Transgender Resources for UC Berkeley Students, Faculty and Staff
Welcome to the portal for prospective students, current students and employees to gather information about transgender-specific resources on-campus and information to support transgender students and staff as they navigate general campus facilities, resources and systems.
The information on this page was created by the departments who oversee each area in December-January 2013 and this page will be updated as information changes. This information was gathered for the TONI Project, so you will also find this information listed there. If there is no contact information for an area about which you have a question, contact Billy Curtis, Director of the Gender Equity Resource Center. For additional information see: http://geneq.berkeley.edu/lgbt_resources_transgender.
Administrative and Legal Protections
University of California Non-Discrimination Policy: “The University of California, in accordance with applicable Federal and State law and University policy, does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, pregnancy,1 physical or mental disability, medical condition (cancer related or genetic characteristics), ancestry, marital status, age, sexual orientation, citizenship, or service in the uniformed services.2 The University also prohibits sexual harassment. This nondiscrimination policy covers admission, access, and treatment in University programs and activities. Inquiries regarding the University's student-related nondiscrimination policies may be as follows: Sex discrimination and sexual harassment: Title IX Officer Denise Oldham, email@example.com or (510) 643-7985; disability discrimination and access: Assistant Provost Sarah Hawthorne, (510) 642-2795 or firstname.lastname@example.org; all other concerns about discrimination or harassment should be directed to the Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination, (510) 643-7985 or email@example.com.
1Pregnancy includes pregnancy, childbirth, and medical conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth.
2Service in the uniformed services includes membership, application for membership, performance of service, application for service, or obligation for service in the uniformed services.”
You can find other policies regarding nondiscrimination below:
Campus Climate Index from Campus Pride:
Overall Campus Climate Score: 4.5 of 5 Stars
Campus Pride’s star ranking system is based on a five star continuum of progress for LGBT-Friendly policies, programs, and practices. Three stars represent the mid-range score possible. The overall campus climate score is broken down for comparison purposes on Campus Pride’s website (http://www.campusprideindex.org/). You will find specified ratings for areas like “Housing and Residence Life,” “ Student Life” and “LGBT Campus Safety,” as well as information about the criteria used to reach star ranking.
Students of all genders are welcomed at UC Berkeley, and housing is committed to fostering a safe, equitable and inclusive experience for all. Gender-inclusive environments are available in University Housing. The housing application provides students with an opportunity to self-identify or provide any individual information to assist housing staff in making an appropriate housing offer. A dedicated housing coordinator works with students on individual requests and all information is kept confidential. Advance information is appreciated and allows for a better opportunity to serve individual needs. The goal is to provide all students with a smooth transition to campus and housing accommodations most conducive to academic success.
Gender-Neutral Housing Options:
Individual housing accommodations can be requested for non-medical reasons (such as sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, etc.). Gender-inclusive housing is an option for students residing in University housing at UC Berkeley. The primary purpose for gender-inclusive housing is to provide support to students who need or request accommodations due to gender identity/expression. Interested students may contact Cal Housing Assignments staff for more information by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling (510) 642-4108. We will not ask for more information than is required to meet students' housing needs and all information is kept confidential.
Another option is the Unity House Theme Program. Theme programs are special residential communities co-sponsored by an academic department and the Office of Student Development. The theme program experience allows students to enjoy the opportunities of a large university while benefiting from being part of a smaller and closer-knit residential community of students who share a common academic interest.
Theme program residents must enroll in a weekly for-credit seminar and participate in community service and leadership activities. Residents are also offered a variety of other opportunities that integrate living and learning in the residential environment, including field trips, retreats, workshops, faculty dinners, study groups and daily living with roommates and neighbors who share the same interest.
Special Interest Housing:
The Unity House Theme Program is unique to Berkeley and is a pioneer in its focus on gender AND sexuality, support of mixed gender room assignments, and academic connections to the Gender and Women’s Studies Department and LGBT studies minor.
The Unity House Theme Program offers a mixed gender roommate option, making UC Berkeley one of the few colleges in the country to do so. This housing option has been referred to as a “gender neutral” roommate option at other colleges. Traditional roommate assignments are based on the gender binary forcing students to select “male” or “female” which actually define one’s biological sex and not one’s gender; as a result, students have had to accept housing based on official record of their documented sex and have not been able to select housing based on their gender identity. In line with the mission of the Unity House Theme Program, the theme program offers students a roommate combination that is a comfortable and safe match and that allows students to indicate the best roommate option without having to apply for “special” housing circumstances or for a single room.
Unity House has a live-in Theme Program Assistant who provides resources and support for residents in the community. Unity House’s academic seminar offers both a theoretical study of gender and sexuality and an outlet to share individual experiences. Students in the theme program participate in socials, community outreach and activities, event planning, and have meaningful interactions with faculty and staff. Unity students grow as leaders, have fun, and make friendships that can last a lifetime.
