Gender Inclusion Webinar
In 2020, a short webinar was created for use by the entire campus community by Dr. Van Bailey. Dr. Bailey is a student affairs educator, international speaker and diversity consultant. With more than 13 years of experience in higher education and nonprofits, Dr. Bailey presents on topics related to LGBTQ+ student leadership, pedagogical practice, and intersectionality. In 2014, he was included in the Trans 100 and in 2015, he was included in the 100 to Watch LGBTQ/SGL Emerging Leaders list. He is the founding Director of the LGBTQ Centers at Harvard College & The University of Miami.
Dr. Van Bailey’s Gender Inclusivity 101 Webinar
Tips for Gender Inclusive Customer Service
Keep the following in mind as you interact with members of the University community:
YOU CAN'T TELL IF SOMEONE IS TRANSGENDER OR GENDER NON-BINARY JUST BY LOOKING.
Many transgender people do not appear "visibly trans," meaning they are not perceived to be transgender. You should assume that there may be transgender or gender non-binary people at any gathering.
IF YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT PRONOUNS TO USE, LISTEN FIRST.
If you must ask which pronoun the person uses, start with your own. For example, "Hi, I'm Alex and I use the pronouns he and him. What about you?" Then use that person's pronoun and encourage others to do so. If you accidentally use the wrong pronoun, apologize quickly and sincerely, then move on. The bigger deal you make out of the situation, the more uncomfortable it is for everyone.
DON'T ASK TRANSGENDER OR GENDER NON-BINARY PEOPLE WHAT THEIR "REAL NAME" IS.
For some transgender people, being associated with their birth name is a tremendous source of anxiety. Respect the names people are currently using. If you happen to know the name someone was given at birth but no longer uses, don't use it.
RESPECT THE TERMINOLOGY A PERSON USES TO DESCRIBE THEIR IDENTITY.
Identify people by articles of clothing instead of using gendered language. For example, the "person in the blue shirt," instead of the "woman in the front of the line." Similarly, "Sir" and "Ma'am" are best avoided, as well as other terms such as “honey,” “darling” etc… Never refer to someone as "it".
AVOID BACKHANDED COMPLIMENTS AND TIPS.
While you may intend to be supportive, comments like the following can be hurtful or even insulting: "I would have never known you were transgender. You look so pretty." or "You look just like a real woman." or "You're so brave."
DON’T BE AFRAID TO SAY “I DON’T KNOW”.
Don't be afraid to admit when you don't know something. It is better to admit you don't know something than to make assumptions or say something that may be incorrect or hurtful. Seek out the appropriate resources that will help you learn more.
BODY LANGUAGE MATTERS.
“Check” your body language and facial expressions to avoid sending messages of discomfort, disapproval, or surprise toward individuals’ behaviors, identities, and/or expressions. Be kind and respectful, just as you would with any other clients.
Information above is compiled from GLAAD. Check out the website for more practical tips: https://www.glaad.org/transgender/allies
View and download Tips for Gender Inclusive Customer Service (PDF)
LGBT Center Map of Gender Inclusive Campus Restroom Facilities
The LGBT Center offers a range of supports for all members of the campus community.