American Association for Justice provides a shocking percentage of 78% transgender people who faced at least one instance of discrimination at work. All other spheres of life, for instance, housing and public accommodations, undergo various forms of transgender people’s mistreatment as well. Unfortunately, the education field is not the exception, and students who have a different point of view on certain aspects of this world may experience difficulties while obtaining a decent education they deserve. All people have a right to get the education they want and here are the resources that are specifically intended to help transgender students.
Mind the Campus Pride Index
According to the U.S. Transgender Survey conducted in 2016, 16% of its respondents were forced to leave the college because of various forms of harassment. Thus, it is of paramount importance to choose a safe place to study. For this purpose, checking the Campus Pride Index is a great place to check whether the chosen campus is LGBTQ-friendly so that the prospective student will not put the desired academic life at risk. There are multiple criteria to check the level of inclusion including not only index rating in every region and state but also specific types of educational institutions.
Specific Rights of Transgender People
Students’ identity should not be the reason for discrimination and using a preferred name, gender, and restrooms that correspond to it are among the basic rights of transgender students in a college.
- Using a preferred name. The possibility to choose the name that the student is comfortable with instead of the legal name assigned at birth becomes the non-discriminatory policy in more and more colleges and universities. If the students cannot formally change the legal name yet due to some reasons, such as lack of time or money, they can still use the preferred one in many spheres of campus life, except official transcripts and documents.
- Using of chosen gender. Prospective students should check whether the chosen colleges offer traditional gender binary forms in their application forms or adhere to inclusion criteria and mention other variants of identity, including gender non-conforming. The presence of guides related to the use of preferred gender pronouns is also a very good sign.
- Use of campus housing/restrooms according to gender identity. Sex-specific bathrooms and restrooms become accompanied by the ones that can be used by people with any gender identity. Not only schools under Title IX funding are updating their campuses but many other institutions as well since restrooms need to be accessible and comfortable for all people beyond the gender binary. What is more, gender-neutral housing is the only option to avoid the risk of harassment or even sexual violence toward transgender students outside the classroom. Their lives should be protected by the school on all levels and the time after studies is also important.
Useful Resources for Transgender Students
Transgender students are more prone to experiencing negative reactions. In fact, the majority of them face various forms of discrimination, that is why knowing one’s rights and where the help can be found is extremely important. Everybody must remember that Title IX and Sex Discrimination law is the primary source to check and learn specific rights. Moreover, there are multiple other resources that will help one to enjoy a safe and non-discriminatory environment.
When facing cases of discrimination
This organization includes transgender youth and students’ safety among the priorities in work, which presupposes changes in policies and laws on both local and federal levels. Many educational institutions’ officials allow discrimination of transgender individuals in various representations which causes a lot of conflicts. This, in turn, affects students’ performance as they are forced to defend themselves instead of focusing on studies. Their Know Your Rights guide includes a section designed specifically for students.
Lambda Legal along with professionals in the educational field released the fact sheet of the most vital questions related to the life of transgender students in college campuses and answers to them. Successfully solved cases of discrimination when transgender people managed to defend themselves and avoid discriminatory attitudes should serve as the reminder that everything is possible and LGBTQ deserve that their identity choices being accepted by educational institutions’ authorities. This guide provides recommendations regarding necessary actions to make this happen.
Any cases of discrimination must be properly addressed and this comprehensive guide that includes a lot of steps and helpful materials will be a good companion in making one’s school much better place to study in by ensuring a transgender-inclusive environment. Rules and policies to back up the transgender students’ rights, as well as numerous associations of people who are ready to help, will make the difference.
This resource not only provides an array of topics, resources, and information created to develop inclusive environments but also conducts specific training for youth to change their mindsets for better and allow them to understand the world better. Gender-sensitive awareness is needed not only for youth but for parents as well.
Wide range of resources designed not only for transgender youth but also for parents, educators, and healthcare professionals so that harassment and oppression of transgender students that are caused by fear and ignorance could be eliminated by educating and informing activities. As a result, support services and alliances are being developed in many communities throughout the country.
Joining the organization that unites LGBTQ+ people and their families and friends across the U.S.A. in approximately 400 chapters will be a great idea to help other people become aware and informed. Cultivating diversity and respect for all people is the primary goal of this big organization and it already achieved huge success in adapting family values to the modern world and saved many LGBTQ families. It goes without question that a transgender student who has a loving and supporting family will be more successful and motivated to obtain a decent education.
Gender non-conforming and transgender people often need legal expertise to defend their rights and identity on various levels including educational one. Self-determination and desire to thrive are what every person deserves and the largest national organization that provides legal help to those in need since 2002 could become the start of a new life without oppression and discrimination.
LGBTQ youth who face crisis may contact this lifeline that works 24/7 through the online messaging service or call 866-488-7386. Trevor Support Center is the only nation’s crisis intervention center where trained counselors provide a safe and understanding place to talk. Many transgender people who felt suicidal received qualified help there and managed to find the way to live and thrive.
Call 877-330-6366 to contact the community of transgender people who developed this lifeline with the purpose of communication and support. Since this organization is led by transgender people as well and there are many participating volunteers, it is a very good place to find a piece of advice or just talk to people who will understand the issue as they may have faced it in the past themselves.
Being a transgender athlete
This site is the primary source of information for transgender students who want to participate in sports competitions. The reason is that policies vary greatly depending not only on state or organization but also on the level of play and type of sport. It is easier to check all existing policies in one place.
Member schools follow the set of specific rules regarding the inclusion of transgender athletes and their participation in more than 23 sports. These guidelines include not only the recommendations regarding participation, for instance, related to hormone treatment, but also the ones related to creating a safe and welcoming environment for these athletes, such as dress code or access to locker rooms and bathrooms. Some myths and misconceptions are explained as well, such as that transgender women may dominate women’s sports easily and other similar fears.
Prospective transgender students who have a strong desire to become a part of intercollegiate athletics should take into consideration not only the general Campus Pride Index but the Sports Index as well as indicates whether the chosen college has an LGBTQ-friendly environment, inclusive policies and practices in sports along with other study-related programs.
Make the difference
Being the transgender student does not mean that the only thing that you should do apart from studies is to defend yourself by all means including constant legal actions. Not at all, there are multiple benefits for transgender students that they can use to make the academic career more successful. Scholarships and grants available in all states are just a few of all possible opportunities.
Gender-affirming surgeries and hormone treatment are a significant part of medical expenses that some students may not be able to afford. However, here is the list of schools that will completely support their students and help them to obtain their true identity with the help of student health insurance.
Transgender students will eventually become young employees and discrimination issues based on gender identity may become relevant again. That is why students must not only develop a safe and inclusive environment in college by choosing LGBTQ-friendly institutions but also think about the future and review employment policies and possible inclusive benefits as well as develop an appropriate resume and interview strategy.
Transgender students still face discrimination and oppression in various spheres of life. Despite the fact that the educational sphere should have been the most progressive one, there is still room for development. Policies that ensure a safe and thriving environment for transgender students are being constantly developed and improved which means we will see the future where all people are respected and treated equally.