CA Bill Will Improve Quality of life for Transgender Students


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Transgender and non-binary students can now request that their records show their preferred name instead of their legal name (or deadname)

A new California bill would require public colleges to update transgender students’ documents with their preferred name, a huge step forward for transgender rights. Transgender students would no longer be forced to go by their legal name, or “deadname,” at school.

Presented by assemblyman David Chiu, this bill is a gender-affirming service that will come at no cost for colleges and improve the mental health of transgender students.

Transgender people constantly have to deal with their deadnames on legal documents, like their driver’s license and social security card. The process of legally changing their names can be time-consuming and expensive.

Currently, transgender students cannot look proudly at their diplomas because it does not hold a name that represents them. For them, it is a name that may bring back painful memories.

This bill will allow them to request that their diplomas hold their preferred name, or “lived name,” affirming their identity. It will take the burden off of one aspect of their life and allow them to attend classes feeling like any other college student.

As the Human Rights Campaign Foundation reports, states that provide gender-affirming services like these see suicide rates of transgender people go down.

This bill allows transgender students to feel supported in their communities, which will improve their mental health as they face countless other barriers.

The American Journal of Preventative Medicine’s study on college students found that gender minorities are over four times more likely to have at least one mental health problem compared to their cisgender peers. The study stressed the importance of providing gender-affirming services to stop high rates of depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts.

Transgender people need environments where they feel accepted to be happy and successful. The first step is to address them by their lived name.

College campuses should be a safe learning environment. This initiative will help transgender students feel that way.