It’s fitting that Keo Chaad O’Neal was a history major, because the college alumnu is already shaping it.
O’Neal says he’s the first frankly trans subject to graduate from Spelman College, America’s firstly private, liberal arts historically pitch-black college for women.
O’Neal shared two smiling snapshots of himself in his graduation regalium on Twitter that subsequently went viral. HuffPost talked to the recent postgraduate about his expedition at Spelman and what it’s like to be a trans follower at an all-women college.
“My experience was up and down, much how I’d expect any college experience would be, ” O’Neal said in an email.
O’Neal said he enjoyed Spelman as a freshman, but he didn’t feel like he could come into himself, so he transferred to a chiefly white-hot institution.
The 21 -year-old had started Spelman determining as non-binary and using they/ them pronouns, but “no one could catch on to that so it was kind of hard to exist as myself, ” O’Neal replied. He added that in its own experience, “black folks certainly only understood the binary.”
It was during the time at the mainly lily-white clas that he “was able to grow and develop” himself the course he wanted to “without the pressures of other black kinfolks telling me I couldn’t do or be something.”
“I came back to Spelman my junior time because although I could flourish in my queerness, I felt like I was affirming my blackness and I was nothing more than a figure to those kinfolks, ” O’Neal said.