Trans & Non-Binary Students in the Classroom


We recommend calling students by last name or, if needed, last name first initial, during the first week of classes, as well as calling students by the gender neutral pronouns they/them/theirs. These steps will avoid deadnaming (calling someone by the name they were required to use before coming out as transgender/non-binary, often associated with traumatic memories) or misgendering (calling someone by the incorrect gender pronouns, which can be very harmful to their sense of self and belonging). 
If you have questions or would like to speak further about this, please contact Irissa Baxter, Coordinator of Women's and LGBTQ Affairs, as well as consider taking our OSU LGBTQ Safe Zone Training.


We encourage our transgender and non-binary students to notify professors, ahead of the first day of class, of their chosen name and pronouns so as to avoid deadnaming and misgendering. This can be in the form of an email or visiting the professor during office hours.

Feel free to use the following sample template for sending this email:

Hello [insert professor’s name and title here, use Dr. if they have a PhD],

I am taking your course [title and number] and am emailing to let you know that I identify as [insert identity here]. That means that my name will likely show up in your roster as [insert legal/dead name here], but I go by [insert chosen name here] and use [insert pronouns here] pronouns. I will be submitting assignments as [insert chosen name here] and would like to only be referred to as [insert chosen name here] in class.

For more information on this topic, this article is a useful starting point: If you have questions, please contact me at [insert email address] or [insert phone number]. OSU also has a staff specialist on LGBTQ issues, Irissa Baxter, that would be happy to answer questions:

Thank you for being an ally for me during this time,

[insert chosen name here]

With any questions or concerns, please contact Irissa Baxter, Coordinator of Women's and LGBTQ Affairs.