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Transgender Information

What does transgender mean?

As the name implies, someone who is transgender is someone who transgresses gender boundaries.  Transgender behavior encompasses everything from a boy wearing fingernail polish to someone having surgery to change their sex. Transsexuals are people whose gender identity is opposite of their anatomical sex. Many (but not all) transsexual people take hormones and/or undergo sex reassignment surgery. Female to male (FTM) people were born physically female but see themselves as partially to fully masculine. Male to female (MTF) people were born physically male, but see themselves as partially to fully feminine.

FAQ’s & Answers Regarding Transgender Issues

What is the transgender community like at UCSD?

There are a number of folks who frequent the LGBT Resource Center who are not cisgender.  Identities and labels are fluid, and some have identified as gender queer, transgender, MTF trans (non op, pre-op and post-op), FTM trans (non op, pre-op and post-op). A number of staff across campus identify as post-operative transsexual. They are living full time as their appropriate gender, and they are still connected with our community. 

The staff and communities of folks who frequent the LGBT Resource Center provide a warm, welcoming family for everyone, including and especially our transgender family.

The transgender community at UC San Diego is small, and fluctuates from year to year, as people start and leave UCSD, through transferring, graduating, finding new jobs, etc. The transgender community at UC San Diego has been integrated into the significantly larger lesbian, gay and bisexual community at UCSD and specifically at the LGBT Resource Center. The center provides a home for everyone in our community, regardless of (and especially because of) their gender identity and/or sexual orientation.

Is there a non-discrimination policy regarding gender identity?

Yes. On December 18, 2003, the University of California nondiscrimination policies were revised to clarify that discrimination on the basis of gender identity is prohibited. The affected policies and statements:

  • University of California Nondiscrimination and Affirmative Action Policy Regarding Academic and Staff Employment
  • Nondiscrimination and Affirmative Action Policy Statement for University of California Publications Regarding Employment Practices
  • Nondiscrimination Policy Statement for University of California Publications Regarding Student-Related Matters
  • Personnel Policies for Staff Members 12, Nondiscrimination in Employment
  • Academic Personnel Policy 035, Affirmative Action and Nondiscrimination in Employment.
  • UC San Diego's Principles of Community

The changes incorporate the addition of "gender identity" as a protected status under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, which became effective January 1, 2004.

I have heard of a group called Trans. What is it?

Trans is a safe supportive environment to discuss gender, the gender/sex matrix, sexuality, female/male dichotomy, transgender identities, and anything else that comes to mind. All identities are welcome.
Trans has met in different forms and styles since 2001 at UCSD (Queering Gender, Transgender Intersex Alliance, etc.). The group is currently not meeting regularly, but if there is interest expressed by a core group of people, the group often reforms itself for periods of time. If you are interested in the group, check out or organizations page, or contact Maribel Gomez, Assistant Director of Education, at mpgomez@ucsd.edu

In what ways can I get involved?

All of our student organizations are open and inclusive of the transgender community. For a listing of those organizations and contact information, go to our organizations page. Our Women’s Group and Men’s Group are open to trans women and trans men, respectively. Of course, cis women who are gender queer/non gender conforming are welcome in Women’s Group, and cis men are who are gender queer/non gender conforming are welcome in Men’s Group.

In addition to the groups and organizations, the UCSD LGBT Speakers Bureau is a powerful way to educate the broader UCSD community regarding gender identity and sexual orientation. If you are interested in joining the UCSD LGBT Speaker’s Bureau, go to the Join the Speakers Bureau page.

Another way to get involved in raising awareness about the fact that trans- and gender variant- folk are at a higher risk of being murdered than other populations is to participate in Transgender Day of Remembrance. If you would like information on the lives of folks whose lives have been taken too soon, here are some documents you may find helpful that are supported by cited sources such as newspapers and activist websites.

TDOR disclaimer to the community

TDOR list 1990-1994

TDOR list 1995-1999

Do you have any counselors on campus that know about transgender issues?

The LGBT Resource Center has excellent relationships with the staff of Psychological and Counseling Services. Training with the staff has been regular and recurring.  Specific counselors on staff have lived experiences with the LGBT community that provides them with specific insight into our community. Certain individuals are excellent resources for our transgender student community, and contacting the LGBT Resource Center for connections will ensure the best quality service possible.

