motion was put forward by the committee’s LGBTQ officer Jess Pumphrey, who said that the change is “a small one that will make a number of students’ exam experience significantly less stressful”.

She said that in future there will be no “need for transgender students to cross-dress to avoid being confronted by invigilators or disciplined during their exam.”

An Oxford University spokesperson commented: ‘The regulations have been amended to remove any reference to gender, in response to concerns raised by Oxford University Student Union that the existing regulations did not serve the interests of transgender students.’

University students expressed their delight at the changes. A third year Lincolnite commented: “I’m very pleased to see the university modernising its rules on sub fusc, which will give all students greater choice what to wear when exams roll around.”

Simone Webb, the Oxford University LGBTQSoc President, applauded Pumphrey for leading the campaign. She said: “This is an extremely positive step, and indeed long overdue.

“I am of the opinion that it is possible to keep elements of tradition in this way while making them unrestrictive to trans* students, genderqueer students, or students who wish to wear a different sub fusc to that which they’d be expected to wear.”



  1. Donna Reiser

    15th January 2013 at 08:57

    This offends me. I am a TS woman, and while I support TS women dressing and living as women, I don’t support male-born TG “women” dressing and living as women. You should dress as the nature you were born with, not the one you choose. TSism is a birth defect and has nothing to do with LGBTs, TGism is a choice. TSs are part of the Mainstream (90%), TGs are a type of LGBT (10%).

  2. Donna Reiser

    15th January 2013 at 09:05

    They should have listened only to Mainstreamist transsexual students, not LGBT students. An MtF TS woman should wear a dress, while a “MtF” TG “woman” should be made to dress as the man he is. TSs should only be allowed to dress as woman as long as they are not LGBT-identified. The T on the end of LGBT is transgender, a type of man who plays dress-up on a daily basis and keeps his phallus for life, and they have not right trying to speak for TSs who are part of the Mainstream Community, not the LGBT Community. As a TS woman, I don’t appreciate LGBTs fighting for me nor making ANY decisions on my behalf. I only value support and help that comes from OTHER Mainstream women (TS or not) who are not in the LGBT. I didn’t ask the TG men in drag and gays to take up for me during the riots of old, so I owe them nothing. I would refuse to vote for any bill supportive of TS if it also helps enable those who I believe are doing wrong things to do those wrong things.

  3. JenJen

    16th January 2013 at 12:35

    Great news! We shouldn’t be placing restrictions on the way people dress based on their physical makeup. That is completely arbitrary discrimination.

  4. Timhole

    11th August 2013 at 16:23

    So you’re a real woman and all the other ones are pretending until they officially have a fanny or what? You’re also saying no hommosexual transexuals allowed? Wtf?

  5. anaris

    2nd October 2013 at 21:40

    That’s not possible. How do you plan to enforce that? Does one have to provide a medical diagnosis? Is that ethically justifiable when medical diagnoses are not representative of presence or absence of the condition (due to gatekeeping, misdiagnosis as Autocratic Gynephilia etcetera)?

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