Oxford dress laws to suit transgender students

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The Independent Online

Oxford University has revised its strict academic dress code to cater for transgender students, allowing men to attend formal occasions in skirts and stockings and women in suits and bow ties.

The university said it had rewritten laws governing academic dress following concerns that they "did not serve the interests" of transgender students. New laws are due to come into force this week.

Under the new regulations students taking exams or attending formal occasions will no longer have to wear ceremonial clothing that is specific to their gender.

The changes follow pressure from the university's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Queer Society. "In future there will be no need for transgender students to cross-dress to avoid being confronted by invigilators or disciplined during their exam," said Jess Pumphrey, the society's executive officer.

The old laws governing academic clothing were known as subfusc and required male students to wear a dark suit and socks, black shoes, a white bow tie and plain white shirt under their black gowns.

Female students wore a dark skirt or trousers, a white blouse, black stockings and shoes, and a black ribbon tied in a bow at the neck.

A spokesman for the Oxford University said last night. "The regulations have been amended to remove any reference to gender, in response to concerns raised by the student union that the existing regulations did not serve the interests of transgender students."

Students will no longer have to wear ceremonial clothing specific to their gender