Cornell University is committed to creating a safe and respectful campus for all members of our community including those of all gender identities. The following information provides general guidelines for specific areas of campus life related to gender identity & gender expression.
Cornell University’s official non-discrimination policy includes the protection of "sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression."
Gender Inclusive Pronoun Usage
Please check out our quick guide on "how-to" utilize Gender Inclusive Pronouns.
Trans Terminology Guide
Check out the Terminology Guide to learn more about the Trans community.
On-Campus Gender Friendly Restrooms
In keeping with the University’s policy of nondiscrimination and the commitment to inclusion, the University allows students, staff, faculty, and visitors to use the restroom or facility that corresponds to their gender identity*. In addition, the University maintains a number of universal restrooms across campus to address restroom facility access not necessarily related to gender identity, such as access for parents with children and for other attendants/caregivers. These facilities are all-gender, accessible spaces, which may include amenities for families such as baby changing stations.
*Gender identity refers to an individual’s internal sense of gender. A person’s gender identity may be different from or the same as the person’s sex assigned at birth.
Ithaca Area Gender Friendly Restrooms
Planned Parenthood of the Southern Finger Lakes and Out for Health have created an app, Pee in Peace, that details the locations of gender friendly restrooms throughout the Ithaca area. This app includes downtown Ithaca, Cornell's campus, and Ithaca College's campus. To learn more about the app, visit: http://peeinpeace.org/.
Preferred and/or Chosen Name and Gender Change Policies
Change Legal Name or Preferred Name in Workday:
1) Click on the Personal Data icon and then click either Change Legal Name or Preferred Name, as applicable.
2) When changing your Legal Name, please take note:
- Your Legal Name must match exactly how your name is listed on your Social Security card.
- Once you submit the change, it will route to your local Human Resources representative who will ask for supporting documentation. Cornell faculty and staff must submit a copy of your social security card reflecting your new name to the local HR representative or bring your social security card to Records at 337 Pine Tree Rd., East Hill Plaza. Other forms of identification will not be accepted.
3) When changing your Preferred Name, please take note:
- Workday will always list your Legal Name.
- Other employees will be able to use the search option to find you by your Preferred Name, if given.
- Select Preferred Name from the Change menu. De-select the Use Legal Name as Preferred Name box and enter the changes in the fields as needed. Your preferred name will show in Workday in the All About Me section, Personal Information worklet, View Name.
4) Important: Once you are finished, remember to click Submit, otherwise your will not take effect.
Make sure your name is the way you like it in the Office 365 email and calendar system. By default, the Office 365 email and calendar system uses your legal first, middle, and last name. If you would rather use a nickname or a name that is different from your legal name, please visit here.
Your NetID can be changed only after you have submitted your name change request to Human Resources and they have processed your request. To learn more, visit here.
An employee must go to their local HR person to change their gender marker. No documentation is necessary.
Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation fields in Workday:
Click here to view instructions. For other questions related to LGBT issues, contact the Department of Inclusion and Workforce Diversity at firstname.lastname@example.org. Questions related about how to make updates in Workday can be directed to the help desk at email@example.com.
General Information related to the Legal Name Change Process and Gender Marker Changes on Identity Documents
The LGBT Resource Center at Cornell provides resources on the legal name change process in our county, as well as the process for changing other identity documents with name and gender marker (driver's license, passport, birth certificate, etc). Resources for students changing their name or identity documents in other states are also available.
The LGBT Center at Ithaca College also partnered with Out for Health, Planned Parenthood of the Southern Finger Lakes LGBT Health & Wellness initiative, to create an awesome new booklet that has information on every process for changing your name and gender marker on important identity documents. To learn more about the policies and procedures, please visit Know-How Booklet and Forms.
On-Campus Health Services
The Faculty and Staff Assistance Program provides confidential counseling and consultation services to Cornell Employees.
Transgender Health Insurance Plans
Endowed health plans include hormone therapy and certain medical procedures related to gender identity confirmation procedures. The Aetna Clinical Policy Bulletin #0615 guides the medically necessary treatment protocol; treatments that are considered cosmetic in nature are not covered.
The Empire Health Plan – a New York state-supported plan used by the contract college faculty and staff – does not offer gender confirmation surgery and several other therapeutic treatments. Benefit Services does not anticipate an early adoption of these therapies in the Empire Health Plan.
Off-Campus Health Services
Even if you aren't a student (or if you want to use off-campus health services as a student), the Ithaca community has a number of great resources for transgender health.
Planned Parenthood of the Southern Finger Lakes
Located in downtown Ithaca ( 620 W Seneca St, Ithaca, NY 14850 ), Planned Parenthood of the Southern Finger Lakes has hormone therapy and preventive health services for transgender people. This is not a campus service, but a service provided in the local community. There is a fee for this service but if finances are a concern these can be discussed before one's first appointment. A person may become a new patient if they are seeking transgender related health care for the first time — or, if they are already being seen by a medical provider in their home community or their previous town that is providing transgender related health services to them, they may transfer their care and their records to this office so that they have a local provider here. You can reach them at (607) 273-1513 to request an appointment or request additional information.
The Planned Parenthood website also includes an awesome new booklet that has information on every process for changing your name and information as a transgender person!
Voice and Communication Modification Program
One of the only programs like it in the country, the Voice and Communication Modification Program at Ithaca College focuses on developing voice, articulation, non-verbal communication, language, voice-related quality of life, and self-perception. It's open to both male to female and female to male transgender people. Community members have to pay a nominal fee and must sign up in advance to be a part of this group.
Information and Brochure about the Voice and Communication Modification Program
Transgender Support Group
Cornell's LGBT Center, Ithaca College's LGBT Center, and Out for Health jointly support a transgender support group for people in the Ithaca area. You can find more information here or by contacting Cornell's LGBT Center at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Offers telephone or in-office consultation regarding questions of rights, disputes, alleged violation of anti-discrimination laws which provide protection in the areas of employment, housing, credit, public accommodation, and public, non-sectarian educational institutions.