LGBTQ+ Rights

The California State University does not discriminate on the basis of gender, which includes sex and gender identity or expression, or sexual orientation in its education programs or activities. Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, and certain other federal and state laws, prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender or sexual orientation in employment, as well as in all education programs and activities operated by the University (both on and off campus). The protection against discrimination on the basis of gender or sexual orientation includes sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, and gender-based dating and domestic violence and stalking.

Trans Specific Rights

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, and certain other federal and state laws, prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender or sexual orientation in employment, as well as in all education programs and activities operated by the University (both on and off campus). The law requires schools to respect transgender students’ gender identity with regards to dress codes, names, pronouns, and access to single-sex facilities (including restrooms). Title IX also protects transgender and gender nonconforming students from gender-based harassment and bullying — that is, harassment or bullying a student experiences because they do not conform to stereotypical notions of masculinity and femininity.

For examples of prohibited harassment, please see the National Women’s Law Center’s Fact Sheet on anti-LGBT bullying and Title IX. For more information on trans students’ Title IX rights, please see the National Center for Transgender Equality’s Frequently Asked Questions on the withdrawal of federal guidance on transgender students

Can my Professor Intentionally Misgender Me?

No. Your professor can not intentionally or maliciously misgender (or misname) you after being properly informed of your pronouns (or correct name). If you've spoken to your professor and they have stated they refuse to gender/name you properly, they are in the wrong. You can report this to their department chair, the Dean of Students, or the Title IX department. This applies to other staff and other on-campus employees as well.

Visit this page to Update Your Correct Name and Pronouns in Humboldt System doing so will cause both to appear on your classroom roster.  

Resolution to Restore Student Well-Being

This Associated Students Resolution, adopted in October 2019, resolved that the Cal Poly Humboldt Student Health and Wellbeing Services should move to readjust the medical health information system to reflect and/or highlight the correct names and pronouns of students. Additionally, that the Cal Poly Humboldt Student Health and Wellbeing Services confirm the identity of students through the confirmation of last names and birthdates of students, and refer to the chart to confom the correct pronouns of students.

This means the student body supports that you do not have to confirm your legal name (if you've not yet received a legal name change) to any staff member or member of the medical team. Providing your last name, student ID number, and date of birth to the person you're speaking with is sufficient enough to prove your identity. See the full resolution PDF at

Workplace Rights

LGBT discrimination in the workplace is against the law in California. The Fair Employment and Housing Act, or FEHA, prevents discrimination based on sexual orientation. The most common violations of this act involve an employer discriminating against an employee (or a prospective employee) because the person is lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. Federal courts across the country and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) have concluded that discrimination because a person is transgender or gender non-conforming constitutes illegal sex discrimination. Many states and localities also expressly prohibit job discrimination based on gender identity and/or expression. You have the right not to be fired or refused a job or promotion because you are transgender. You have the right to be treated with respect and not be harassed. Sex-based harassment is unlawful when it is severe or widespread and an employer does not take steps to stop it. This is true even if your state and locality have not passed laws explicitly prohibiting gender identity discrimination.

You have the right to safe and adequate access to restrooms and other facilities consistent with your gender identity. According to several federal courts and the EEOC, denying access to facilities consistent with your gender identity can constitute discrimination. Employers cannot demand medical or legal documentation of your gender as a condition of restroom access, or limit you to using a specific restroom separate from other employees. Agencies cannot require you to use facilities that are unsanitary, potentially unsafe, or located at an unreasonable distance from your workstation.

FEHA’s Laws Barring Discrimination in Business Practices

The Fair Employment and Housing Act bars discrimination in business practices across the state, including:

  • Advertising
  • Applications, screening and interviews
  • Compensation
  • Hiring, transferring, terminating, promotion and separating employees
  • Participation in apprenticeships or training, as well as employee organizations and unions
  • Working conditions

California employers are legally obligated to protect all of their employees from discrimination, harassment, and hostile work environments. This protection should be provided through training, supervision, and by enforcing appropriate policies and establishing appropriate practices.

• Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

Prohibits sex discrimination in employment. Numerous federal courts and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission have agreed that discrimination because an employee or job applicant is transgender or gender non-conforming constitutes sex discrimination. Title VII applies to any employer with at least 15 employees. This means that complaints of anti-transgender job discrimination anywhere in the country can be filed with the EEOC.

State and local laws

Explicitly prohibit discrimination based on gender identity or expression. As of July 2015, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington State, Utah, and Puerto Rico and over 200 cities and counties have such explicit laws. These laws are enforced by state and local civil or human rights agencies.

