On the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance, Campus Pride calls on campuses not only to remember but to take action in support of transgender and gender non-comforming students, faculty, and staff across the country.
Over the past decade, the number of “out” transgender and gender non-conforming students on college campuses across the country has increased substantially. With this heightened visibility comes increased backlash that manifests itself in physical harassment and other forms of discrimination toward transgender and gender non-conforming people. As shown in Campus Pride’s 2010 State of Higher Education for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender People, transgender and gender non-conforming individuals are more likely to experience harassment on campus than are lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals, and transgender people of color experience even greater levels of harassment.
Campus administrators are responsible for the safety of all students on campus, including transgender students. There are a number of policies and practices that can make your campus more inclusive and welcoming for transgender and gender non-conforming students, including the following:
- Add “gender identity” and “gender expression” to your institution’s nondiscrimination statement.
- Allow people to identify their preferred name and gender identity on campus records and documents.
- Offer gender-neutral housing options in campus residence halls.
- Provide gender-neutral bathroom facilities on campus. Convert pre-existing single, lockable stalls to become gender neutral by replacing signage. Create an online list of gender-neutral bathrooms on campus.
- Educate employees–especially those in health services–on the experiences of transgender and gender non-conforming people.
- Expand healthcare coverage to include hormones and gender-affirming surgeries for transgender and gender non-conforming students and employees.
- Provide campus programming that highlights the experiences of transgender and gender non-conforming people.
You can learn more about how to make your campus more welcoming of transgender and gender non-conforming people in the “Trans Advocacy” section of Campus Pride’s website. Campus Pride and The Advocate‘s “Top 10 Trans-Friendly College and Universities” also provides examples of colleges and universities engaging in best practices today.