FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
At the 2017 Midwest Bisexual Lesbian Gay Transgender Ally College Conference, the Midwest Institute for Sexuality and Gender Diversity presented a State of the Region panel. Members of our leadership talked extensively about the inherent need to broaden institutional protections and affirming policies for queer and trans+ college students. One policy of great import that we discussed was Title IX, which prohibits discrimination based on gender at all levels of education, including at colleges and universities.
The Institute is appalled by moves of the current presidential administration to roll back previously expressed guidance that insisted Title IX also extends protections to trans+ and gender nonconforming individuals (TGNC). We want to emphatically reaffirm that the interpretation of Title IX should absolutely include support and appropriate accommodations for the TGNC community.
We implore student leaders to contact their college and university decision makers and upper administrators to discuss how your institution plans to incorporate stronger policy and protections for TGNC people. These figures may include your school’s Title IX coordinator, university president, and/or Board of Regents.
The Institute is further invigorated to ensure that the lives of TGNC people are prioritized in higher education and that includes being a strong advocate for accurate interpretation of Title IX. We encourage students and practitioners alike to dedicate their self-work to understanding what Title IX means, how it impacts queer and trans+ people, and what’s next for taking meaningful action and furthering protections for our TGNC community beyond Title IX. Consider the following resources as a starting place:
- Lambda Legal Trans Students Rights Watch
- FAQ on the Withdrawal of Federal Guidance on Transgender Students
- Know Your IX: Empowering Students to Stop Sexual Violence
We want to reassert that we value and cherish TGNC students and higher education colleagues. This is a tumultuous time of uncertainty and confusion, anger and disappointment. We are unabashedly committed to pushing the needs of TGNC folk forward and offer ourselves as providers of support for action, conversation and healing. You belong here, you deserve a safe and equitable education, and we will continue fighting to prove that.
With pride and solidarity,