This is a guide to transitioning at Harvey Mudd College. Below are some resources on coming out as trans*, changing your name at the College, meeting your housing needs at Harvey Mudd, and medical resources in the greater Los Angeles and Inland Empire areas.
Not all of this information will apply to everyone. Being trans* means different things to different people and there’s no “right” way to be trans*. The transitioning process is up to you. The purpose of this guide is to provide contacts at Harvey Mudd that can better support your different needs as you transition.
If you are an incoming first-year student, we encourage you to contact Adriana di Bartolo at the Queer Resource Center before you get to campus. Adriana will be able to answer any questions you may have, as well as connect you with current trans* and genderqueer students to answer any questions about life at Harvey Mudd and The Claremont Colleges.
Coming Out to Faculty and Staff
Sending your professor an email can be a good way to let them know that you prefer to be called a different name and use different pronouns. Ohio University’s LGBT Center suggests including the follow points in an email:
- Statement of the name/gender they have on class roster.
- State preferred name and gender (“I prefer to be referred to by ____ pronouns”).
- Brief explanation (“I identify as transgender, which means _____ to me.”).
- “I prefer for no one to know about my transgender status” vs. “I would be willing to talk about being transgender as it related to class discussion” (depending on class and personal preference).
- Thank them for being understanding.
- Say they can email you if they have questions.
- Provide your contact information.
- Provide them with relevant websites for more information.
They also provide this sample email:
I am a student in your (insert class name here). I am getting in contact with you to let you know that I identify as (insert identity here). My name will probably show up on your roster as (insert legal name here), but I would prefer to go by (insert chosen name here) and (masculine/feminine/neutral) pronouns. I will be putting (insert chosen name here) on my assignments and would appreciate it if you called me that in class. If you have any questions for me regarding this, please don’t hesitate to contact me. My email address is (insert email address here) and my phone number is (insert phone number here).
Thank you very much for your understanding,
(sign with chosen name)
If you don’t feel comfortable communicating directly with your professors, you can contact Adriana di Bartolo or the Dean of Students office, which can send an email to the professor letting them know about your preferred name and pronoun.
Name Change at Harvey Mudd College
While your legal name cannot be changed except by court order, it is possible to have your preferred name appear on class rosters, on Sakai, and in your email username.
To request a preferred name, visit the Harvey Mudd College registrar’s office. The registrar’s office will add your preferred name to the Harvey Mudd student information system and communicate your request to computing and information services and other administrative offices.
Updates typically take about two weeks to process. Please be mindful that your name appears in many places, and your legal name is the default for official College records, including your transcript. If you have questions or problems in requesting a preferred name please stop by the registrar’s office or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to make an appointment.
Harvey Mudd College has gender-neutral housing available. There are single rooms available for first-year students. Please contact Michael Edwards (email@example.com), assistant dean for residential life, to find an option that works for you. You may want to consider your roommate situation, whether you would prefer a single, and ultimately, what will make you most comfortable.
Finding a Therapist and Gender-Confirming Benefits
As of the fall of 2013 The Claremont College Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) will cover gender reassignment benefits of $100,000 per policy year.
For questions regarding coverage please contact Ascension at 1.800.537.1777 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. To find a therapist to begin your transition process, the University California Riverside (UCR) has developed a handy Community Resources Guide to finding trans* friendly doctors and therapists in the Riverside and San Bernardino area. You may also contact Adriana di Bartolo at the QRC for a list of local therapists. A therapist can often be your coach, helping you through the process and providing support along the way. You may also want to contact The Center for Transyouth Health and Development for support and resources.
Some trans* people decide to take hormones as part of their transition. It’s very important that you get your hormones from a health professional and that you are being monitored to make sure that the hormones are safe for you. Your health professional and therapist can talk with you about the risks associated with hormones, what changes to expect, and provide emotional support. Most therapists use the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) Standards.