March 10, 2013
Thank you.

So. It’s been a while since I’ve written you all, folks. As far as I know, this will be the last update letter I will write you.

I guess this is it, for now. There’s no chance I can go to Smith College, as the administration has returned my application without reading it not once—but two times now.

The first time, the Office of Admission at Smith found fault with my transcript, which read “male.” Smith would not process my application, despite the fact that I had spoken to Dean of Admission extensively over the summer about who I was and my specific case. Still, I corrected the “male” clerical error with my school guidance staff and promptly sent back my application for review.

The second time was on March 5, five days ago. My FAFSA information reading “male” was targeted this time as the reason why I was not a woman in Smith’s eyes. I won’t give you an analysis of what was written; I’ll just leave you with a photograph of the letter at the end. You all can decide what it means for yourselves.

I don’t think there is or ever was any way to “win.” There was never any fair shot for me. But I tried my best to do things right. At least I can say that.

Yes, I cried the day my papers came back. I still feel like crying.

But right now I’m listening to “Zankoku na tenshi no te-ze,” also known as “Cruel Angel’s Thesis,”—probably best known as “the Neon Genesis Evangelion anime theme song”—on repeat, as I write this letter. And it strikes me, how appropriate.

For those of you who aren’t (yet) in the know, Neon Genesis Evangelion is a Japanese animation made in the 90s. Among other things, the show deals with existentialist and absurdist themes through a pathetic main character named Shinji. He’s utterly useless in the beginning and runs away from what he fears—accepting his life as his own. So, even as Shinji pilots the so-called “EVA 01,” humanity’s last hope against alien invaders called “Angels”—he is afraid. Of the ridiculous mess that is his reality, and of his potential to rise up and claim his life as his own. So he hates himself and does nothing.

I won’t give you all too long a summary of my favorite show. Just—Shinji learns to climb into his plugsuit, into the EVA 01, and learns not to run away. He claims his reality, and learns he is no more and no less than himself.

I love that show. It helps me to deal with this beautiful, terrible, confusing world.

The only thing I can do is accept responsibility for what I do, and what I believe, like Shinji Ikari from Evangelion. It’s the only pure, good, right option. And a person cannot sit down and do nothing, and still live.

I did something.

You helped me to believe I could do something.


Congratulations. You are all beautiful people. And I thank you, for being here with me.

I guess this is it, for now.

Thank you.

Calliope Wong.


  1. crq92 reblogged this from calliowong and added:
    Calliope Wong is a transgender woman who wished to apply to Smith College, an exclusively women college. Because of her...
  2. superior-vena-cava reblogged this from kforshort
  3. kforshort reblogged this from stfutransmisogynisttransfolks
  4. sexnotgender reblogged this from redneedspurple and added:
    Thank you.
  5. neccesaree reblogged this from smith-q-and-a
  6. glitterandpebbles reblogged this from crackingthemoonwithaspoon
  7. smith-q-and-a reblogged this from brynkelly and added:
    Trans women should have to jump through hoops their cis sisters do not when applying to Smith. College admissions are a...
  8. garberdog reblogged this from stfutransmisogynisttransfolks and added:
    Yes this so hard!!!
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    It is appalling that this ridiculous response to Elizabeth Hungerford is made worse by having the tag ‘tw: cissexism tw...
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