Encouraging Your College to Be Trans-Inclusive

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trans-inclusive, transgender, tranzgender

UC Berkeley Tranzgender’s Most Trans-inclusive College in America

I’m lucky because my college is rather supportive for being located in America’s south. We have several LGBTQ+ groups where people can come for resources, education, and support. This includes students, faculty, and even those in the local area interesting in coming to our meetings and events. Currently, I’m the Director for our student body Alliance group, where our goals are to provide a safe space for those in the community while also spreading education, volunteering opportunities, and programs/events that are open to anyone and everyone. 

When it comes to things outside our LGBTQ+ Resource Center and safe heaven, most students start running into problems at college when it comes to both the school health center and housing administration. If your college is anything like ours, you have to stay in the dorms for at least your first year there. A lot of parents have come up to me concerned about how their child will do living with people who may not support them. For my college in particular, we just recently implemented an “other” option when finding roommates. Typically after you login and make your profile, the system will automatically try to match you with people who answered the questions similarly to you. What our college most recently implemented is the option to look through profiles who stated: “female”, “male”, or “other”. In my situation, I requested to be with three people I had already known from middle and high school. After getting everyone’s approval in writing, the housing administration allowed for us to be together even though our genders were…everywhere. We also were able to snag one of the few larger, apartment-style dorms, which gave us all private rooms within a dorm. That way I could get dressed and do any Testosterone injections or other trans stuff in my own private space.

When it comes to majority health clinics, they can become uncomfortable very fast. Not only do some of us have to worry about being misgendered, but also having to deal with our birth names being called out and on all our papers. One thing campuses can do to help is have everyone sign up and fill out their info, including what name and pronouns they’d like to go by, online in order to avert the problem before it even has a chance to happen. Our clinic also has people set up body positivity workshops around campus, and all the people leading these meetings are Safe Space trained by the LGBTQ Resource Center in order to ensure they ask for people’s pronouns during introductions and respect gender and different body types. Small details such as letting me enter the women’s clinic through a staff entrance (so that no one sees me go in) or going the extra step to ensure I pay the least amount of money for my Androgel (testosterone that is administered by gel) not only relieves a lifetime of stress off shoulders, but also makes me more willing to go in the first place. I’ll be honest, I haven’t been to a gynecologist until this year because it was just such an uncomfortable thought.

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