Counseling may be helpful for a range of issues affecting transgender students, such as adjustment to UCSD; identity expression and transformation; coping with stress, depression, or anxiety; relationship issues; and family concerns.

However, the services provided of Psychological and Counseling Services would not meet the requirements set about by the DSM IV to diagnose and treat Gender Identity Dysphoria, and therefore, students interested in hormone treatments and surgical transitions would need to seek counseling (not medical) services off campus. The staff of Psychological and Counseling Services can make excellent referrals to local physicians and counselors who are sensitive to transgender people.

Are there gender neutral restrooms on campus?

New gender inclusive signs on all single stall restrooms!


University of California, San Diego OFFICE OF THE VICE CHANCELLOR –



April 14, 2016

SUBJECT: New Gender Inclusive Bathroom Signage

Over the next 2-3 weeks, Facilities Management will be changing signs on all single-occupancy restrooms across campus, in accordance with the UC Office of the President’s Guidelines on Gender Inclusive Facilities.

These guidelines seek to create a safe, accessible, respectful and inclusive campus environment for transgender and gender variant people and provide direction on the implementation of gender inclusive facilities in UC-owned buildings. These guidelines affirm that individuals have the right to use facilities that correspond with their gender identity. Many people may experience difficulty, inconvenience, or harassment when using gender specific restrooms and facilities. Additionally, parents with children of a different gender, as well as caregivers to persons of a different gender, face difficulties in accompanying them. This change seeks to address these issues.

The new signs can be viewed at http://blink.ucsd.edu/facilities/services/general/personal/restrooms.html and updated ADA signs will be included where applicable.

For questions about this new protocol, refer to the UCOP Guidelines document. If you have any additional questions, please contact Anna Levitt at (858) 534-8336 or alevitt@ucsd.edu.

Becky Petitt, Vice Chancellor – Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

Gary C. Matthews, Vice Chancellor - Resource Management and Planning


In the Fall of 2003 the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation Issues partnered with the staff of Building Services to provide a list of all the single-stall, lockable restrooms on campus. Several accessible, single-occupancy restrooms are located throughout the UCSD campus. Specific locations of these men's, women's, unisex, and wheelchair-accessible restrooms are listed. The list is extensive, and is organized by College and major University area. The list can be reviewed at http://blink.ucsd.edu/go/restrooms

These facilities also help families with children--such as mothers bringing sons, or fathers bringing daughters, to a restroom--and people with disabilities who need the assistance of an attendant of a different gender.

Is on-campus housing transgender-friendly?

UC San Diego continues to evolve in its opportunities for students who live on campus regarding the LGBT community. Gender Inclusive Housing, the LGBT Interest Housing program, and UC San Diego’s commitment to house transgender students via discussions based on individual and specific needs all have developed out of the expressed needs of students. If there are other opportunities you would like to see, or improvement to the current programs, please contact both the LGBT Resource Center and the Residence Life Office of your college. Our shared goal is to provide many opportunities to meet the needs of all UC San Diego student living on campus.

Gender Inclusive Housing

  • Gender Inclusive Housing is available for continuing groups of undergraduate residents in all seven apartment living areas at UC San Diego. This option meets the needs of all of our continuing residents, inclusive of all genders, gender identities and expressions. It means that for continuing residents, women, men, and people of all gender identities and expressions can live together.
  • In January of each year, current residents should start thinking about who they might want to live with in the coming school year. Applications are typically available via the websites of each of the seven living areas listed below, beginning early February. Those who want to apply for Gender Inclusive Housing, should go to the website of living areas in which you have interest:
  • Gender Inclusive Housing is not a programmatic offering, but an option for living together inclusive of all genders, gender identities and expressions, and not gendered into male and female spaces. For the opportunity to live in a space that has programmatic elements regarding LGBT issues, see the information below regarding LGBT Interest Housing

LGBT Interest Housing

  • While it is the goal that every area on the UCSD campus is a safe and supportive home for all members of our community, UCSD recognizes the unique needs and challenges facing the LGBT community. In order to better support this community, each College/Residential area is making available housing options to create opportunities for support, identity exploration, and community building for the LGBT community and those interested in this community. Priority will go to students eligible for on‐campus housing at the time of room assignment. Students with a current on‐campus housing guarantee may indicate a preference to live in this community during the housing contract process. All other eligible students may e‐mail the Residence Life Liaison at reslifeliaison@ucsd.edu. For specific information about this program, please see your Residence Life website (see above) or contact your Resident Dean.

