Ensure that your LGBTQ* students see themselves reflected in our lessons
Create opportunities for all of our students to gain a more complex and authentic understanding of the world around them
Encourage respectful behavior, critical thinking and social justice
Deborah Lafond - Social Sciences Bibliographer for the Women’s Studies, Africana Studies, Communication, Psychology and Educational and Counseling Psychology at the University at Albany, SUNY. Deborah also provides resources for for LGBTQ* life and research.
LGBTQ* Advisory Committee - The Training and Academic Affairs Subcommittee is charged with advising and/or designing various levels of awareness-sensitivity-ally development training as well as coordinating with existing departments on campus including ITLAL and Academic Affairs.
What protections might be afforded to me if I decide to transition or come out?
The University’s Office of
Diversity and Inclusion would probably be the first stop if someone (faculty or
staff) experienced discrimination or harassment as a result of transitioning or
coming out.While the State of New York
has a law forbidding discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, at this
time a proposed law forbidding the same with regards to gender identity has
still not been passed by the legislature.
Does the University offer medical (including gender transitioning) and tax benefits for partners and spouses?
Since the information changes frequently, refer to Health Benefits
Administrator and Payroll personnel in Human Resources.
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?
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;
How do I find someone to speak to my office, 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. Contact the Safe Space Coordinator or by email at email@example.com for
more info, to sign up for next training session, or to arrange a traininsession for your group. https://www.albany.edu/lgbt/ally.shtml
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].
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].
Coalition Building Institute (NCBI) training is offered through the Office of
Multicultural Student Success, 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. See https://www.albany.edu/lgbt/
for more information.
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, See https://www.albany.edu/lgbt
for more information.
Does the University at Albany offer Gender Neutral (Inclusive) Housing for students?
that single-gender housing may not be appropriate or comfortable for all
students, Residential Life offers a limited number of rooms as Gender Inclusive
Housing in both the residence halls and apartments on a space available basis.
Students signing up for these areas will be permitted to have roommates and
suite mates from across the gender spectrum. Gender Inclusive Housing will allow
for an environment where student housing is not restricted by traditional
limitations presented by our current system that is based on the gender binary.
We believe that it is important that our housing policies evolve to meet the
needs of all students and to create an inclusive, welcoming environment.
Continuing students may elect Gender Inclusive Housing during their Residence
Hall or Apartment sign-up.
What provisions exist for partners in the optional retirement plan (ORP)?
No retirement benefits, but there are survivor
benefits. For more information please visit the Office of Human Resources
Management Retirement website (http://hr.albany.edu/content/retire.asp), or call (518) 437-4729.
What are the tax implications of adding my partner to my health insurance if I am not/don't want to get married?
According to the Internal Revenue Code, if a
domestic partner is not a “dependent” (as defined in Section 152 of the
Internal Revenue Code), the “fair market value” of the partner’s coverage, less
any contribution by the enrollee, is treated as income for federal tax
purposes. This value, referred to as “imputed income,” will be added to your
annual salary for income tax purposes and will apply even if you cover other
dependents in addition to your partner. Please consult with your tax
advisor regarding treatment of the imputed income.
Does UAlbany offer transgender-related health plans/coverage?
University at Albany employees are eligible for health insurance
coverage. What is covered depends on the insurance and plan you choose.
Are there gender-neutral bathrooms on the UAlbany campuses?
The Department of Residential Life offers single
stall gender-neutral bathrooms on State and Colonial Quads, and Liberty Terrace. For a listing of all gender-neutral bathrooms
in the Residence Halls visit https://www.albany.edu/housing/gih.shtml
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 supervisor 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
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.
What is micro-aggression and how does it happen in the classroom or in assignments?
Micro-aggression is a subtle type of behavior
with demeaning implications and other subtle insults which can manifest both
verbally and non-verbally. Students feel a cumulative negative effect after
How do I intervene when a student is harassed for gender-expression? How do I handle differing viewpoints in the classroom?
student in your class is harassed and you directly observe this, it would be a
good idea speak to both students involved privately immediately after class. I
would use this as an educational moment for the harasser and explain that their
behavior is inappropriate, in violation of university regulations, and will not
be tolerated in your classroom. Depending on whether the entire class observed
this harassment, it would be appropriate to make a similar statement in the
classroom. A recommendation would be for you to speak privately with the
victim, express your concern for their feelings and welfare and ask if they
wish to talk. Offer resources for the student at the University. Explain their
rights in terms of referral of the other student for harassment to the
University’s judicial system. You can direct the student to the Office of
Conflict Resolution and Civic Responsibility to find out what their options
are. You can also refer the individual to the University Counseling Center if
they wish to discuss their feelings in response to this or other experiences.
The University at Albany
has established a complaint procedure to report any allegations of unlawful
discrimination and/or harassment.
Students and employees may review this procedure and access the
complaint form here: (this web page is no longer functional) 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
What does transgender mean? How do I address transgender students in my class? How do I support students/colleagues who are transitioning?
an umbrella term used for persons whose gender identity differs from the sex they were assigned at birth. This includes 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 orientation: heterosexual, gay, lesbian or bisexual.
persons may feel their assigned sex at birth does not reflect their true
gender identity. It can be someone who may appear to be assigned male but identifies 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 or beyond male and female.
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 choices.
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 new name they prefer you use and/or new pronouns. The best
response is to ask thee student what you can do to make this transition easiest
for the student. Would they like a few minutes to let the class know about
their transition? Would they prefer it be handled quietly? Ask what they would
like to do if someone makes a comment or asks a question about it. Ask in
advance what would make them most comfortable.
How can I be a better ally to LGBT colleagues and students?
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.
What should I do when a student confides in me about issues related to their "coming out"?
student confides in you about issues related to their “coming out,” listen.
Coming out is a long process, and chances areyou’ll be approached again to discuss the process since you were someone
that the student felt comfortable speaking to about this.Be a role model of acceptance, ask questions that
demonstrate compassion, appreciate the person’s courage, and offer
support.Most importantly, assure
confidentiality—the person may not be ready to come out to others or would like
to do so in their own way.Be prepared
to give a referral to a campus or community resource that can be of support as
: What do I do when a student makes a homophobic, transphobic, or heterosexist remark during class?
In order to create a space for learning to
occur, students need to feel safe. Speak
up when someone makes disparaging remarks about LGBTQ people, or thoughtlessly
uses anti-gay language, just as you would any other slurs. Don't perpetuate
injustice through silence. One approach
to take is to stop and say to the class, “I’d like to use this as a teachable
moment. What does the rest of the class
think about this comment?” Then, facilitate a discussion with the
students. Follow these steps of action
when encountering such a situation:
Recognize and Interrupt; Interrupt and Educate; Support and Encourage;
Initiate and Prevent.