MiraCosta College News Central

President's Update: California Gender Recognition

Good afternoon MiraCostans,

Last fall, former Governor Brown signed into law the Gender Recognition Act (California Senate Bill 179). The law streamlines the process for Californians to apply to change their gender markers and creates a nonbinary gender category (the letter “x” or “nb”) on California birth certificates, drivers’ licenses, identity cards, and gender-change court orders. This allows many in our community—including transgender, intersex, and nonbinary people—to have full recognition in California. The law went into effect on January 1, 2019. 

In order to make sure that all of our students and employees are being served at the highest level of excellence, changes will be made to binary gender systems so that people with non-binary gender markers are accounted for and feel welcomed. Many aspects of our college system rely on a binary gender classification (female/male) and will be reviewed to best serve all current and future MiraCostans.

In addition, MiraCosta has initiated a campus-wide survey to take inventory of the scope of work that will need to be done to make sure that people with “x” or “nb” gender markers are appropriately cared for within our processes and systems. A working group, led by Nick Mortaloni, Interim Dean of Student Life & Judicial Affairs, will begin identifying and coordinating the necessary changes in the coming months. 

Simultaneously, our LGBTQIA+ Equity student services specialist will host a Gender Recognition Act information session on February 26 in OC 4612 from 12-1 p.m. that is open to the entire campus. This information session will go over basic information regarding the bill and its impact. You should also expect department-specific training to roll out later this year. 

If you have questions on the legislative impact on MiraCosta College, our students, and potential work in your department, please reach out to: 

JP Schumacher, Director of Student Equity & LGBTQIA+ Campus Liaison
Hayley Schwartzkopf, Director of Labor Relations & Title IX Coordinator
Nick Mortaloni, Interim Dean of Student Life & Judicial Affairs 

If you have a question about the GRA in general or would like more information on non-binary gender identities, please reach out to: 

India Pierce, LGBTQIA+ Equity student services specialist 

We are also proud to have excellent information and resources on the MiraCosta College LGBTQIA+ Resources website, including sections regarding the Gender Recognition Act Frequently Asked Questions and Trans & Gender Nonconforming Resources

Our district policies already include statements regarding harassment and discrimination in areas related to sex, gender, gender identity, and gender expression. With the Gender Recognition Act, our college now has the opportunity to fully embrace our diverse members through our policies, data systems, and daily practice. This level of inclusion will ensure all people can access MiraCosta College and fully participate in the life of our institution.

Dr. Sunita V. Cooke