Baptist school expels transgender student

October 31, 2011

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (ABP) – California Baptist University expelled a transgender student who listed her gender as female on her application form and appeared on an MTV reality show saying she is biologically male.

Domaine Javier, 24, told the Press-Enterprise in Riverside, Calif., that university officials told her she was expelled for “committing or attempting to engage in fraud or concealing identity” by checking “female” on her online application form.

Javier said she didn’t think she was doing anything wrong, because she has identified herself as a female since she was a toddler. In an interview with the campus newspaper at Riverside City College, Javier said she realized early in life she was different but didn’t learn the word “transgender” until she was a teenager.

"For me, transgender is a person born in the wrong body," Javier said. “Like me, I think of myself as female, but I was born in the wrong body -- physically incorrect.”

At age 13, she decided to be true to her feelings and began dressing, acting and thinking like a girl. She was valedictorian of her high school class, was elected homecoming queen at Riverside City College and hoped to transfer to Cal Baptist to study nursing.

Javier said university officials told her that during a background check it was discovered that she appeared on MTV's popular television show "True Life," in an episode that aired April 9 titled, “I’m Passing as Someone I’m Not.”

“Nobody knows the real me,” she said on the program. “Growing up, my life was a little bit off. I’ve always defined myself as female, but I am a girl trapped in a guy’s body.”

The university’s code of student conduct includes “refraining from sexual conduct outside of marriage, as defined in the Baptist Faith and Message, June 2000, Article XVIII: ‘The Family: Marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime. It is God’s unique gift to reveal the union between Christ and His church and to provide for the man and the woman in marriage the framework for intimate companionship, the channel of sexual expression according to biblical standards, and the means for procreation of the human race.’”

Javier said she knew Cal Baptist, which is located three blocks from her home, was a religious institution but did not realize it is affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention.

Javier said she declined an admission offer by Cal State San Bernardino, a public university that cannot discriminate against transgender students, to attend Cal Baptist. She is back at City College, but her plans to study nursing have been postponed for a year, because she cannot enroll at Cal State until the fall semester.

A Cal Baptist spokesperson told local media that the university does not comment on student disciplinary matters.