Grand Valley State Switches To 'Gender Neutral' Housing Option For Gay, Transgender Students

Ann McClure's picture
Thursday, October 13, 2011

After months of lobbying by the gay community, Grand Valley State University quietly changed their policy this fall to include a “gender neutral” option for gay or transgender students to check on their housing application.

Whereas on-campus students have traditionally been matched by gender — males room with other males and vice versa — students can now request a specific person to room with regardless of gender, or be matched with others who check the option.

Because of social stigma attached with being gay or transgendered, some students find the gender-neutral option helps ensure a safer living atmosphere, said Colette Seguin Beighley, director of the university’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender (LGBT) resource center.

For instance, a homosexual male could choose a close female friend, she said.

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