NEW YORK (WABC) -- Students at SUNY schools now have the option of choosing the letter X when asked to provide their gender.
They can also have their chosen names appear on their college diplomas and campus profiles.
"Every person, regardless of their gender identity or the name they choose to go by, deserves to have identity documentation that reflects who they are," Governor Kathy Hochul said. "This historic change by the SUNY system is a victory in our ongoing fight to ensure that New York is a place of love and belonging. My administration remains committed to taking the steps necessary to ensure equality and respect for the LGBTQIA+ community."
All 64 campuses must have the new gender-neutral policy fully implemented by the fall of 2023.
"An inclusive chosen name and pronoun policy doesn't only help students feel safer on campus-it is also a matter of respect," interim SUNY Chancellor Deborah Stanley said. "This is the next concrete step toward ensuring SUNY's current and future transgender, gender non-conforming, and non-binary students feel embraced and uplifted. To those students and families who are seeing an unprecedented effort to roll back LGBTQIA+ rights and opportunities in other states, we want you to know that New York State and SUNY's 64 colleges and universities intend only to move forward."
In 2015, the SUNY Board of Trustees set a goal to be the most inclusive state university system in the country and passed a resolution in 2021 requiring SUNY state-operated campuses to designate all single-occupancy bathrooms as gender-neutral.
The chosen name and pronouns mandate expands on SUNY's 25-Point Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Plan to make campuses more inclusive for students within marginalized communities.
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