Tips on Being Trans in College
Are you trans and going to college? Great! Me too! Here's how to survive.
So, you're the typical American college student. Full of aspirations and hope for the future, dragging yourself to 8 AM class after partying hard the previous night. And, to put the cherry on top, you've recently had an identity crisis and realized you are transgender. So what do you do now?
Do not come out until you have fully come out to yourself.
I know. You want HRT ASAP and need that name change pronto. But do not rush into things unprepared. Do your research. Fully come out to yourself before you do anyone else. Figure out your name and pronouns before going public with the information. Being uncertain with yourself will cause others to doubt your trans-ness, and that will only make you feel worse about it. Entrusting a few close friends with the information is okay, but make sure it is very limited.
Come out to trusted individuals first.
Your best friend, your partner, perhaps your siblings. Family can be tricky to navigate, but if you know they will be supportive, they are a great place to start. Otherwise, your close friends and/or romantic partner are good launching points. Tell anyone who will give you the love and acceptance you need and deserve.
Telling your professors is crucial to your acceptance by mass majority. If professionals call you by the correct name and pronouns, so will your peers. An example email may look something like this:
Hello, my name is [correct name] and I am in your [time] [class] on [day(s) of week]. I am sending this email regarding my name. On the roster, I am most likely shown as [deadname]. However, I go by [correct name] and use [correct pronouns] pronouns. Thank you for your understanding.
Most professors will take this graciously, and thank you for the notice and immediately change their rosters. College professors are trained in LGBT topics and will (usually) not be jerks about it.
Check out on campus resources.
Is there a counseling center? Make an appointment and try it out. LGBT organization? Go to a meeting. On-campus pharmacy? See if you can get your HRT there. Supportive faculty members? Meet with them! Your school can be one of the best resources during your transition.
Meet with administration.
Get your name changed in the system. This can usually be done without the legal name change. They may say they cannot do it, but if you meet with the right people they can make it happen. Your account reflecting your correct name is incredibly beneficial in your transition.
Find therapists and doctors in your area.
Chances are, you may be a bit far from home. You aren't familiar with the local medical resources available. So do your research! Ask other Trans people at your school, or simply do some googling. Figure out where and how to get the treatment you need.
And above all... be yourself!
Make friends with those who love and respect you, for you. If people give you hate, ignore them because they are not worth your time. There are probably other Trans individuals on your campus. Spend time with them, get to know them. They are probably just as excited to see you as you are to see them. Solidarity in numbers. And don't let this affect your academics. You are in school to learn. Go to class, make the cut, and be your beautiful trans self. Everything will work out just fine.
Here are some phone numbers to help.
Trans Lifeline: 877-565-8860
Trevor Project: 1-866-4887386