Frequently Asked Questions:
Gender Identity, Pronouns and LGBTQ+ Identity: Student Social Identifiers within UMBC Campus Systems
Beginning in August 2020, students can log onto myUMBC and, in one place, update their chosen name, pronouns, gender identity, and LGBTQ+ identity. This allows students to update their information whenever they choose without needing to present legal documentation to the University. UMBC is committed to continuing to improve and simplify pathways for alerting the University of chosen names and pronouns, which reflects the commitment to inclusive and affirming language. While we recognize that achieving inclusion is an ongoing process, we will continue to strive to make our campus a safe and welcoming environment for everyone. This process is optional and voluntary.
Why was this practice adopted?
UMBC’s goal of inclusive excellence guides our efforts to create a supportive and inclusive environment for transgender, non-binary, gender non-conforming, and LGBTQ+ community members.
The recommendation to provide students with the ability to indicate gender identity, pronouns and LGBQ+ identity was developed in partnership with many campus offices and in response to requests from students, staff, faculty and community advocates. These efforts are intended to complement UMBC’s existing practice to provide one’s chosen name and use best practices as defined by the American Association of College Registrars and Admissions Officers.
These FAQ’s are designed to guide student community members as they consider whether to inform the university community of their pronouns or their status as a member of LGBTQ+ communities.
How can I indicate my gender identity and pronouns with the university?
Students may indicate gender identity and pronouns via their myUMBC profile. Additionally, students may choose to identify themselves as a member of the LGBTQ+ community. Students may choose to specify some, all, or none of this information. Students are not required to provide documentation to indicate their chosen names, gender identities or pronouns. Students may update/change their record at any time.
Note: While students will be able to provide information about their gender identity and pronouns starting in August 2020, this information will not be made available to all faculty and staff until Spring 2021. As we transition to this new opportunity to share chosen pronouns, UMBC and the Office of Equity and Inclusion will be spending Fall semester training faculty and staff on gender identity, pronoun usage, LGBTQ+ allyship and more.
I have legally changed or am in the process of legally changing my name and/or sex assigned at birth. Can I update this information on my UMBC record?
Students with documentation of an official name and/or gender marker (sex assigned at birth) change can submit an update request to the Registrar’s Office. Please note that student employees should also contact Human Resources (HR). To update your official legal name and gender marker, please bring a copy of the relevant court or government document or driver’s license reflecting your updated legal name and/or gender marker to the Registrar’s office. To learn more about state requirements for updating gender information on birth certificates and driver’s licenses please refer to this helpful resource.
How will my gender identity, chosen pronoun or LGBTQ+ identity information be used at UMBC?
In accordance with the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and UMBC’s Privacy and the Release of Education Records, gender identity and LGBTQ+ identity information will only be made available to key administrative departments for the purposes of providing programmatic outreach and support. Gender identity, pronoun and LGBTQ+ Identity information may be used in aggregate reporting where identifying information such as name and date of birth are removed from the data.
Will my gender identity, chosen pronoun or LGBTQ+ identity information be displayed in my profile or other areas in our campus systems?
In order to further our goals of creating an inclusive environment and to better align with best practices, your name and pronoun information will be displayed in the following places:
- myUMBC Profile
- Advising Profiles
- Class rosters
- Residential Life/Housing Applications
- Campus Card System (not on the card itself)
Because of some technological limitations, this information cannot be made available to all university offices. There may be situations where an office or department does not receive this information, and may require you to share this same information with them in a separate procedure. In those situations, the offices will be encouraged to make sure to document why it is necessary that they use a separate procedure, and how that procedure works.
The Women’s Center has created a crowd-sourced document to help identify areas in which University systems do not connect and will require additional steps from the individual regarding their chosen name.
Will my parents/legal guardians have access to gender identity, pronoun or LGBTQ+ identity information?
Parents/legal guardians will not have access to gender identity, pronoun or LGBTQ+ identity information. Please note however, if you grant someone (like a parent or legal guardian) access to your myUMBC Profile via the myUMBC Profile Sharing feature, they will be able to see your chosen name and pronouns. If you do not want them to see this information, you will need to adjust their access accordingly. For more information on myUMBC Profile Sharing visit, “How do I modify or remove someone’s access to my profile?”
What if I need assistance or support through this process?
If you’re still not sure if you’d like to update your profile and would like to consult or receive support, there are several offices you can reach out to.
Some of these offices include:
In addition to providing individualized support, you can also connect with these offices for additional services, programs, and events.
UMBC is committed to inclusive excellence and ensuring students’ identities and experiences are affirmed and validated. We understand that transgender and gender non-conforming communities have historically been harmed by institutions by needing to provide documentation for their gender identity or name change, or by being forced to explain to members of the community why it is important to respect chosen names and pronouns. In an effort to relieve the most affected students of this burden, we will be embarking on a multi-pronged community education effort that will help prepare our students, faculty and staff to correctly and respectfully use the information provided by this system.
The Office of Equity and Inclusion has an online reporting form for sexual misconduct, discrimination and hate or bias incidents which permits anonymous reporting by students, faculty, and staff.
Where can I find additional resources?
- For more information on gender inclusive housing at UMBC, see Residence Life’s special housing options.
- For more information on inclusive and affirming language see UMBC’s style guide.
- We are also committed to providing information and other supportive resources for members of the UMBC community with particular concerns about civil rights related to gender identity. Resources are available at the following sites:
- UMBC Non-Discrimination Policy Statement
- USM Policy of Non-Discrimination on the Basis of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity or Expression
- LGBTQ+ Resources at UMBC
- UMBC Gender Inclusive Housing Options
- Counseling Center
- Pride Center
- Women’s Center
- UMBC LGBTQ Faculty and Staff Association
- UMBC LGBTQ Student Union and Queer and Trans People of Color Community