Hey all! I need some advice. I’m going to college in the fall and I don’t know what to do about housing. What questions should I ask? Should I tell them I’m trans? I don’t even know where to begin.
Shoot me a message if you have any advice.
I,m Mason, btw. Hit me up.
A lot of what you can do with housing will be based on what legal action you’ve taken so far regarding name change and gender change and how flexible your school is.
I can tell you in my case, I spoke with housing and they told me that they couldn’t put me into a male dorm unless the college recognized me as male. The Registrar’s office said that to change my records I had to present some form of government ID proving I was male (license, passport, etc). Once I changed my name and gender on my license, I sent that information in to the Registrar’s office and they changed my records. Then I was able to make arrangements with the woman at housing to be placed into a male dorm.
I remember hearing about another transguy who simply explained his situation after he was accepted and the Registrar changed his name and gender without any documentation and allowed him into male housing.
Other schools have gender neutral housing and / or single rooms saved for transgender people.
Assuming you haven’t changed your gender yet and therefore your college legally can’t put you into male housing, you could ask if there are single rooms available for someone in your situation and they may be able to help. (Keep in mind that some schools will allow a discounted rate if you prove that the room is medically necessary and some will make you pay the full rate.)
Assuming that you can get yourself into a male dorm, there are some things you’ll want to consider: Where are you in your transition and thus how comfortable are you with actually living with a guy? How will you manage changing? Binding? Is there a private bathroom or is it a communal shower? How will you negotiate either?
I pose these questions mostly because it is a big step and, in my opinion, depending on where you are in your transition / how comfortable you are with yourself will change how stressful living with a guy could be.
In my person experience, my Junior year I was stealth in all of my classes. I had many new friends who knew me only as John. I was pre-T and pre-top surgery. I hadn’t even legally changed my name. My only available option was to live with a female roommate. To be honest, it wasn’t all that bad. I came out to her fairly early and she was very accepting of me. I told a few close friends so they could come over. It actually wasn’t that bad. In the end, it made my living arrangement less stressful so I could focus on building my confidence and beginning hormones.
The following year, I was 5 months on T and legally had changed my name. I still had some concerns about living with a male, because I was still pre-op, but I figured I would be able to avoid it well enough. I picked a room with a private bathroom so I could change and shower in complete privacy. I used the times my roommate wasn’t around to not bind. It worked out well. I was concerned at first about it, but the situation worked out pretty well.
I’ve also used communal male bathrooms. As long as there’s a way to change in private, they’re not too bad. It’s a bitch, but manageable.
At the end of this long thing, my advice would be to call Housing. I’d tell them straight out that you’re transgender and speak to them about what your options are. Ask about whether single rooms are available for medical reasons at a lower rate. I’d also ask about their policy for placing a transguy into a male room. Get as much information as you can.
You may also want to contact the Registrar’s office and ask what they can do for you regarding your name and gender on records. It’s possible that they could change it for you; they might ask for a therapist’s note; or they might want legal documentation. At the very least, they might be able to add a note so your Professor’s know that you’re trans and can address you appropriately.