Yale University Offers Students Third Gender Option

Students placed a sticker on the door of a new gender-neutral bathroom at Nathan Hale High School in Seattle on Tuesday.
Elaine Thompson/Associated Press

Yale University announced last week that it has changed the “University Student Information System” so that students now have the option to register their gender as “non-binary.”

Students at Yale University are now able to choose from three genders when registering on the university’s information system, according to University Registrar Emily Shandley, as first reported by the Yale Daily News.

The decision to add “non-binary” to the school’s information system was made after a petition was circulated by Yale’s LGBT community, calling on the university make changes to show that it supports transgender students.

The demands made by the LGBT community were spurred in the wake of a leaked memo from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that defined gender as either male and female, and as something that cannot be changed.

“Yale as an institution has been and remains complicit in colonialism and the oppression of people of color in its glorification of colonists, missionaries, and proponents of slavery,” said one of the petition’s authors, according to the Yale Dailey News, “Yale is not politically neutral and needs to stop pretending it is.”

“I want support for trans students, but more than that, I want Yale to take responsibility for its own political and material power,” continued the co-author.

Now, students at Yale have the option of choosing between three genders that they can register themselves as on the school’s Student Information System: male, female, or non-binary.

According to the Daily Yale News, Registrar Shandley mentioned that several university departments worked together to “build the technology infrastructure to support a self-service option,” so that students can change their genders “on their own, at any time.”

Marvin Chun, the Dean of Yale College, added that adding “non-binary” is helpful, because it helps the school “catch up” with today’s “understanding and practice of gender.”

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Twitter at @ARmastrangelo and on Instagram.

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