People often think of gender identity as a straightforward, “male-female” binary classification. However, for many individuals, gender identity is not that simple. Transgender and other gender-nonconforming identities are an expression of gender diversity. Many trans* identified and gender nonconforming students fear facing discrimination and worry about being accepted by peers and professionals at ISU. Student Counseling Services (SCS) strives to be welcoming to all students and has been working diligently the last few years to provide inclusive services for any trans* and gender nonconforming students that may want to seek counseling.
For example, the initial paperwork at SCS allows students to note their preferred names as well as preferred pronouns. SCS also has an all gender bathroom available. The SCS clinicians are familiar with the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) standards of care and at times have written letters in support of surgery. In addition, many of the SCS staff attended a training on how to be more trans* inclusive. SCS is a resource for ISU students interested in exploring gender identity, but also understand that not all trans* identified students seeking services are doing so for that reason.
In addition to gender identity issues, SCS therapists are available to provide support for a variety of different concerns and students can collaboratively develop a treatment that fits their needs.
There are additional resources available to trans* identified students through Diversity Advocacy and the LGBTQ Institute. PRIDE is an RSO that provides a safe and educational atmosphere for LGBT students at ISU. The LGBTQ Institute also hosts The League of Extraordinary Gender’s (TLEG) weekly meetings. TLEG identifies itself on its Facebook page as a “Transgender student group providing a safe social space, peer support, and opportunities to advocate for trans rights and social justice at ISU.”
Student Counseling Services (SCS) offers free, confidential mental health services for ALL students and is a safe place to explore various aspects of identity. SCS’s mission is to provide a safe, welcoming, affirming environment for all students. SCS is located on the 3rd floor of the Student Services Building. You can schedule an appointment by calling (309) 438-3655.