Colgate is committed to the welfare and support of our trans and gender-nonconforming students, staff, and faculty.

Federal and state laws, such as Title VI of the Civil Rights Act and the New York State Human Rights Law, prohibit discrimination and harassment that are based on a range of characteristics, including sexual orientation. New York State law specifically prohibits discrimination and harassment based on sexual orientation, which is defined as an individual’s actual or perceived heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality, or asexuality.

Programs and Activities

Speakers, lecturers and programs featuring speakers such as Buck Angel, Janet Mock, Mia McKenzie, and others have visited the campus to elevate the voices and narratives of transgender individuals and causes. LGBTQ+ Initiatives works with the Office of the Chaplains every year to mark Trans Day of Remembrance on November 20. In addition, student-led theater programs such as "This is Not A Play About Sex" and “The Vagina Monologues” feature voices of people with identities across the gender spectrum. Conference scholarships are available for the Translating Identity Conference and other conferences throughout the northeast. If you have ideas for programs, events or speakers, please get in touch with the Office of LGBTQ+ Initiatives.

On-Campus Resources

A number of resources are available to help people across the gender spectrum adapt and thrive on campus.

The Student Health Center staff receive regular Safe Zone training and they are careful to make intake forms gender neutral. In addition, the Colgate Student Health Insurance policy includes coverage of hormone therapy and gender reassignment surgery.

The Office of Residential Life is committed to providing a living environment that is welcoming to all gender identities. Students may indicate in their housing application whether they have a preference for roommate(s) of a different gender. Campus housing options include a variety of gender-inclusive rooms such as suites, apartments, town houses. Please contact Residential Life with any questions.

Accommodations Based Upon Gender Identity

Colgate is committed to supporting transgender students and those who identify with a gender other than cisgender male or cisgender female. Students who seek housing arrangements based upon gender identity may request housing accommodations by contacting the Office of LGBTQ+ Initiatives at 315-228-6840 or by visiting the office located in the garden level of East Hall. Requests will be considered by the Office of LGBTQ+ Initiatives and the Office of Residential Life on a case-by-case basis with the goal of supporting students with specific housing needs based upon their gender identity.

Please keep in mind that a reasonable accommodation in housing may not be one's preferred housing assignment. The nature and scope of accommodations will vary based on a variety of factors including available housing as well as the needs of other students.

We are continuing to expand the gender-inclusive restrooms on campus in order to create more visibility and access. You can use Colgate's public online gender neutral restroom campus map to locate gender neutral restrooms. Please email if you are aware of other restrooms not listed on the map.

The Closet is a program that provides a low/no cost option for individuals to alter their wardrobe to better match their gender identity. It not only aims to provide a collection of donated outerwear for any occasion but also offers the option for undergarments be discreetly purchased on your behalf. To learn more or to make an appointment for access to the space, email

Preferred Name/Pronoun Resources

Colgate offers many resources for students, staff, or faculty members who wish to change the name or pronouns that appear on their official records.

  • Students, staff, and faculty can share their personal gender pronouns and preferred first name through Banner, Colgate’s personnel database. Once entered through the Colgate Portal, your pronouns will appear along with your name on the online directory, professors' course rosters, and administrative dean web-based dashboards. Log on to to change your personal data.
  • Students may request to have a new ‘Gate Card issued to them after including a preferred first name on their academic file with the Office of the Registrar. All student ID cards and records maintain the same Banner ID#. Contact Campus Safety to request a new ‘Gate Card.
  • Be sure to update your name/pronouns on any additional Colgate supported apps and platforms like Boost mobile dining ordering, GET mobile 'Gate card. Learn more.
  • Alumni may change the name on their transcript and diploma only if they have legally changed their name. Alumni wishing to change their name should submit a name change request form with the Office of the Registrar. This name will appear on all academic records, including transcript and diploma.


Trans Vocab 101: This list of short working definitions provide a basic understanding and common language for discussing gender identity and trans issues.

Some agender people would define their identity as being neither a man nor a woman while others would define agender as not having any gender.

This is a term used in a variety of ways by a variety of communities though it generally communicates a level of identification with maleness and/or masculinity.

A masculine gender expression which can be used to describe people of any gender. Butch can also be a gender identity to some.

Someone whose gender identity matches the gender they were assigned at birth, someone who is not trans*. Cisgender is often shortened to cis.

Someone who dresses as and presents themselves as a gender other than the one they typically identify with. Crossdressing can be purely aesthetic, sexual, a facet of someone's gender identity, or have other meanings.

Taking on the appearance and characteristics associated with a certain gender, usually for entertainment; often to expose humorous and performative elements of gender.

A feminine gender expression which can be used to describe people of any gender. Femme is also be a gender identity to some.

A complex combination of roles, expressions, identities, performances, and more that are assigned gendered meaning by a society. Gender is both self-defined and society-defined. How gender is embodied and defined varies from culture to culture and from person to person. Gender is a spectrum rather a binary.

The gender we are assigned at birth, usually based on genitals alone. It is assumed that our identities should and will match this assignment but this isn't the case for most trans* people.

The pervasive social system that tells us there can only be masculine cis men and feminine cis women, and there can be no alternatives in terms of gender identity or expression.

How one expresses their gender outwardly and/or the facets of a person's expression which have gendered connotations in our culture. There is no right or wrong way to express your gender.

An individual's internal sense of what gender they are. One's gender identity may or may not align with their assigned gender, and one's gender identity is not visible to others.

Pronouns other than the usually gendered he or she. Some examples are ze/hir/hirs, and they/them/their but there are many others.

Not fully conforming to gendered social expectations, whether that be in terms of expression, roles, or performance.

This term can be used as a specific identity or as a way of articulating the changing nature of one's gender identity or expression. People who are genderfluid may feel that their gender identity or expression is constantly changing, or that it switches back and forth.

This term can be used as an umbrella term for all people who queer gender, as a somewhat similar term to gender nonconforming, or as a specific non-binary gender identity. As an umbrella term is can include gender nonconforming people, non-binary people, and much more. As a specific identity it can generally be understood as a gender that is neither man nor woman, possible in between the two or seen as a totally separate gender altogether.

Non-binary people are those who identify as a gender that is neither man nor woman or who are not men or women exclusively. Non-binary can refer to a specific gender identity or it can function as an umbrella term which can include (though not always) people who are genderqueer, agender, and others.

The pronouns that affirm an individual’s gender. Always ask someone their personal pronouns if possible, and try not to make assumptions. Always be sure to respect a person’s personal pronouns, use them, and apologize if you slip up.

A medical term designating a certain combination of gonads, chromosomes, external gender organs, secondary sex characteristics and hormonal balances.

A term used by people of color, and primarily by African Americans, referring to people, often women, who are masculine or butch. Though many studs identify as women and with the lesbian community, not all do.

This term has a similar meaning to transgender but the asterisk is meant to show a more inclusive attitude towards the multitude of people under the transgender umbrella.

This term often refers to binary trans people (trans men and trans women), or to trans people who physically transition in any way. Some people dislike the term because of the focus it can put on physical transition.

An umbrella term for people whose gender identity or expression does not match the gender they were assigned at birth. Transgender can include all those who defy what society tells them their gender should be.

Transition in an individual process. To transition can mean a lot of things but a broad definition is the process trans people may go through to become comfortable in terms of their gender.

The fear or hatred of trans people or those perceived as such.

A term specific to Native/First Nations cultures to refer to lesbian, gay, queer, pansexual, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and gender non-conforming identities.