The following are some Frequently Asked Questions; each link is focused on topics of interest to student or faculty/staff groups.
How do I legally change my name in NYS or on campus?
You can change your preferred name on MyUAlbany and Blackboard until you get a legal name change. Legal name changes are the only thing that can change your diploma name and SUNY Card. Contact the courts for paperwork to change your legal name, you may contact Joe Zumbo J.D. in the Student Association for helping navigating the courts. You will have to submit your paperwork, pay a court fee and publish your new name in a local newspaper. Otherwise it is a fairly straight forward process.
: What do I do if a friend, or even my roommate, comes out to me?
If someone you know comes out to you, and you are having trouble with it, or are not sure what steps you should take to let them know you are accepting of who they are, there are several resources on campus that can assist you. The Gender & Sexuality Resource Center has several individuals who are prepared to answer any questions you may have about the coming out process or the LGBT community in general. This office also offers Safe Space Training to help you become an ally, and allow you to be as supportive as possible of your friend. If it is your roommate that comes out to you, feel free to contact Residential Life to ask them any questions, along with these other resources.
How do I become an ally?
A: Anyone can become an ally, and to learn how to do so, one must only complete Safe Space Training, which is offered through the Gender & Sexuality Resource Center. Safe Space Training is designed to teach students about the LGBT community and allow them to become more knowledgeable and accepting of those who are LGBT. After completing the program, you will be an official LGBT ally.
What do I do if I experience discrimination in the classroom or on campus?
In addition to the points enumerated in Q. 4 above, UAlbany’s student code of conduct includes a statute on hate or bias related crime. Statute 26 states that “intentionally selecting a person against whom a criminal offense is committed or intended to be committed because of a belief or perception regarding the race, color, national origin, ancestry, gender, religion, religious practice, age, disability, or sexual orientation, regardless of whether the belief or perception is correct”. To report a hate or bias related crime, please visit the link on the University Police Web site at https://www.albany.edu/lgbt/report.shtml. You may also report to the Office of Conflict Resolution and Civic Responsibility, located on the third floor of the campus center (CC) at CC 361, at (518) 442-5501 or [email protected].
What do I do if I am harassed for being LGBT or an ally?
The University at Albany has established a complaint procedure to report any allegations of unlawful discrimination/ harassment. Students and employees may review this procedure and access the complaint form here: https://www.albany.edu/diversityandinclusion/docs/ualbany-discrimination-complaint-procedures-current.pdf. Several offices are available to offer support and resources including Diversity and Inclusion, Conflict Resolution and Civic Responsibility, Gender and Sexuality Resource Center, University Police Department, University Counseling Center, the Victim Assistant Liaison, and the Department of Gender & Sexuality Concerns of the Student Association.
To report a hate or bias related crime, please visit the link on the University Police Web site at https://www.albany.edu/lgbt/report.shtml.
Are sexual orientation and gender identity included in the University’s anti-discrimination policy?
Yes, sexual orientation and gender identity and expression are all included in the University’s Equal Opportunity Statement: “The University at Albany is committed to all persons having equal access to its programs, facilities and employment without regard to race, ethnicity, color, religion, sex, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, age, disability, genetics, public assistance status, veteran status, or sexual orientation.”
What community resources exist in the Capital District?
a. Albany Bombers (largely-gay hockey team, open to all):
b. Capital Pride Center (LGBT community center): 332 Hudson Ave. Albany, NY 12210; (518) 462-6138; http://www.capitalpridecenter.org/
c. Capital Pride Festival: http://www.capitalpridecenter.org/capital-pride/
d. Capital Pride Singers (GLBT Chorus): http://capitalpridesingers.org/
e. Choices Counseling (specializing in issues related to sexual orientation, sexuality, gender identity and expression): 523 Western Ave., Ste. 2A, Albany NY 12203; (518) 438-2222; http://www.choicesconsulting.com/
f. Empire State Pride Agenda (working for equality and justice for LBGT New Yorkers): http://www.prideagenda.org/
g. GayAlbanyOnline (gay-owned/gay-friendly business and services directory): http://gayalbanyonline.com/
h. GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian, & Straight Educators Network): PO Box 5392, Albany, NY 12205; (518) 635-0552; http://chapters.glsen.org/cgi-bin/iowa/nycr/home.html
i. In Our Own Voices (for LGBT people of color, friends, family): 245 Lark St., Albany, NY 12210; 518-432-4188; http://www.inourownvoices.org/
j. Our Brother’s Keeper (raises money to support programs providing services to persons with HIV/AIDS): http://www.obkf.org.
