By Ava Cohen
The City College Board of Trustees recently voted unanimously to back Assembly Bill 245, which will end deadnaming (using students’ birth names they no longer identify with) of trans and nonbinary students on official school documents, such as transcripts and diplomas.
City College is a leading school in the development of queer studies and was the first school to have a department of Gay and Lesbian Studies in 1989. Over 200 students, faculty, and administrators at CCSF are openly LGBTQIA. In January 2020, the board passed Policy 2.34: Gender Diversity and Inclusion, which stated that “the San Francisco Community College District shall treat all students, employees, applicants, contractors, vendors, and visitors with dignity and respect, regardless of gender, gender identity and/or gender expression.” It also allowed for any applicant, employee, vendor, contractor, or visitor at City College to have their chosen name and pronouns on District-issued public documents, including but not limited to; name badges, class rosters, and student identification cards.
Bill 245 would take an additional step, allowing transgender and nonbinary students to choose what name they would like on their diploma, rather than simply using their deadname. Furthermore, this bill would establish a standardized procedure for public colleges to follow when former students pursue having their educational records updated and reissued. It would also clarify the types of identification a former student may provide to have their name updated.
“Because we live in a patriarchal, heteronormative society, transgender and nonbinary individuals face compounding systemic barriers at educational institutions,” the bill states, noting that “students should not be ‘deadnamed’ on their diploma, which is the ceremonial document commemorating years of hard work and achievement.”