US: Study Confirms Importance of Safety and Support for Trans & Non-Binary College Students

A new study from Clark University and the University of Massachusetts Amherst of 500 transgender and non-binary undergraduate and graduate students, as well as recent alumni, reveals that their on-campus priorities include gender-neutral restrooms, non-discrimination policies that are inclusive of gender identity, and the ability to change one’s name on campus records without legal name change.

What is Needed, What is Valued; Trans Students’ Perspectives on Trans-Inclusive Policies and Practices in Higher Education, published in the Journal of Educational and Psychological Consultation, gave survey participants 17 topics from which to choose as priorities, and included open-ended questions as well.

While survey respondents cited gender-neutral bathrooms as the most important aspect to ensure a safe and welcoming  learning environment, many other LGBTQ-inclusive practices and policies raised by a majority of respondents can help provide a road map to making campuses welcoming to trans and non-binary students. They include:

  • Campus non-discrimination policy that includes gender identity and expression
  • Officially-recognized LGBTQ campus organizations
  • Gender-neutral housing options
  • Cultural competency training for staff and faculty
  • Use of correct pronouns and chosen names

This study’s findings parallel data gathered recently as part of the HRC Foundation and  University of Connecticut’s groundbreaking survey of 12,000 LGBTQ youth aged 13 – 17. Read more via HRC