In keeping with a university tradition that is committed to inclusiveness and social justice, on June 1, 2002, American University became one of the first dozen colleges in the United States to explicitly include "gender identity and expression" in our non-discrimination policies.
In order to assist trans members of the campus community with navigating the policies and practices of the university, we encourage you to speak with the Senior Director of the Center for Diversity & Inclusion, Tiffany Speaks. Tiffany is available to assist you with everything from changing your name on university records, to getting a new American University ID card, to finding local resources.
We have worked hard to make the campus more inclusive. If you have noticed something that could help to make campus more trans-inclusive, please feel free to contact us. This is an ongoing effort and we would appreciate your input.
The following guide will provide some information about current policies. If you have any questions or need additional information, please do not hesitate to contact the Center for Diversity and Inclusion.
American University provides equal opportunity for all qualified persons in its educational programs and activities. The university does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, family responsibilities, political affiliation, source of income, or Vietnam-era veteran status. It conforms with all applicable federal and state non-discrimination laws. This policy of non-discrimination applies to every aspect of the operations and activities of the university generally and includes admissions and employment.
Below is information related to specific areas on campus and contact information for each. If you have any questions, please contact the Center for Diversity and Inclusion.
If you are a student and plan to live in University housing, we recognize that you may have concerns about your placement. Housing and Dining Programs and the Center for Diversity and Inclusion are committed to finding appropriate housing for all students living on campus, and will address individual needs on a case-by-case basis. No student is expected to find a transgender-friendly campus living situation by themselves. If you identify as transgender and would like to talk about specific housing concerns, please contact one of the campus point people. While you are not required to seek special accommodations, we encourage you to do so, particularly if you think you may face hostility or harassment otherwise.
If you are seeking special accommodations for student housing, such as a single room or assistance in finding a transgender-friendly roommate, you must still abide by housing application deadlines as soon as you know that you want a special accommodation. Please note that for eligible students (seniors, juniors, and some sophomores), Nebraska Hall apartments allow you to apply with other students for a suite-style apartment that has no gender restrictions. The apartment includes a private bedroom and a shared living space and bathroom.
In order to change your name on your transcripts, diploma or employment records, you must legally change your name. After a legal name change, we will change your name on all official documents. If you are an alumnus, you can also request an updated diploma with your current legal name. For both, you will need to fill out the "Personal Data Change Form" located on the forms section of the Registrar's Website.
If you have not legally changed your name, the Center for Diversity and Inclusion can provide a letter to your professors requesting them to call you by your preferred name. You can request this letter by contacting the Director or the Coordinator of LGBTQ Outreach and Programming in the Center for Diversity and Inclusion. (This doesn't change your name on official records. Official name changes have to follow the above guidelines.)
To request a name change on material sent out by Alumni and Development, please make a personal request by phone (with sufficient confirmation we are speaking with the subject), online, by email, or in writing. (This includes requests to change gender-specific titles.) Alumni and Development will also change the gender field as requested with the same level of documentation and confirmation as a name change. They respect that any alumnus or donor has the right to be addressed and referred to according to personal preference, regardless of legal status. The prior name will be preserved for reference and look-up purposes. To make this change you may contact any of the Alumni and Development staff. The requested change can also be made online. You will need to show legal documentation of your name change in order to request the change.
Although your name will be changed on all documents, your prior name will continue to be listed as a previous identity in the university’s database in order to ensure that a search run on your former name will access the correct files.
Faculty and Staff:
- Go to the HR/Payroll Connection portion of your my.american.edu account.
- Go to "Info/Forms"----->"Employee Record Data"----->"Personal Data Change"
- To change name on records, you'll need to have documentation showing your legal name change To change how your name shows up on the website, there is an option to do this on the form. For information on changing federal documents, please visit NCTE (the National Center for Transgender Equality) website.
When you first set up your e-mail account with the university, you can submit the preferred name that you are currently using,regardless of whether or not you have legally changed your name. If you have already set up your e-mail account, then the Technology Help Desk or the Help Desk Manager can change the name that is used with the e-mail account. You can request this change by contacting the Help Desk directly at x2550 or the Help Desk Manager at x2280.
AU ID Card
We recognize that it is important for your university identification card to reflect your current appearance and name. In order to meet this need, we offer two AU ID Card options:
- If you have legally changed your name and have changed your name with the Registrar's office or Human Resources, you can obtain a new AU ID Card with your chosen name.
