Trans guide to U-M

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Navigating any new place as a transgender or non-binary person can come with questions or uncertainty about your needs, safety, and support.  Spectrum Center is dedicated to supporting you in thriving on campus. 

Below are collections of information and resources that may be relevant to you, including those related to:

  • U-M policies
  • Health care 
  • Housing
  • Restrooms
  • Updating your name and pronouns in U-M records
  • Updating documents outside U-M
  • Other resources and related organizations

If you have a U-M resource that would be appropriate for this guide, please reach out at [email protected]


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Trans flag

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Trans @ U-M Drop-in Hours

Thursdays, 3:00 - 4:00 p.m., Virtual
with Spencer Hall, Support Services and Wellness Advocate

Virtual appointments

Join Spencer for virtual drop in hours on Monday afternoons from 3-4. He can help you with navigating things such as changing your name in Wolverine Access, and finding the resources for changing your legal name in Michigan on your U.S. passport; finding gender-affirming undergarments, navigating questions around gender-affirming surgeries and care, and starting HRT at U-M; and more! See your appointment calendar invite for privacy details.





“I want transgender and nonbinary students, faculty, staff, and alumnx to know that they are a vital and vibrant part of the University of Michigan community. You are welcome and loved here. Your mental health and wellbeing matter. We want you to be fully engaged, and we want you to thrive in all aspects of university life.”

U-M President Santa J. Ono, November 6, 2023





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U-M policies

There are three key University of Michigan policies protecting and respecting transgender and gender nonconforming community members.

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The university's Non-Discrimination Policy include protections for gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation, as do the state's civil rights laws.

The university's Preferred Names Policy allows individuals within the university's information systems to designate a preferred name in addition to their name of legal record. The preferred name will be used in all university communications and reporting except where the use of the legal name is required by university business or legal need.

In the state of Michigan, all individuals have the legal right to use restrooms, locker rooms, and changing rooms consistent with their gender identity in all public educational institutions, no questions asked. This was affirmed at the University of Michigan by Tabbye Chavous, vice president for diversity, equity, and inclusion.




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Health care 



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The University of Michigan Ann Arbor offers multiple different options for transgender, non-binary, and other students whose gender may not align with their sex on record. These options fall under Gender Inclusive Housing policies.

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Michigan Housing process initially places students in room assignments and with roommates based on their legal sex marker on file. However, students can be placed based on their gender identity instead, including in housing options that are restricted to a specific gender (such as the all-women Martha Cook Building). If you would like to be placed based on your gender identity instead of your sex on record, please connect with [email protected].

Many dorms on campus support the option to choose or be placed with a roommate of any gender. The rooms available with this policy either have an attached bathroom (private or suite) or are located close to a gender-neutral communal restroom, which includes toilets, sinks, and showers. To request a gender-inclusive placement, please fill out Housing’s Gender Inclusive Housing Form.

The Gender Inclusive Living Experience (GILE) is a specific themed community that both offers gender-inclusive rooms and programming relating to gender and LGBTQ+ communities. GILE is intended to be a safe, inclusive, comfortable and supportive community for people of all gender identities and expressions. This community supports students who identify as transgender or gender non-conforming in choosing (or being placed with) a roommate of any gender.

For more information on GILE, see U-M Housing’s page on gender inclusive housing. 

Spectrum Center does not host the application to either GILE or other Gender Inclusive Housing options. If you have questions regarding obtaining Gender Inclusive Housing, please see Housing’s FAQ on gender inclusive housing or contact them at [email protected].



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In the state of Michigan, all individuals have the legal right to use restrooms, locker rooms, and changing rooms consistent with their gender identity in all public educational institutions.

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Central, North, and Athletic campuses

Below is a Google Map marked with all-gender restrooms across U-M’s Central, North, and Athletic campuses. This map is only made possible through community collaboration. If you notice a restroom missing or incorrectly labeled, or have more detailed information on the location of a certain restroom, please reach out to us at [email protected].

