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Transitioning at The Claremont Colleges

This is a guide to transitioning at The Claremont Colleges, including some resources on coming out as trans, changing your name, meeting your housing needs, and obtaining information regarding medical resources in the greater Los Angeles and Inland Empire areas. The nature and timing of the transitioning process is up to each individual. The purpose of this guide is to provide contacts at The Claremont Colleges who can better support your different needs as you transition.

If you are an incoming first-year student, we encourage you to reach out to the Queer Resource Center before you get to campus to answer any questions you may have, and to possibly connect with current trans and genderqueer members at the 7Cs to answer any questions about life at The Claremont Colleges.

For the purpose of this guide to transitioning at The Claremont Colleges, trans is meant to include all gender identities and expressions other than cisgender, including, but not limited to transgender, genderqueer, bigender, genderfluid, and third gender identities. Being trans means different things to different people; there is no “right” way to be trans.

Coming Out to Faculty and Staff at The Claremont Colleges

Sending your professor an email can be a good way to let them know that your preferred name and pronouns are different from the name and pronouns suggested by the class roster. Ohio University’s LGBT Center suggests including the follow points in an email:

  • Statement of the name/gender they have on class roster
  • State chosen name and gender (“I prefer to be referred to by ____ pronouns”)
  • Brief explanation (“I identify as transgender, which means _____ to me.”)
  • “I prefer for no one to know about my transgender status” vs. “I would be willing to talk about being transgender as it related to class discussion” (depending on class and personal preference)
  • Thank them for being understanding
  • Say they can email you if they have questions
  • Provide your contact information
  • Provide them with relevant websites for more information

They also provide this sample email:

Professor ___________,

I am a student in your (insert class name here). I am getting in contact with you to let you know that I identify as (insert identity here). My name will probably show up on your roster as (insert legal name here), but I would prefer to go by (insert chosen name here) and (insert pronouns) pronouns. I will be putting (insert chosen name here) on my assignments and would appreciate it if you called me that in class. If you have any questions for me regarding this, please don’t hesitate to contact me. My email address is (insert email address here) and my phone number is (insert phone number here).

Thank you very much for your understanding,

(sign with chosen name)

If you don’t feel comfortable communicating directly with a professor, you can contact the QRC Director or Assistant Director or someone in the Dean of Students office.  Any of these folks can send an email to the professor letting them know about your chosen name and pronoun.

Finding a Therapist and Gender-Confirming Benefits

If you have The Claremont College Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP), know that it covers gender reassignment benefits of up to $100,000 per policy year. For more information regarding coverage as well as contact information, please click here:

For questions regarding coverage please contact Ascension at 1 (800) 537-1777 or customer service at 4studenthealth.com. To find a physician and/or therapist to assist you with your transition process, the University California Riverside (UCR) has developed a handy Community Resources Guide to finding trans* friendly doctors and therapists in the Riverside and San Bernardino area. You may also contact the Director or Assistant Director at the QRC for a list of local therapists. A therapist can often be your coach, helping you through the process and providing support along the way. You may also want to contact The Center for Transyouth Health and Development for support and resources.

Hormone therapy is offered at Planned Parenthood Upland and Glendora but not the Pomona location for patients 18 and older. A letter from a therapist is not required to begin or continue HRT through Planned Parenthood. If uninsured, out-of-pocket services will be charged on a sliding scale based on your income. If you have insurance, contact your plan to check if services are covered. If you have The Claremont College Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP), know that it covers gender reassignment benefits of up to $100,000 per policy year. If you find that you need a letter from a therapist for care, MCAPS therapists are able to provide students with letters. 

Some trans* people decide to undergo hormone replacement therapy (HRT) as part of their transition. It is very important that hormones and/or hormone-altering drugs are obtained only from a qualified health professional, and that you are monitored to make sure that the treatment regimen is safe for you. Your health professional and therapist can provide emotional support and talk with you about the risks associated with HRT and what changes to expect. Most therapists use the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) Standards.