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Calliope Wong
Stanford, CA

Calliope Wong made headlines in 2013 when she applied to Smith College, a historical women’s college, and was twice denied even a chance to have her application read, based solely on the “male” gender marker on her financial aid paperwork. Calliope is a queer, transgender woman, transitioning at the age of 15 after spending years as the “only son” of a Chinese-immigrant family in New Haven, CT. After facing this setback from Smith College, Calliope started a national campaign that led to many women’s colleges, including Smith, to adopt policies that are inclusive of transgender women

Now, Calliope studies medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine and is the George Benes, MD Point Foundation Scholar. There, she plans to pursue an MD/MPH degree, and to one day serve as a clinical academic caring for patients’ hormonal health while contributing research to nonprofits that benefit LGBT youth. She is especially interested in improving trans health outcomes, finding out the long-term effects of hormone therapies, and working to ensure that the next generation inherits a health care system that serves all of us. “There are so many socioeconomic issues that trans people face,” Calliope said. “Lack of medical access and insurance coverage, lack of employment protections, and so many other issues. Okay, sure, we have marriage equality, but look at the rate of trans youth expelled from homes, or adults who face job and housing discrimination—these setbacks contribute to a lowered ceiling of opportunity for our community.”

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