For an accessible list of these restrooms, please visit this link -

The Michigan Medicine Office of Patient Experience has produced a guide to single, all-gender restrooms located throughout Michigan Medicine hospitals and centers, including maps showing locations within the Rogel Cancer Center, Frankel Cardiovascular Center, C.S. Mott Children's Hospital, Von Voigtlander Women's Hospital, the Med Inn Building, Taubman Center, University Hospital, and University Hospital - South. For more information, visit Michigan Medicine's website.



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Updating your name and pronouns in U-M records

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Central university databases

Wolverine Access connects members of the U-M community to key resources and tools.

  • Update your name
  • Update your pronouns
    • Access “Student Business,” “Faculty Business,” or “Employee Self Service” if you are a student, faculty, or staff member, respectively
    • Go to “Campus Personal Information” > “Pronouns”
    • Select the pronouns you use from the dropdown menu. Selecting “Enter Your Own” will create a blank text box below for you to enter your pronouns
    • Click the “Save” button
      • Unlike your Preferred Name, your pronouns will not automatically filter into other systems like Canvas and MCommunity, so you will need to update those individually


  • MCommunity will display the Preferred Name you set in Wolverine Access and cannot be changed independently
  • However, you do have control over the “Also Known As” list that appears on your profile by logging into MCommunity and going to “My Profile” > “Edit my Information and Away Message”
  • The list of “Also Known As” names appears below the options for photos. You may remove a name from public display using the “-” button next to each name, and there is also the option to add additional names to the list
    • The “Also Known As” list is primarily to ensure that someone looking at your profile can identify you, especially if you go by multiple names or have a common name. These names have no other bearing on your account and are not considered Preferred Names by University systems
  • Click the “Save Changes” at the bottom of the screen


  • Log into MCommunity and go to “My Profile” > “Edit my Information and Away Message”
  • Locate the “Pronouns” field and select your pronouns from the dropdown. Selecting “Enter Your Own” will create a blank text box below for you to enter your pronouns
  • You may also choose who sees your pronouns when looking at your profile:
    • “Display to Me Only” hides your pronouns from anyone who is not logged into your specific umich account
    • “Display to U-M Only” hides your pronouns from anyone not logged into a umich account
    • “Display to Anyone” shows your pronouns regardless if the viewer is logged into a umich account or not

Students can contact the Registrar's Office ([email protected] or 647-3507) to update your legal name and/or sex on record.

Employees can file a legal name or sex on record change by completing the Campus Address/Personal Data Form available on the Shared Services Website or by contacting the Shared Services Center (615-2000 or toll-free at 1-866-647-7657).

Please note that updating your legal name/sex on record with the University will require documentation, such as a court name change order. Contact the appropriate office to learn what documentation is needed..

The Office for University Development only updates their profile for a student when the student first registers and when they graduate. If you have changed your name between or after those times, you will need to correct your name with the Office to ensure you are addressed correctly on University communications about gifts and donations

  • If you have donated to the University using the Leaders & Best Michigan Online Giving platform, you may log in using your existing account and update your name directly through this system
  • If you have not donated before, reach out to [email protected] to inform them of your updated name. Title your email “Alumni Record Update”

Digital tools

Name: Canvas will display the Preferred Name you set in Wolverine Access and cannot be changed independently


  • Log into Canvas and go to “Account” > “Settings”
  • Click the “Edit Settings” button found on the right side of your settings information
  • Select your pronouns from the dropdown. 
  • Note: Canvas does not allow you to write your own pronoun set at this time
  • Click the “Update Settings” button

Name: MCommunity will display the Preferred Name you set in Wolverine Access and cannot be permanently changed independently
You are, however, able to change your name in any Zoom meeting by opening the “Participants” panel, finding yourself in the list, clicking “More” and then “Rename.” This change will not carry over between Zoom sessions


  • Go to (NOT the Zoom launch client) and Sign In
  • Select “Profile” from the left-hand list of options
  • Click “Edit” on the right-hand side of the screen next to your name
  • Write in your pronouns in the available box. 
  • Whatever is typed there is what will be displayed, framed by parentheses, after your name. For example, writing “They/Them” will show up as “Your Name (They/Them)” as your display name in meetings
  • Choose how you would like your pronouns to be shared in the dropdown below the Pronouns field
  • Click “Save”

Official records

Your uniqname is a central, key piece of information used to validate your digital identity when logging into most university websites and web applications. 

