Lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) individuals are living more openly in today’s world.
More people are also openly expressing their preferred gender identity, regardless of the gender they were born with.
Keeping up with the world, West Virginia University and Potomac State College have made changes to accommodate LGBTQ students.
Sam Killermann, author of “Gender Revolutions,” explains that gender is the sex you identify yourself as, and sexuality is based on the sex of the person you chose to be intimate with or in a relationship with.
For LGBTQ students attending WVU and PSC, issues of gender identity are a growing concern.
The non-discrimination policy includes gender identity and great efforts have been made to identify and positively address concerns related to transgender issues.
WVU has added gender-neutral bathrooms in many areas on campus.
PSC has added a gender-free bathroom in the Student Union. These restrooms are for anyone regardless of their gender identity.
WVU has also updated its student insurance to cover transgender issues and a committee has been created to work on the gaps in health coverage.
Many transgender people also prefer to use a name other than their legal given name.
This is currently an issue since there is no way for a preferred name to be used on a student ID, a diploma or any transcripts.
Only a legal name may be used.
For those transgender students interested, the legal clinic in the law school at WVU will help them legally change their name free of charge.
Students can, however, use a preferred name in other WVU systems such as MIX and Star.
Several other services are being offered.
WVU has a transgender housing community called True Colors that is welcoming to all LGBTQ students.
Bill Letrent, dean of students, said that PSC is currently working on plans for transgender housing to be available this fall.
Most resident assistants have been trained in transgender issues.
Cris Mayo, director of the LGBTQ Center, said the center is offering training on transgender issues to interested students, faculty and staff.
The Speaker Bureau, which is run by gender and sexuality diverse students, offers in-class presentations on trans issues.
Trans Day of Remembrance is held on Nov. 20 to remember transgender and gender non-conforming individuals who have lost their lives due to violence.
Trans Day of Visibility (TDOV), celebrated on March 31, celebrates the accomplishments of trans people and gives empowerment to those fighting the battle of cissexism and transphobia.
They help bring attention to the trans issues on their campuses and educate others on current social issues pertaining to the LGBTQ community.
At PSC, the Gay Student Alliance is a student organization that any student may join.
WVU and PSC are actively trying to improve life for the LGBTQ community on campus.
For more information contact the WVU LGBTQ Center at 304-293-9593.