GWS News

Statement of Support for Transgender Students

2/24/2017  8:00 am

The Department of Gender and Women’s Studies reaffirms our support for transgender and gender-nonconforming youth in an increasingly hostile climate -- now implicitly encouraged, and deliberately ignored, by the federal government. Given the Trump administration’s withdrawal of federal Title IX guidance on transgender students on February 22, 2017, Gender and Women’s Studies urges the University of Illinois administration, as well as the Board of Trustees, to protect and treat transgender students according to their gender identities, including regarding names and pronouns, restrooms, health coverage, and dress codes, as well as safety from harassment and violence. With or without federal guidance, transgender students are still protected under Title IX, as well as the U.S. Constitution. However, because the Department of Education, Department of Justice, and Office of Civil Rights may, under the current administration, decline to investigate or pursue complaints of discrimination in schools and universities, it is up to us to protect the welfare of all students, including transgender and gender nonconforming students, who are rendered more vulnerable through harmful and hateful policies. Gender and Women’s Studies asks that the University of Illinois administration, as well as the Board of Trustees, confirm their obligations and strengthen policies to protect transgender students, and to honor those students’ gender identities, in their pursuit of an education.