To request an update your uniqname / U-M email address, complete and submit the Uniqname Change Application. The ITS Service Center will work with you to schedule a time for making the change that will cause you the least disruption. You'll need to be logged out of your U-M Google account when the uniqname change is made.

ITS is working to simplify the process but, for now, please note that changes may take up to a week or more due to the need to update multiple systems manually. The longer you've been affiliated with the university and the more “roles” you have (as a student, alum, staff member, donor, etc), the longer it will usually take to have it changed across all possible systems that use your uniqname.

Faculty, staff, retiree, student, and alumni cardholders may have a preferred name used on their Mcards and can request a new one by visiting an ID Issuing Station. A Preferred Name must be set in Wolverine Access prior to issuing a new MCard and a name cannot be changed or created at an ID Issuing Station.

When a preferred name is used for an Mcard, it will be the default name printed on the front of the Mcard. The legal name also will print on the reverse of the Mcard above the library bar code.

The first request to have an Mcard updated will be processed for free if the original Mcard is returned. If the original Mcard is not returned, or additional Mcards are requested for future name changes, the replacement fee will be charged.

Michigan Medicine ID

Michigan Medicine requires that the Mcard show an individual's legal name. The Michigan Medicine Key/ID office located in room C150 Med Inn Building can provide an ID badge holder for individuals who wish to display an additional name along with the badge. For more information on this option, contact the Michigan Medicine Key/ID office at 763-6376. 

The University of Michigan currently requires a student’s legal name to be displayed on their transcripts and diploma.

The University of Michigan's Rackham Graduate School currently requires students to publish their dissertation under their legal name.



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Updating documents outside U-M

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Currently enrolled UM-Ann Arbor students are eligible for free attorney services through Student Legal Services, which includes support navigating legal name changes and other gender- and sex-related court processes.

The Michigan Legal Help Program offers a guide to completing a name change in Michigan, with specific information for each county, as well as a guide on what to do after you have gotten your court-ordered name change. Washtenaw County allows you to file a name change and go through the county’s process after one year of residence.

The LGBTQ Know Your Rights Project is a collaborative effort between the Jim Toy Community Center, Outlaws of the University of Michigan Law School, Legal Services of South Central Michigan, and local volunteer attorneys. Among other things, the Project provides free legal name change support, educational panels, self-representation kits, and attorney referral assistance. If you would like support on a name change case, please contact OUTreach at [email protected] or leave a voicemail at (734) 419-9733. 

Additionally, the Spectrum Center partners with the LGBTQ Know Your Rights Project to hold a Name Change Clinic every year, which supports those looking to change their legal name in Washtenaw County and the state of Michigan in general. Look for it around Trans Day of Visibility, March 31st every year.

Michigan IDs require that your legal name is displayed, and the instructions for getting a new license after completing a legal name change is detailed in the “Legal Name Change in Michigan” section above.

To change the sex / gender marker on your Michigan ID or driver’s license, complete the Michigan Secretary of State Sex Designation Form. This form does not require any medical treatment or surgical history to change your gender marker. Once you complete the form, go to your local SOS office to submit it and pay the correction fee. You must do this in person. At the time of writing, Michigan IDs support M, F, and X markers.

If you are unable to get a state ID or driver’s license, and live in Washtenaw County, The Washtenaw ID is a county-wide photo identification card that can be used in place of a state ID or driver’s license in some circumstances. The Washtenaw ID requires that your legal name be displayed, but it does not include a sex / gender marker.

There are different processes for changing official documentation, depending on what type of documentation you are changing, what state you live in, which state you were born in, and more. The ID Documents Center from the National Center for Transgender Equality offers guidance for various processes across various states, as well as information on changing federal documentation such as passports. 



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Have any questions?

Email us at [email protected].