k. TransLegal Services of Upstate New York: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Trans-Legal-Services-of-Upstate-New-York/181360481884899
How do I find someone to speak to my residence hall, group, or class about LGBTQ issues?
a. The Allies/Safe Space Training is a half-day session to create a network of allies for LGBTQ-identified campus members.
b. Project SHAPE is a peer education program that offers sexuality education and sexual health promotion. To request a program contact Carol Stenger, Director of Project SHAPE and Coordinator for Health Promotion at (518) 442 5800 or email at [email protected]
c. The Gender & Sexuality Resource Center is located on the third floor of the Campus Center in Room 329. For resources you can contact a representative at 518 442 5015 or email [email protected].
d. STEP UP! UAlbany is a bystander intervention training program developed by the University Counseling Center for more information you can contact Heidi Wright, Psy.D., at 518 442 5800 or [email protected].
e. National Coalition Building Institute (NCBI) training is offered through the Office of Intercultural Student Engagement, NCBI trains faculty, staff, and students to work against racial prejudice. What is perhaps less commonly known is that the skills taught at these workshops can be used in just about any situation in which there is conflict, controversy, or where people hold widely disparate beliefs. For more information contact D. Ekow King at 518-442-5490 or by email at [email protected] for more info, to sign up for next training session, or to arrange a training session for your group.
What LGBT student activities are offered on campus?
The campus offers several LGBT student activities; to find out what specific events are occurring and when, contact the Office of Student Involvement & Leadership, the Office of Multicultural Student Success, the Department of Gender & Sexuality Concerns of the Student Association, or the Gender & Sexuality Resource Center
Where can I find LGBT- friendly coming out or general resources?
Our campus provides a multitude of resources available to LGBT students to aid them in coming out, or anything else they might need help with. This includes a student support group through the University Counseling Center, several student groups on campus and the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center.
Does the University at Albany offer Gender Neutral (Inclusive) Housing?
Gender Inclusive Housing is available across campus. Contact the Residential Life Liaison and check out the Gender Inclusive Housing webpages for more info.
Are there gender-neutral bathrooms on the UAlbany campuses?
YES! Gender Inclusive Restrooms are positioned across campus, in recreation facilities, in residence halls, the downtown campus, east campus and auxiliary buildings. Check out our Interactive Campus Map for bathrooms across camus.
What do all the letters – LGBTQIAP - mean?
This is an acronym referring to two separate entities; sexual orientation and gender identity. Even though they are grouped in this way it is critically important to understand the distinction between the two. Sexual orientation refers to the gender or genders one is attracted to; while gender identity refers to the gender or genders we are. We all have a sexual orientation and a gender identity and knowing one does not predict the other. Further, we live in a culture that has a view that you are either male or female, either heterosexual or gay/lesbian when in fact these are really on a continuum with many points in between.
L stands for Lesbian, a sexual orientation in which a woman has an enduring emotional, romantic, sexual, erotic, affectional and/or spiritual attraction to other women.
G stands for Gay- typically referring to a sexual orientation in which a man has an enduring emotional, romantic, sexual, erotic, affectional and/or spiritual attraction to other men; but is sometimes used by women with same-sex attraction as well.
B stands for Bisexual, a sexual orientation in which a person has an enduring emotional, romantic, sexual, erotic, affectional and/or spiritual attraction to both men and women.
T stands for Transgender. This is an umbrella term used for persons whose gender identity differs from the gender they were assigned at birth. This includes transsexuals, cross-dressers, transgenderists, genderqueers, bigender, and people who identify as neither male nor female and/or as neither a man nor a woman. Transgender is not a sexual orientation. Transgender people may have any sexual orienttion: heterosexual, gay, lesbian or bisexual.
