Colleges and universities are beginning to consider th - PDF document

Colleges and universities are beginning to consider th
Colleges and universities are beginning to consider th

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This chapter address issues and provides suggestions for student affairs professionals EW IRECTIONS FOR TUDENT ERVICES no 111 Fall 2005 57513 Wiley Periodicals Inc 49 ransgender Issues on College Campuses Brett Beemyn Billy Curtis Masen Davis Nancy ID: 64969 Download Pdf


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Colleges and universities are beginning to consider theneeds of transgender students, but few understand how toThis chapter address issues and provides suggestions for IRECTIONSFOR, no. 111, Fall 2005© Wiley Periodicals, Inc. range of identities, appearances, and behaviors that blur or cross genderfessionals are committed to working with all students and helping foster theirencounter institutional discrimination in higher education, which makes it DENTITYANDto transition; that is, to live as a gender different from the one assigned tothem at birth. Transitioning is a complex, individual process that oftenby transgender students. Sky, for example, entered college as a effeminate gay man, but found it difřcult to řnd male partners as aMany transgender students experience isolation and rejection frommale, had been placed into foster care after being rejected by his familyis frustrated that professors keep calling him by his female name evenenvironments, including a lack of access to health care and difřculties withone know that she is a transsexual woman, she must negotiate with studentOther students live genderqueer lives by refusing to limit themselvesto any single gender. Ron, a nineteen-year-old African American male,other students. Chris, a graduate student, wants to be gender-free and SSUESONCollege events and activities play a signiřcant role in atheir experiences and allow for their full participation. Similar to otherinvisible or marginalized if little or no effort is made to acknowledge theirpresence, much less meet their needs. Yet most campuses offer few oppor-grams can increase campus awareness of the unique challenges faced bygender ally program or speakers bureau, create a transgender FAQ bulletinpus, schedule a separate awareness week for transgender issues, includetransgender-related information throughout the institution’s Web site, andbined with support for lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) students. But manyLGB student organizations and academic programs, even ones that includemate. In the absence of a transgender student organization, a campus LGBTCampus nondiscrimination policies include the DENTITYANDsexual identity (Beemyn, 2003). To protect the rights of transgender peo-or municipal laws or college policies ban discrimination against peopleten policy can guide institutional practice and provide a foundation forthe gender identity a student establishes with the university and strives toalso states that no student “whom they know to be transgendered [will]the University is notiřed in a timely manner (University of California,In order to identify and assist transgender students, some colleges andappropriate alternatives to binary boxes are simple řll-in-the-blankoptions, “Your gender is: ________,” or to indicate any special needs. Some campuses include “transgender” or“gender different” among these concerns (Transgender Law and Policy SSUESONRegardless of how transgender students notify the institution oftheir gender identities, residence-life staff should follow up with stu-should be kept conřdential, and only information required to establishthe need for a particular accommodation should be requested. Somesion. Colleges and universities should thus allow students to demon-nal men’s and women’s restrooms and shower rooms. By inventorying thekinds of facilities available and how students are housed in these facilities,rooms are co-ed or same-sex by suite, hallway, Ŗoor, or building. A trans-Residence-life staff should document the existence and location ofshower facilities for safety reasons. In residence halls that do not have atransgender students are forced to incur a greater řnancial burden in order of the residents of each building. Returning students who have alreadylargely upper-class-student residence hall might be a safer location foror just to upper-class students. In gender-neutral housing, room assign-ments are made without regard to the individuals’ biological gender, so res-about transgender people, these sessions should address how to make roomTo inform current and prospective students about how the campusties should include such information, along with the contact information