Trans @ Gallaudet
Trans is an umbrella term that refers to all of the identities within the gender identity spectrum, including but not limited to non-cisgender gender identities, including transgender, transsexual, genderqueer, genderfluid, non-binary, two-spirit, and bigender, among other terms. In that light, we strive to include all trans identities in the following resources.
If you have a question that is not currently on the site, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for support and information.
Name Change Policy and Procedures at Gallaudet University
Name Change with Registrar
Students who identify as trans*, transgender or genderqueer may not want their legal names used because a person's name is often tied to their gender. Gallaudet University currently does not allow for an official name change in the university systems unless a student has legally changed names. To meet the needs of students, the Registrar's Office is able to assist students in having their preferred name used on a number of University technology systems. The intent is that the use of the student's preferred name will enable students to present themselves publicly as they wish.
Currently, the Office of the Registrar works with students on a case by case basis to effect name changes. Students must go through the Registrar's office in order to have their name changed on most of their Gallaudet Technology accounts (email address, computer logins, wireless network, etc., with the exception of Blackboard Technology - see below).
If students have already completed a legal name change:
Should students already have their legal name change completed, they should bring proof of the legal name change to theRegistrar's office. Students must bring SSN card or passport showing the new name. Upon presentation of proof of legal name change, the Registrar's office will change the student's entry in the Registrar's electronic system to reflect the new legal name change. The Registrarwill also submit a request to Gallaudet Technology Services (GTS) Helpdesk to have the student's email account officially changed to the student's legal name.
If students have not completed a legal name change, or do not wish to change their name legally, but would like to indicate a preferred name:
Students who have not completed a legal name change may request to have a "preferred name" used. This request may be made by filling out the Name Change Form, which is available at the Office of theRegistrar. To request a name change, students are not required to disclose transgender status; however, some credible verbal reassurance may be required in support of the preferred name change as Gallaudet Technology Services (GTS) policy stipulates that the name be "realistic and appropriate."
Once a Preferred Name Change is approved by the Registrar:
Once the "preferred name" change is approved by the Office of the Registrar, the student's name will appear as their preferred name on the Registrar's system as well as on class rosters, grade rosters, and BISON, as well as on lists shared with student organizations. The Registrar's Office is currently in talks with the Department of Public Safety regarding name changes on Student IDs.
Name Change on Blackboard:
Currently, students may change their account name themselves on Blackboard, the virtual learning environment/course management system used by Gallaudet. Students do not need to go through the Registrar's Office in order to change their names on Blackboard.
Name Change After Graduation:
Gallaudet alumni who have had their name legally changed may request a new diploma with their legal name on it. To request a new diploma reflecting a legal name change, students should inquire directly with the Registrar, Elice Patterson, by emailing email@example.com. Requests to change one's legal name on one's diploma are granted on a case by case basis since Gallaudet is a federally-chartered institution and one of a few universities in the country to have student diplomas signed by the President of the United States.
Students who would like to get additional information on name changes may ask directly toRegistrar Elice Patterson (firstname.lastname@example.org) via email or in person.
Coming Out to Professors
Students are not required to come out to their professors. If you identify as *trans or genderqueer and have not yet legally changed your name or indicated your preferred name to the Registrar's Office, you may find yourself needing to inform a professor about your preferred name. The LGBTQA Resource Center Coordinator can assist you in writing letters to professors as requested.
As of June 2014, the Gallaudet University student health insurance plan includes coverage for mental health care. However, there is currently no coverage for hormone therapy or sex reassignment surgeries. Students should consult with their doctors and insurance companies about receiving these benefits.
The Gay and Lesbian Medical Association and the World Professional Association for Transgender Health are two national health-related resources that trans* students may find helpful.
In the Washington, D.C. area, Whitman-Walker Health may offer helpful services and resources to students seeking healthcare providers who are informed as well as transgender-friendly. Whitman Walker Health's LGBT services page may be found here: http://www.wwc.org/page.aspx?pid=399
An additional local resource is Alternative Health Associates. Per student testimonial:
"There are two options for hair removal. Laser hair removal for those who have dark hair and dark skin tones and electrolysis for those with lighter skin tones. Please note that Electrolysis and Laser Hair Removal paired together will remove the hair much faster, than anyone utilizing just one method, for those who possess a lot of hair on the face and the body. Maureen is one of the most friendly people at that clinic that genuinely cares about helping her patients look her best. Tell her what areas you want to remove the hair and she will explain to you step-by-step what the process involves for those who are new to getting their hair removed. Please note that the results will vary per person on an individual basis."
The Office of Residential Life currently has no official policy in place pertaining to housing and accommodating students who identify as LGBTQ. Please refer to the Residence Life website for more information about current policies. You may directly contact the Director of Housing, Susan Hanrahan, for more information.
- Questions and answers adapted with thanks to Emory University's Office of LGBT Life -