Q stands for Queer. This is most often an umbrella term used to refer to all LGBT people. It can be a political statement which advocates breaking binary thinking and seeing gender identity as fluid. It can also be a label to explain a complex set of sexual behaviors and desires; e.g. a person who is attracted to transgender people.
I stands for Intersex, a medical condition that results in ambiguous assignment of sex at birth. There may be a combination of male and female genitals and/or chromosomes and/or hormones and/or gonads.
A stands for Ally, someone who identifies as heterosexual and cisgender and is in support of civil rights and equality for members of the LGBTQ community. Less often, “A” can also mean asexual; which is a person who experiences an enduring lack of sexual desire. They do not feel an erotic or sexual attraction to others.
P stands for Pansexual. Pansexual refers to the potential for sexual attraction and desire, romantic love and emotional attraction to persons of all gender identities and biological sexes. This would include people who fall in the binaries of male and female and everyone who falls in between the binaries; e.g. genderqueer, transgender, intersexed, etc.
My advisor/RA/etc is not identified as an ally. Is there someone else I can talk to about my LGBT concerns?
a. If you feel you are experiencing discrimination and/or harassment, please contact the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at (518) 956-8110.
b. If you are uncertain about talking with a supervisor and/or would like referrals to speak with a qualified professional about issues such as personal or work stress, depression, etc., contact the Employee Assistance Program at (518) 42-5483.
c. If you think your supervisor and/or others in your unit would be interested in becoming allies, contact the Safe Space Coordinator at (518) 442-5580 or by email at email@example.com for information about Safe Space Training.
Is there a list of allies I can refer to?
Yes! You can check out Safe Space trained Faculty/Staff on our interactive map. All of these Faculty/Staff have completed atlas 4-6 hours of specific LGBTQ inclusion training. Additionally you can find our LGBTQ Liaisons who provide direct services inside key areas around campus for LGBTQ Faculty/Staff/Students and their allies.
What does transgender mean? How do I address transgender students in my class? How do I support students/colleagues who are transitioning
Transgender is an umbrella term used for someone whose gender identity differs from the sex they were assigned at birth. Or whose gender expression transgresses the societal expectations of their gender role based on their assigned sex at birth. Transgender is not a sexual orientation. Transgender people may have any sexual orientation: heterosexual, gay, lesbian or bisexual etc.
Transgender persons may feel their assigned sex at birth does not reflect their true gender identity and may change their body through hormones or surgery to align their external image with their internal identity. However It can also be someone who may fit our perceptions of maleness but actually identify as female. This can also include someone who recognizes that gender falls along a spectrum rather than a binary “male or female”; i.e., they identify somewhere in between male and female or outside of those concepts completely.
How do I address transgender students in my class? As with any student, you should address them with their preferred name. Ask how they wish to be addressed; what name they prefer and perhaps what pronoun they prefer. Make a note of it and be certain to use their pronouns and name respectfully. This is important for maintaining a dynamic of respect for all students in the classom.
How do I support students who are transitioning? A student may come to you and state that they will be transitioning during the course. They may tell you they will return to class on a particular date dressed differently and they may have a different name they prefer you use and/or different pronouns. The best response is to ask the student what you can do to make this transition easiest for the student. Ask in advance what would make them most comfortable and feel free to connect with the Gender & Sexuality Resource Center to get resources on how to address any questions you may have in supporting them.
Q: How can I be a better ally to LGBT colleagues and students?
An ally supports and stands up for the rights of LGBTQ people. An effective ally respects confidentiality, avoids assumptions and stereotyping, educates themselves about issues facing LGBTQ people, tries using gender-neutral terms when taking about significant others, spouses, and partners, and speaks up when someone makes a homophobic, transphobic or heterosexist remark. An ally expects to make mistakes but doesn’t use them as an excuse for not acting. A supportive ally recognizes when to make referrals to somebody for outside help and knows the resources available for LGBTQ individuals on campus and in the community. To learn more about how to be a supportive ally, attend the UAlbany Safe Space training.
Can I study abroad if I am lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgendered?
Yes! Speak with one of the advisors in the office. There may be some country-specific issues related to housing options and paperwork required for international travel that you should expect early on.