There is a list of single-stall restrooms posted on the website for the Gender Equity Resource Center, at http://geneq.berkeley.edu/restrooms. At this time there are no private showers at the Recreational Sports Facility, the campus fitness center, though students may request access to a private changing area.
The Transgender Student-Athlete Participation at UC Berkeley policy institutes a process for approval of Transgender Student-Athletes participation in UC Berkeley's intercollegiate athletic teams, mandates education about Transgender Student-Athletes, and institutes measures inclusive of the needs of Transgender Student-Athletes. The policy is based heavily on “On the Team: Equal Opportunity for Transgender Student Athletes” released by the National Center for Lesbian Rights, the Women‘s Sports Foundation, and the It Takes a Team Education Campaign for LGBT Issues in Sports in October 2010. For questions contact Ryan Cobb and Foti Mellis at email@example.com.
Sport Club participants may be permitted to participate in the Sport Club program in accordance with the individual’s consistently asserted gender identity. Participation in competitive (league/tournament) activities will be resolved on a case-by-case basis based on the applicable National Governing Body.
Courses and Programs of Study:
UC Berkeley offers a LGBT Minor that is administered by the Gender and Women’s Studies Department. The LGBT minor includes 4 required courses and 2 electives. Issues related to transgender populations and transgender theory are integral to all of the required courses but the extent to which these issues appear differs from instructor to instructor. However, as part of the syllabus review process, the GWS Vice Chair of Pedagogy reviews and approves all the course syllabi in an attempt to ensure that material on transgender theory and/or populations, and other relevant material, is adequately addressed in all of the required classes for the LGBT Minor. Many of these courses have more generic titles, for example Cultural Representations of Sexualities: Queer Literary Culture, or Alternative Sexual Identities and Communities in Contemporary American Society but individual instructors can and often do, select a specific focus, and in the past that has at times included a specifically Transgender focus. For example the Queer Literary Culture class has been taught on several occasions with a focus on Butch/Femme/Trans Narratives. On occasion, mostly dependent on Instructor availability and funding, the GWS department has offered specific courses more specifically aligned with Transgender Studies, but these course offerings are not always available. One summer for example we offered Beyond Male and Female: Intersex, Transgender and Transsexual Bodies and Identities.
Other courses not specific to the LGBT Minor, but offered through the GWS department very often include significant curricular material on transgender theory and/or transgender populations. More general critiques of the gender binary, which often include significant discussion of transgender issues, are integrated into several required GWS classes and are considered core learning objectives for the department as a whole.
Fraternities and Sororities:
All fraternities and sororities, in order to be recognized by UC Berkeley, must: Recruit, select, and accept new members and protect all current members in accordance with all aspects of the following Nondiscrimination notice: The University of California, in accordance with applicable federal and state law and University policy, prohibits discrimination, including harassment, on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, physical and mental disability, medical condition (cancer-related or genetic characteristics), ancestry, marital status, age, sexual orientation, citizenship, or status as a covered veteran (special disabled veteran, Vietnam-era veteran, or any other veteran who served on active duty during a war or in a campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge has been authorized). This nondiscrimination policy covers admission, access, and treatment in University programs and activities.
Each fraternity and sorority chapter has membership qualifications that are set by their inter/national headquarters. Those qualifications define who is eligible to join the local chapter and they may define members as having to be a male or a female.
Sigma Epsilon Omega – a gay fraternity, open to any individual that identifies as male, provides male students a unique opportunity to be included in a safe space focused around respect and acceptance
Gamma Rho Lambda – an all-inclusive woman's social sorority exemplifying the qualities of tolerance, diversity, unity. It has been referred to as the first national lesbian sorority, however they strive to be inclusive of all members, whether they identify as lesbian, bisexual, ally, transgender, questioning, straight, or with no label.
Safety and Security:
Campus police have been trained on transgender issues and work closely with the Gender Equity Resource Center, where the LGBT Programs and Services office is housed on-campus. To report a hate crime or bias-related incident at UC Berkeley visit http://stophate.berkeley.edu, an portal to UC Berkeley and UC Systemwide information and reporting forms. When you submit information to the reporting form you have the option of having a staff person follow-up with you, and you also have the option to report anonymously. There have been hate crimes and bias-related incidents targeting LGBT people on-campus in the past year.
Campus Health Services:
UC Berkeley's University Health Services provides multiple services for transgender and gender non-conforming students, including:
1. A web guide to services and trans-knowledgeable providers
2. A trans health care team that meets monthly to share best practices
3. A student health insurance plan (SHIP) that covers hormone treatment and gender confirmation surgery
4. A monthly Transgender Health Clinic staffed by a leading expert in the field of transgender health, Dr. Maddie Deutch
5. UHS is switching to electronic health records (EHR) and has advocated for the new records to meet the EHR standards recommended by UCSF's Center of Excellence for Transgender Health.
