Transgender and Transsexual
Anti-trans Discrimination and Title IX
Trans people around the world are at particular risk for sexual and gender-based assault and harassment, and violence on and off campus. In addition to higher rates of victimization, some trans students may find that anti-trans bias negatively affects their path to recovery, and finding appropriate resources.
Title IX law has been clear for many years that all students are protected from sexual and gender-based violence. At the end of July 2013 the Education and Justice Departments entered into a settlement agreement with the Arcadia Unified School District making it clear that trans students cannot be discriminated against for being trans. As the agreement states, the school must “treat the [complainant] the same as other male students in all respects in the education programs and activities offered by the District.”
“Title IX is a very powerful tool. The fact that we are applying it to transgender students means that they are going to be in a position to assert their rights if and when they see that they are being discriminated on their college campuses. And that could manifest itself in a whole variety of ways.” –President Barack Obama
What Are My Rights at School?
Reference: National Center for Transgender Equality
The federal Title IX law, which bans sex discrimination in schools, has been interpreted by courts and the US Justice and Education Departments to prohibit discrimination against transgender and gender non-conforming students.
- You have the right to be treated according to the gender you identify with. Your school cannot require you to provide legal or medical evidence in order to have your gender respected.
- You have the right to be called by the name and pronouns consistent with your gender identity.
- You have the right not to be bullie d or harassed because you are transgender or gender non-conforming. If you are bullied or harassed contact your Title IX Coordinator, James Goins, Jr. at 304.293.5600 or James.Goins@mail.wvu.edu. You may also file a complaint online at titleix.wvu.edu
- You have the right to equal educational opportunities regardless of your gender, including your gender identity or expression, or your race, nationality, or disability. This includes not being punished or excluded from school activities or events because you are transgender or gender non-conforming.
- You have the right to dress and present yourself in a way that is consistent with your gender identity, so long as you follow rules for how to dress that apply to all students. This includes how you dress at school every day as well as for dances, graduation, and other school events.
- You have the right to use restrooms, locker rooms, and other facilities that are consistent with your gender identity, and can’t be forced to use separate facilities. There are several WVU Gender Inclusive Restrooms on campus.
- You have the right to privacy concerning your transgender status and gender transition. Any such information kept in school records must be kept private and not shared without your permission unless the school has a legitimate reason that it not based on gender bias.
- You have the right not to be harassed or discriminated against based gender stereotypes, including stereotypes about sexual orientation.
- You have the right to join or start a Gay-Straight Alliance or Pride Alliance, and to have your group treated like other student groups. WVU Spectrum is West Virginia University’s student-run organization dedicated to providing a social space for LGBTQ people and their allies in north central West Virginia.
Identity and Marginalization
There are significant gaps in the research surrounding the prevalence of violence perpetrated against students who identify as LGBTQ, people of color, disabled, and undocumented even though Title IX’s protections against discrimination apply to all students. We have provided data for non-student survivors in order to provide insights into the elevated violence these groups face.
Reference: White House Report
Gay and bisexual men are over ten times more likely to experience sexual assault than heterosexual men. (2005)
25% of transgender people have been assaulted after the age of 13. (2012)
If you feel you have been effected by sexual violence on or off our campus please contact your Title IX Coordinator, James Goins, Jr at 304.293.5600 or James.Goins@mail.wvu.edu or a confidential resource to discuss your options.
- U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights
- OCR “Dear Colleague” Letter on Transgender Students
- OCR Examples of Policies and Emerging Practices for Supporting Transgender Students
- OCR “Dear Colleague” Letter to Schools on Bullying
- NCTE/GLSEN Model School District Policy
- Schools in Transition: A Guide for Supporting Transgender Students in K-12 Schools
- Claim Your Rights resources from PFLAG and GLSEN
- Gender Spectrum
- Trans Youth Family Allies
- Links to Trans and LGBT Legal Organizations