New York Democratic Governor Kathy Hochul announced on Wednesday that all 64 SUNY college campuses are being directed to update policies to ensure that a person’s chosen gender identity and pronouns are used.
The policy will include chosen names to appear on diplomas and campus profiles, along with the ability to select “X” as a gender option by the fall 2023 semester.
“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,” Hochul said in a statement.
“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,” she added.
Lieutenant Governor Antonio Delgado shared his support in the statement across more than five dozen New York locations.
“SUNY’s new chosen name and pronoun policy being rolled out at all 64 SUNY campuses will provide all students with access to a welcoming higher education environment where they can be themselves,” said.
“By providing equity for all SUNY students, New York is once again proving that we are the nation’s leader when it comes to forward-thinking policies that advance acceptance of the LGBTQIA+ community,” he added.
The statement specifically noted that the student’s chosen name and pronouns will appear in campus portals, class rosters, and student email addresses, among other changes. SUNY students will also be able to select “X” when asked to provide gender by the college.
According to the statement, The State University of New York serves about 1.3 million students across its 64 locations, making it the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the U.S.
The announcement during Pride month follows Hochul’s equity agenda plan launched in January.
“New York is recognized as the birthplace of movements for equality and progress, and I am committed to advancing our state’s proud progressive legacy with a wide-ranging plan to promote and support gender equity, racial equity, anti-hate, social justice, the LGBTQIA+ community, immigrants and new arrivals, and veterans,” Hochul said in January. “My administration’s Equity Agenda will both protect the fundamental rights of all New Yorkers and widen the opportunity for people of all backgrounds, beliefs, and identities to pursue the New York Dream.”
The equity plan included moving forward with the Gender Recognition Act (GRA), signed in June 2021, that allows New Yorkers the option of an “X” gender marker on state driver’s licenses.
“This important step helped ensure that all New Yorkers, including transgender and non-binary individuals, can have documents that accurately reflect their gender identity. But while many different State agencies collect information about gender, most are not covered by GRA’s requirement to provide an ‘X’ option when identifying their gender during an interaction with an agency,” according to the governor’s statement.
Hochul also expressed support in January for trans-identifying inmates to choose between men’s or women’s prisons, allowing the right to request placement “with persons of the gender that is consistent with such person’s gender identity,” the policy states.