- If you have not yet legally changed your name, you may still obtain an AU ID Card with your chosen name. To do so please contact Tiffany Speaks or a member of CDI to support this adjustment before going to Housing and Dining Programs to receive your ID.
To receive the new AU ID Card, utilizing either option, please go to the Housing and Dining Programs office (located in Anderson Hall 1st floor) and request to have your card updated with your chosen name. You do not have to identify yourself as transgender. You should be able to obtain a new card with a new photograph. Please note, you need to bring in your old card in order to have this service free of charge.
The name that shows up in Blackboard is the name that you have on record with the Registrar's Office or Human Resources. If you would like your chosen name to appear, follow these steps:
- log in to blackboard.
- click your name on the top right part of the screen.
- click on "Settings" then "Personal Information"
- click on "Edit Personal Information" and change the appropriate box.
Your chosen name will appear once you log out.
Student Health Insurance
The Student Health Center is committed to working with transgender students to ensure appropriate and sensitive care. If you are receiving care through the Student Health Center, you can arrange to have your chosen name and pronouns listed on your files and in the Student Health Center computer system.
For information on the Student Health Insurance plan, please contact the Student Health Center. The Student Health Insurance Plan through the university includes surgical and non-surgical treatment for transgender individuals including office visits, lab test, pharmacy and hormone therapy, and some surgical options. For more information or questions, please contact Edythe Cook in the Student Health Center. Also visit the Student Health Center's LGBT Health Services page.
Faculty/Staff Health Insurance
For information on AU's Faculty/Staff Health Insurance Plan, please see the Faculty/Staff Benefits Manual on the myBenefits site, accessed through the myAU portal. The Faculty/Staff Health Insurance Plan through the university includes surgical and non-surgical treatment for transgender individuals including office visits, lab test, pharmacy and hormone therapy, and some surgical options. For more information or questions, please consult the Director of Employee Benefits and Communication in HR.
The university is committed to having safe and accessible campus restroom facilities. We recommend that individuals make choices about restroom usage based on their own level of comfort and their gender identity or expression. We know that many transgender individuals feel safer and more comfortable using single stall restrooms. American University has committed to including single stall restrooms in all future construction at the university. Currently, there are single stall restrooms in most campus buildings. All of these restrooms are gender neutral.
Have questions about your LGBTQ identity and want to talk with another student? Looking for more information about LGBTQ life at AU? Request to speak to one of our CDI LGBTQ Peer Educators!
Campus Support and Resources
The Center supports and advocates for LGBTQ students, students of color, women, and first-generation college students. We do this through programming, outreach, and community building.
AU Queers and Allies
AU's LGBTQ Student Organizatio houses the The Trans and Non-Binary Coalition.
DC MAGIC DC is a peer support group for Transsexual, Gender Queer and other Gender Identity Questioning people living in the greater Washington DC Metropolitan Area
DCATS is a peer-facilitated social and support group in the DC area for anyone on the transmasculine spectrum — persons born or assigned female at birth who feel that this is an inaccurate or incomplete description of who they are today.
TGEA is a non-profit corporation that seeks to serve the needs and interests of all the people in the gender community, those affected by the community and those who serve the community.
Whitman-Walker Health is a Washington DC community health center specializing in HIV/AIDS care and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender care. Contact is (202) 745-7000
The DC LGBT Center educates, empowers, celebrates and connects the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities.
Casa Ruby is a bilingual multicultural LGBTQ organization providing lifesaving services and programs to the most vulnerable in the LGBT community. Contact is (202) 355-5155.
This site is the internet contact point for the largest, longest-running volunteer-run educational organization serving FTM transgender people and transsexual men.
The National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) is a social justice organization dedicated to advancing the equality of transgender people through advocacy, collaboration and empowerment.
Pronouns are everywhere. We use them every day in speech and in writing to take the place of people’s names. We use them without even thinking about it. Pronouns may not seem like that big of a deal, but they become a bigger deal when you try to live without them. And for some people, pronouns are a big deal because other folks don’t always use the correct pronouns to describe them. The practice of asking individuals what pronouns they use for themselves should be done in an effort to respect the diversity of gender identities beyond man and woman. Our Pronoun Guide is a starting point for using pronouns respectfully.