For most first year students, leaving home and starting university or college is both stressful and liberating. However for trans students there can be additional stressful concerns if they are moving into shared accommodation. It is very important that trans students have access to accommodation which is well matched to their needs. The following policies are therefore suggested as best practice:
- Mixed gender/gender-blind accommodation should be the standard with single-sex accommodation available on request.
- Showers, baths and toilets should be housed in lockable cubicles, or preferably seperate small rooms. They should also not be segregated or labelled by gender.
- All toilets should have sanitary waste disposal provisions, regardless of the presumed gender of the occupants of the flat/hall.
- There should be a discreet option on accommodation request forms that would alert the office that a student would like to confidentially discuss trans-friendly/safe options. (Such as ensuite accommodation).
Also, if a student requests to move to a different accommodation mid-term to help facilitate their transition, this should be considered as an important welfare issue and assitance provided without additional fee. This is especially the case if they are currently in a single-gender block/hall/flat that corresponds to their pre-transition gender. This is to protect the student from transphobic bullying and gossip.
In the situation where a 3rd party is providing accommodation services, the student is still protected from gender reassignment discrimination by the Equality Act 2010.