Excutive orders in Delaware, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia explicitly prohibit gender identity discrimination in state employment. Executive Order 13672 prohibits anti-LGBT discrimination by federal contractors. If you work for a company that contracts with the federal government, you are protected.

What types of discrimination are illegal?

It is illegal for a housing provider to do any of the following because you are transgender, or because you are perceived as not conforming to gender stereotypes:

  • Refuse to admit you to a homeless shelter
  • Tell you housing is unavailable when it is available
  • Set different terms, conditions, or privileges for sale or rental of a dwelling
  • Provide different housing services or facilities
  • Deny you a mortgage loan, or impose different terms or conditions on a mortgage loan
  • Deny you property insurance
  • Conduct property appraisals in a discriminatory manner
  • Harass, coerce, intimidate, or interfere with you exercising your fair housing rights

What are the housing rights of LGBT families?

Discrimination against LGBT families in any federally funded housing or federally-insured mortgage lending is illegal, regardless of marital status. However, in private rental and home sales outside of these programs, some cases of discrimination based solely on sexual orientation or marital status may not fall within the protections of current federal law. Many state and local laws provide this protection.

Can a housing provider ask if I am transgender?

Asking whether you are transgender may be an indication of discrimination if you are subsequently denied housing or provided substandard housing. If a housing provider receives federal funding the law specifically forbids asking about your gender identity or sexual orientation. In homeless shelters or other temporary housing that houses men and women separately, staff may ask if you are male or female if they are unsure where to house you. If asked, you can tell them the gender you identify as. Demands for medical or legal evidence of your gender, may be evidence of discrimination. Refusing to provide housing consistent with a person’s gender identity because they are transgender constitutes discrimination based on sex and/or gender identity.

Federal protections

  • The Affordable Care Act (ACA) prohibits sex discrimination, including anti-transgender discrimination, by most health providers and insurance companies, as well as discrimination based on race, national origin, age, and disability. Under the ACA, it is illegal for most insurance companies to have exclusions of transition-related care, and it is illegal for most health providers to discriminate against transgender people, like by turning someone away or refusing to treat them according to their gender identity.
  • The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) protects patients’ privacy when it comes to certain health information, including information related to a person’s transgender status and transition. It also gives patients the right to access, inspect, and copy their protected health information held by hospitals, clinics, and health plans.
  • Medicare and Medicaid regulations protect the right of hospital patients to choose their own visitors and medical decision-makers regardless of their legal relationship to the patient. This means that hospitals cannot discriminate against LGBT people or their families in visitation and in recognizing a patient’s designated decision-maker.
  • Joint Commission hospital accreditation standards require hospitals to have internal policies prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation.
  • The Nursing Home Reform Act establishes a set of nursing home residents’ rights that include the right to privacy, including in visits from friends or loved ones; the right to be free from abuse, mistreatment, and neglect; the right to choose your physician; the right to dignity and self-determination; and the right to file grievances without retaliation.

Which health providers are prohibited from discriminating against me?

Under the Affordable Care Act, it is illegal for most health providers and organizations to discriminate against you because you are transgender. The following are examples of places and programs that may be covered by the law:

  • Physicians’ offices
  • Hospitals
  • Community health clinics
  • Drug rehabilitation programs
  • Rape crisis centers
  • Nursing homes and assisted living facilities
  • Health clinics in schools and universities
  • Medical residency programs
  • Home health providers
  • Veterans health centers
  • Health services in prison or detention facilities

Transitional Care

Check out NCTE’s Health Coverage Guide for more information on getting the care that you need covered by your health plan. If you do not yet have health insurance, you can visit our friends at Out2Enroll to understand your options. 

The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) provides coverage for some transition-related care for eligible veterans. However, VHA still has an arbitrary and medically baseless exclusion for coverage of transition-related surgery. For more information about VHA and transition-related care, check out NCTE’s VAH Veterans Health Care page.

What types of discrimination by health care providers are prohibited by law?

  • Refusing to admit or treat you because you are transgender
  • Forcing you to have intrusive and unnecessary examinations because you are transgender
  • Refusing to provide you services that they provide to other patients because you are transgender
  • Refuse to treat you according to your gender identity, including by providing you access to restrooms consistent with your gender
  • Refusing to respect your gender identity in making room assignments
  • Harassing you or refusing to respond to harassment by staff or other patients
  • Refusing to provide counseling, medical advocacy or referrals, or other support services because you are transgender
  • Isolating you or depriving you of human contact in a residential treatment facility, or limiting your participation in social or recreational activities offered to others
  • Requiring you to participate in “conversion therapy” for the purpose of changing your gender identity
  • Attempting to harass, coerce, intimidate, or interfere with your ability to exercise your health care rights