ofactivities. Returning students might be reached through outreach to cam-accommodating the speciřc housing needs of transgender students and fos-Bathrooms and Locker Rooms.DENTITYAND SSUESONharassment and violence. Some of the most dangerous places on manyrisk being questioned or even arrested by the police when they useof their comfort and health (Coalition for Queer Action, 2001). It is easierfor transgender people to avoid using locker rooms, where having toundress and shower in front of others may “out” them as transgender. Butsigns and install door locks to convert a set of women’s and men’s bath-institutions should have facilities that are accessible to all members of thecampus community. Moreover, private changing rooms beneřt not onlying sons or fathers bringing daughters to a facility) and people with dis-2003; Carter, 2000). For example, a 2002 survey of University of Michigan found that more than half of the respondents reported challenges inthat campus health center staff failed to provide adequate services for trans-Culturally appropriate counseling can provide a safe,of the same developmental concerns as their peers, transgender studentsfemale identities, accessing health care services supportive of transgenderand harassment (Ettner and Brown, 1999; Gould, 2004; Israel and Tarver,should refer to the Standards of Care developed by the Harry BenjaminDENTITYAND accurate information about transgender people, severely limiting their abilitytheir transgender status were barriers to medical care. In one of the fewdent may differ signiřcantly from the person’s internal anatomy. Thus aa transsexual woman may need a prostate exam (Feldman and Bockting,2003). In addition to informed and sensitive primary health care, transgen-able hormones and gender-related surgeries. If campus health insuranceCalifornia, Berkeley, has developed a Transgender Student Health Web siteSSUESON of transgender students and developing policies and procedures to helpder students should develop a resource guide and referral system for off-campus, transgender-friendly counselors and health providers. In theTranssexual students who decideto transition from one gender to another typically seek to change their gen-der and often their names on ofřcial records and documents. Students whostate to state and institution to institution. At some colleges and universi-use a name different from their birth name and why their appearance doesColleges can address this issue by establishing a simple procedure fordirectories, and řles in admissions, řnancial aid, the registrar’s ofřce, andthe health center. For example, at Ohio State University, transgender stu-trar to change the name as well as the gender designation on their maincollege record. At the University of Maryland, transgender students canchange the name and gender listed on their records by obtaining a letter ofDENTITYAND identifying and living as a gender different from their birth gender withoutpursuing or completing gender reassignment, and even people who desireAstin, A.W. “Student Involvement: A Developmental Theory for Higher Education.”Journalof College Student Personnel,297–308.(1), 33–50.Carter, K.A. “Transgenderism and College Students: Issues of Gender Identity and ItsRole on Our Campuses.” In V.A. Wall and N.J. Evans (eds.), Curtis, B., and Tubbs, N.J. “Housing and Residential Life.” In L. Strimpel, K. Mayeda,Dean, L. “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Health: Findings and Concerns.”(3), 102–151.DeBerard, M.S., Spielmans, G., and Julka, D. “Predictors of Academic Achievement andFeldman, J., and Bockting, W. “Transgender Health.” 25–32. Ac-Gould, D. “Counseling Services: Counseling Issues with Transgender and GenderVariant Students.” In L. Strimpel, K. Mayeda, and R. Sanlo (eds.), of Care for Gender Identity Disorders, Sixth Version.” 2001., G., and Tarver, D.E., II. Transgender Care: Recommended Guidelines, PracticalSSUESON Lees, L.J. “Transgender Students on Our Campuses.” In R.L. Sanlo (ed.),WorkingwithLombardi, E., and Davis, S. “Transgender Health Issues.” In D.F. Morrow and L.Gender Identity Group Student Survey Results.Nakamura, K. “Transitioning on Campus: A Case Studies Approach.” In R.L. SanloWorkingwith Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender College Students: APusch, R. “Objects of Curiosity: Transgender College Students’ Perception of theRankin, S.R. Sausa, L.A. “Updating College and University Campus Policies: Meeting the Needs ofTrans Students, Staff, and Faculty.” In E.P. Cramer (ed.), University of California, Riverside. “UCR Housing Policies Related to GenderUniversity of Michigan Health System Comprehensive Gender Services Program. 2004.DENTITYAND

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