Housing for UC San Diego’s transgender students

  • Transgender students are valued members of the on-campus living community at UCSD. In order to provide support for the needs of incoming and current transgender students, all Residence Life offices at the six colleges and Housing & Dining Services strongly encourage potential and current residents to contact the Residence Life Liaison, at (858) 822-1782reslifeliaison@ucsd.edu.
  • On-campus housing at UCSD is gendered in all colleges, and Gender Inclusive Housing (see above) is only available for continuing (not first year) students.
  • New, first year incoming students are encouraged to contact the Residence Life Liaison before arriving to UCSD. In meeting the needs of the incoming student, UCSD will recognize and respect the gender identity the student has established with Housing. Staff will not ask for any more information than is required to meet the student’s housing needs, and all disclosed information will be kept strictly confidential.
  • The Residence Life Liaison will, through conversation and specific knowledge regarding the living environments of the colleges, and in coordination with the Resident Deans, provide students with the options available to them, given their college. There are significant responsibilities that all students have when applying for housing, including active engagement in finding roommates, selecting living environments, etc. However, at no time will Housing force a transgender student, who has followed Housing procedures and met the above responsibilities, to have to find a comfortable, welcoming housing assignment on their own.
  • All Residence Life professional staff, including the Resident Deans and Assistant Resident Deans, have received extensive training regarding transgender issues. Resident Advisors/Hall Advisors (RA/HA’s) also receive training from both the LGBT Resource Center and through their own Residence Life Office.

What if my roommate(s) freak out?

If students have a conflict with a roommate because of their gender identity or expression, students should see their Resident Dean or Assistant Resident Dean first. The Resident Deans and Assistant Resident Deans have taken part in training specifically on gender identity/expression issues. If talking with the Resident Dean or Assistant Resident Dean brings no resolution, a student can discuss the matter with the Dean of the College, the Campus Ombudsperson, or the Director of the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Resource Center.

Where can I find transgender-friendly roommates?

The LGBT Resource Center provides a bulletin board specifically designed to facilitate roommate matching amongst our community. There is no screening of the posts on the board, so anyone utilizing the information is encouraged to make safe, reasonable and cautious decisions in selecting and evaluating potential roommates.

Are athletic facilities transgender-friendly?

The LGBT Resource Center has been actively engaged with the staff at all athletic facilities to determine the best ways to meet the needs of transgender students given the gendered locker rooms at all of the on-campus facilities.  There has been little forward motion on this since 2006.

Currently, no specific training has been done with the front-line staff at any of the athletic facilities regarding transgender issues. None of the athletic facility locker rooms are designated as gender neutral. Transgender students have been confronted by patrons in the gender restrooms in the past.

How can I change my name on campus records?

The Registrar is currently aware of the desire and necessity of many in our community to utilize preferred names (and preferred genders) as a step towards improving safety and campus climate for our transgender community. However, the current data systems do not provide opportunities for using preferred names (or preferred genders). As UC San Diego upgrades and improves the systems, the Registrar's Office has plans to keep this issue at the forefront of changes, so new systems do not replicate the existing problems.

In the interim, transgender students may appeal directly to the Registrar regarding changing names. Because of the complexity involved, this requires a meeting with the Registrar or their designee ((858) 534-3150, registrar@ucsd.edu), as well as a supporting letter from the LGBT Resource Center.