Local Health Care Providers:
UC Berkeley is fortunate to be so close to San Francisco, which as a city is a world leader in transgender health. San Francisco transgender-specific resources include Dimensions Clinic (for youth), UCSF's Center of Excellence for Transgender Health, The Transgender Law Center, Lyon-Martin Clinic's Transgender Health Services, multiple transgender support groups, and many other fantastic local resources.
As noted above, SHIP covers transition-related care. Hormones are covered as part of routine medical care (regular prescription benefit charge) and gender confirmation surgery is covered up to $75,000. Faculty/staff are not covered by SHIP, which is a student-only health insurance plan. Faculty/staff have multiple other plans to choose from.
In order to change a name, the student files the Change of Name petition to CalStudent Central in 120 Sproul Hall along with documentation of the new name, i.e., a driver's license, court order etc. Currently, the transcript does note an "m" or "f." To change the gender on the record, the student would contact Dorothy JonesDorothyj@berkeley.edu or 643-5242 in the Office of the Registrar.
Course Management System:
bSpace, the campus course management system, is supported by the central campus student system. Accordingly, the name of the academic record is the name provided to the course management system.
Student ID Card:
The student ID system depends on the central campus student system for information about student names. Accordingly, students need to use the procedure described above.
At this time, UC Berkeley employees cannot have a preferred name listed on their campus ID card (Cal1 Card) or on their employee records. However, employees can change their profile on the campus-wide (CalNet) directory, which is pre-populated by the information on-file, to display their preferred name. The campus is expected to be able to include a preferred name field on employee records when its new personnel management system goes into effect in 2014.
There are over two-dozen LGBTQ-focused organizations at UC Berkeley, with new organizations being created regularly. Since the list of undergraduate and graduate organizations changes year-to-year, please see the Queer Berkeley website (http://queer.berkeley.edu) or contact the Gender Equity Resource Center (http://geneq.berkeley.edu) for the most up-to-date list!
The two organizations that are transgender-specific are:
- T-Cal: A Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Space
- Non-Binary Alliance
- Queer and/or Trans People of Color Collective (being launched Fall 2015!)
- Transgender Employees Network (TEN)
At GenEq, students are able to meet with staff members to gather information about transgender-related resources available on-campus, ways to connect with community, and to talk about challenges they are experiencing on-campus.
Staff at the Gender Equity Resource Center can support students to connect with advisors in the appropriate college for advising.
Trainings, Workshops and Events:
GenEq provides transgender education workshops several times a year, and can come to your group to do a special workshop tailored to your groups needs. GenEq also creates events for the transgender community to grow and connect, and events for the larger campus community to learn about issues affecting transgender communities. Join the GenEq Newsletter list to receive updates about upcoming opportunities!
UC Berkeley Career Center:
The UC Berkeley Career Center provides a wide array of comprehensive career counseling and job/internship search resources and services to all students, including one-on-one counseling, workshops, and online tools.
Specifically for transgender and LGBTQ students, the Career Center offers an online collection of web resources including helpful articles and links to guide career planning and job search processes for this population, as well as referrals to student groups and professional organizations for further support and networking.
Also, our staff of fourteen professionally trained, master level career counselors strive to a provide a space for inclusive, confidential, non-judgmental counseling services that are tailored to each individual's needs and unique circumstances.
Lastly, the Career Center is in the process of pursuing certification from the Out for Work Career Center Certification Program for the first time in Spring 2013, and looks forward to expanding resources and services for LGBTQ and transgender students on the Berkeley campus in the near future.
Career Counseling Library:
Additionally, the Manager of the Career Counseling Library offers research support for finding companies that offered inclusive benefits for transgender career seekers and helped arrange informational interviews with allies at certain companies. If appropriate, this manager also worked in collaboration with our transgender students’ CPS clinicians to offer holistic support.
During Transgender Awareness Week 2013 (November 18-22, 2013) we passed out these buttons with the below information. For more information see: http://geneq.berkeley.edu/lgbt_resources_transgender!
1. If someone asks you what the button is for, you should feel comfortable describing the transgender umbrella; explain the difference between gender, sex and sexual orientation; know the names of at least four transgender scholars, celebrities, politicians, etc. #activeally
2. Don't make assumptions about anyone's gender identity or gender pronouns - you don't know who may be transgender.
3. Gender identity isn't the same as the sex you were assigned at birth. Gender expressions isn't the same as sexual orientation.
4. "Transgender and gender non-conforming people face rampant discrimination in every area of life: education, employment, family life, public accomodations, housing, health, police and jails, and ID documents." (Check out http://www.thetaskforce.org/reports_and_research/ntds for the full report!)
5. This button was made to raise awareness about transgender issues and resources on campus, and recognize the Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR), which is held annually on November 20th to commemorate the lives lost due to anti-transgender violence.