LGBT Policy

Advocacy for Trans-Inclusive Policies at Universities

by Emilia Dunham

Reporting from the Philly Trans-Health Conference

lGender Neutral Housing program.

Policies at Universities which affect trans people

  • Nondiscrimination policies (only 293 colleges cover gender identity and expression in their policies) – What was the first school? The University of Iowa, the state we did Technical Assistance for last month!
  • Access to sex-segregated spaces (trans students are explicitly or informally rejected from accessing bathrooms and lockerrooms)
  • Names and gender markers with University records (most colleges don’t allow preferred/chosen names on rosters, student IDs)
  • Housing (many trans people are not allowed to room with people of their identified gender so a trans women couldn’t live with other women)
  • Access to health services – this is BIG because so many trans people must access health services more than their peers. Very few colleges offer any sort of services within the health center and have trans exclusions in their health plans, but some have full trans coverage (University of California schools, NYU, UPenn, American and a few others).
  • Inclusion of transgender studies, topics and text in academia
  • Access to Greek life and athletics

What you could do:

Northeastern University
  • Familiarize yourself with other policies at other schools
  • Be your own advocate (this is stressful, but sometimes you have to be the one to force change)
  • Most advocates for trans-inclusive are in school for years, so it’s important to “pass the torch” by leading underclass students
  • Identify staff to help out, especially LGBT or Gender centers, LGBT staff advisors or allies to support in these struggles for inclusion. Having more permanent staff, experienced with college bureaucracy.
  • Collaborate with other marginalized groups, with similar goals (communities of colors, people with disabilities, etc)

Great resource referenced: “Suggested steps ot make campuses more trans-inclusive” – book by J. Beemyn

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