After completing a legal name change, names can be changed on campus records by providing one of the following documents:

  • Court order
  • Naturalization certificate
  • Dissolution of marriage judgment with maiden name restored
  • Marriage certificate, license, certificate of confidential marriage, or certified abstract of marriage
  • Valid state-issued driver's license or ID card, Social Security card, or passport (all printed with new name)

Names can be changed on campus records by completing the Name Changes & Corrections form available from the Academic Records Staff in the Registrar's Office, http://students.ucsd.edu/academics/_organizations/registrar/name-change.html. The Registrar is located on the second floor of the Student Service Complex.

Having a name and gender change through the Registrar effectively changes the student's information when that information is accessed in the future (such as for course registration, the directory listing, and transcripts). No one outside of the Registrar's Office would know that any information in your record has been changed.

How can I change my gender on campus records?

There is no easy official way to change your gender on your campus records. However, changing your gender through the Social Security Administration and the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will make the process as simple as changing your name. See “How can I change my name on campus records” above.

Social Security

  • To change your name with the Social Security Administration, you will need your old Social Security card, proof of your old identity, your temporary or newly issued driver’s license, and proof of your new identity. Take these materials to a Social Security office, fill out an SS-5 form (available online at www.ssa.gov), and request that they change your name.
  • While Social Security officially requires that you have already completed, or at least started, surgery in order to get your gender marker changed, this policy is not universally enforced. Often, people who have not started surgery, but who have a letter from their health care provider stating that they are undergoing treatment get the marker changed.

Driver's License

  • The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has created a form (DL 328) for requesting a change to your name and/or gender. You can pick up a copy of the form at any DMV location - usually at the information desk. (Changing your name and/or gender on your Driver's License, does not create a legal name or gender change. It simply creates identification that matches your name usage and gender presentation.)
  • You do not need a court order to change your name. However, to change your gender marker, a licensed California physician will need to document the fact that you are transgender by signing the DL 328 form. Once you have completed the form, take it back to the DMV and pay the fee (currently $12). You will receive a temporary license with your new information.
  • Your permanent license will not be issued until the DMV runs a check against your Social Security records. Therefore, in order to get your permanent license, you'll need to also update your Social Security records (see above). If you have any on-going problems with this procedure, call the main DMV office in Sacramento (916-657-4484). An analyst can assist you in dealing with local officers who may be confused or uncooperative.
  • SSpecial note: If you are under 18 years of age, you will need a signature from a parent or guardian to request a name and/or gender change on your license. Use form DL 44 for this signature.

Is Student Health Services knowledgeable about transgender health issues?

Yes. There are specific physicians and nurse practitioners that have worked with our transgender community at UC San Diego. For specific referrals to UC San Diego health care provides available to UC San Diego graduate and undergraduate students, contact Dr. Shaun Travers, the Director of the UC San Diego LGBT Resource center, or one of the physicians at the Student Health Service, Dr. Regina Fleming.

Student Health Service, as an organization, understand that there are transgender people at UC San Diego, and has trained their entire staff regularly since 2007 regarding these issues. Your experience is important, and hopefully you will be treated with respect and informed care as you interact with Student Health Service. You should expect this from them, and if you do not receive this degree of service, please contact the Director of Student Health, Dr. Stacie San Miguel, directly so the issue can be addressed.

Does the Undergraduate Student Health Insurance Program (USHIP) or Graduate Student Health Insurance Program (GSHIP) cover services for transgender students?

USHIP and GSHIP cover hormones therapy and cover Sex Reassignment Surgery. However, the campus is still working our access to medical providers for these benefits. Details regarding accessing coverage regarding hormones, surgery and other health related issues are address below in the following FAQ’s.

What is the process for UC San Diego students to access medical and mental health services for issues regarding transgender identity, hormone therapy and surgery?

For students who identify as part of the transgender community, and have begun, or are beginning, their transition, there are a number of processes that can be followed. Major points of contact include UC San Diego’s LGBT Resource Center, Student Health Services, and Psychological & Counseling Services. All of these agencies should have an understanding of the health insurance policies that come into play, the competency to address the needs of transgender students, and the ability to communicate to each other regarding the services you may be seeking. These processes are set forth as a way of understanding the way you may access the health services you need.

LGBT Resource Center

Students who are transitioning/transitioned and are beginning to live/living full time in their appropriate gender expression may begin by accessing the LGBT Resource Center to connect with other community members, as well as gather information about the competency levels of other units within the institution regarding transgender issues.

