News

Reaffirming Our Commitment to Trans Students in Light of Federal Guideline Roll-Back

A Message from the LGBT Center Director

Dear LGBTQIA community,

I know many of us were disheartened, outraged and frustrated to see the news last night/this morning about the Trump Administration rolling back trans-related Title IX guidance that had been issued by the Obama Administration in 2015 and 2016 (more detail here).

But I wanted to get in touch with you all to let you know that NOTHING will change about the support Princeton University provides for transgender and non-binary students. In fact, this news makes many of us motivated to work harder for trans and non-binary students. Our non-discrimination policy includes gender identity and expression and will continue to. Our new gender-inclusive housing policy will remain and our ongoing work on increasing the number of gender-inclusive restrooms will continue. The recent student and employee health plan expansions to gender-affirming surgeries and procedures will remain. Our colleagues in Title IX, Institutional Equity and Diversity, Campus Life and the sibling Centers (Carl A. Fields, LGBT and Women*s) will continue to advocate for equitable trans-related policies and remain strong partners to the work of the LGBT Center. Our Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity is currently finalizing an FAQ to further clarify how the university will continue to support trans and non-binary students, and I will share it over the listserv and on our website very soon.

The news about this roll-back may be confusing, therefore I encourage you all to read more. One thing to underscore from the National Center for Transgender Equality’s FAQ on this news is:

“[I]t’s important to remember that—with or without the guidance—transgender students are protected under Title IX. The guidance itself didn’t change the law or create protections for transgender students that weren’t there before. It just clarified how the Department of Education would be enforcing existing laws.Even though the guidance has been withdrawn, that doesn’t change the fact that under Title IX, transgender students have a right to be treated according to their gender identity, including when it comes to restroom access. And in addition to protections under Title IX, transgender students are also protected by the U.S. Constitution and, in many states, by state laws and policies protecting them in schools.”

Lastly, we at the LGBT Center are here for all of our trans and non-binary undergraduates, graduate students and employees. Please write to me (jj20@princeton.edu) or Andy (acofino@princeton.edu) to set up a time to meet so we can hear how you’re doing and support you in any way we can. If you are a trans, non-binary or questioning grad or undergrad student, we also welcome you to join the Gender Group—email acofino@princeton.edu for more information and to join the informal affinity discussion group.

In solidarity,
Judy Jarvis