Student Health Services

Counseling and Psychological Servies: Students who are struggling with their gender identity, or issues related to gender identity, may access Counseling and Psychological Services as a first point of contact. Students who have significant issues that can only be addressed with care beyond the length currently available through Psychological & Counseling Services may be referred to on off campus provider that is knowledgeable about transgender

The current insurance program is being updated. There are specific physicians and nurse practitioners that have worked with our transgender community at UC San Diego. For specific referrals to UC San Diego health care provides available to UC San Diego graduate and undergraduate students, contact Dr. Shaun Travers, the Director of the UC San Diego LGBT Resource center, or the Director of Student Health Service, Dr. Regina Fleming.

Can I receive counseling related to gender concerns at UCSD Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)?

  • UCSD CAPS (the student counseling center) can provide an initial evaluation and short term counseling for transgender, transsexual and gender-nonconforming students.
  • Please be aware that certain providers have more experience in transgender counseling, therefore please indicate that you are interested in obtaining transgender counseling when making your appointment.
  • To set up an appointment with a CAPS psychologist call 858-534-3755.

What about longer term counseling?
CAPS only provides short term counseling. If longer term counseling is a part of your care plan your CAPS psychologist will help you find a transgender knowledgeable counselor in the off campus professional community.

Does SHIP insurance cover counseling for transgender students?

Can my CAPS psychologist talk with my UCSD medical provider so I can get transgender medical care?

If you are undergoing or planning any feminizing/masculinizing medical interventions your CAPS psychologist can communicate with your medical provider to help provide you with the best care.

Is counseling required for me to received transgender medical services at UCSD Student Health Services?
Generally, a psychological evaluation is required for any person requesting feminizing/masculinizing medical interventions, such as hormonal treatment or surgery. A psychological evaluation generally consists of 1-4 sessions with a psychologist or other mental health provider who is knowledgeable in the area of transgender care. After your evaluation, your psychologist will talk with you and your UCSD physician to develop a plan for your care.

Ongoing counseling is highly recommended if you decide to begin a gender transition. Because finding a comfortable gender role is a psychological and social process, counseling can be a valuable tool.

Counseling can help you to

  • clarify and explore ideas around gender
  • address the stress related to possibly changing your gender
  • have a supportive place to discuss issues related to “coming out” as a transsexual, transgender, or gender-nonconforming individual. 

Are the police on campus transgender-friendly?

The University of California Police Department at San Diego is in the process of coordinating training with the LGBT Resource Center. The Chief of Police, Orville King, and members of his senior staff have been to the LGBT Resource Center and we have excellent relationships with them.

If there are any problems or concerns with the UCPD, please contact the LGBT Resource Center. The Community Service Officer’s (CSO) are a program of the UCPD. CSO’s are not trained in transgender issues at this time. The Residential Security Officers (RSOs) are also a program of the UCPD. RSO’s are not trained in transgender issues at this time.

Are their academic programs that focus on transgender issues?

Critical Gender Studies is an interdisciplinary program at UCSD offering students the opportunity to study gender, race, class, sexuality, and nationalism as intersecting categories of analysis and experience. The program’s curriculum is designed to move students beyond popularized accounts of gender to consider its complex constructions over time and in a variety of cultural, scholarly, and global arenas. Students can expect to encounter a rich spectrum of theoretical and methodological approaches in studying these complex constructions—approaches which all share, despite their differences, a critical orientation in their analyses of gender relations.

Are there resources for transgender students who want to study abroad?

Statement for Transgender Students, found at http://pao.ucsd.edu/getting-started/student-identity.html

From the Programs Abroad website: “Transgender students are valued members of the University of California, San Diego communities. While studying abroad at other campuses, the values and cultures regarding transgender students may not be the same as at UC San Diego. In order to provide support for the needs of incoming and current transgender students currently or planning to study abroad, we strongly encourage students to contact Jennifer Garza, the Faculty-Led Programs Abroad Coordinator, at (858) 534-1123. For more information regarding transgender living concerns and the transgender community studying abroad from UCSD, please go to http://lgbt.ucsd.edu.