Gender Recognition Act

The Gender Recognition Act (California Senate Bill 179) went into effect January 1st, 2019. The bill makes the process easier for Californians to apply to change their gender markers on California birth certificates, drivers’ licenses, gender-change court orders and identity cards. Most significant, the bill creates a non-binary gender category (the letter “x”). These easier processes will allow many people in our community, including transgender, intersex and nonbinary people, to have full recognition in the State of California.

Lunch & Learn – California Gender Recognition Act & Gender 101  
Tuesday 23rd 
12:00pm – 1:30pm
3400 Student Center - Aztlan

LGBTQIA+ Equity is hosting a Lunch and Learn event this month as a continuation of the conversation that was started during the GRA info sessions. This event will explore the basics of the concept of gender including important language and give participants an opportunity to practice asking pronouns. We invite you to bring your questions and have lunch with us! Light lunch and refreshments will be provided. Register at https://forms.gle/R5WmJ6TwHChwCL3g9

Read the frequently asked questions below to learn more about the implications for our work at MiraCosta.

FAQ

What is the California Gender Recognition Act?
The Gender Recognition Act (California Senate Bill 179) went into effect January 1st, 2019. This bill may sound familiar to you and that is because aspects of this bill have been put into effect since January 2018. Now the bill will be completely put into law. The text of the bill is available online. The bill makes the process easier for Californians to apply to change their gender markers on California birth certificates, drivers’ licenses, gender-change court orders and identity cards. Most significant, the bill  creates a non-binary gender category (the letter “x”). These easier processes will allow many people in our community, including transgender, intersex and nonbinary people, to have full recognition in the State of California. The law was authored by Sens. Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) and Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) and sponsored by Equality California and the Transgender Law Center.

How does the GRA impact MiraCosta College?
Many aspects of our college system relies on a binary gender classification (woman / man). 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 those systems binary gender systems so that people with non-binary gender makers are accounted for. 

I believe my department, unit, or division will need to make adjustments in order to be in compliance with the Gender Recognition Act. What steps should we take?
In the coming weeks a survey will be released that will help us get a better idea of the scope of work that will need to be done in your department. If you would like to make sure you receive the link to that survey please email India Pierce ipierce@miracosta.edu.

What steps are MiraCosta taking that we should be aware of?
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” gender markers are appropriately cared for within our processes and systems. A working group will begin identifying and coordinating the necessary changes in the coming months. Simultaneously, our LGBTQIA+ equity specialist will host a GRA information session on February 26th in OC 4612 from 12-1pm that is open to the entire campus. This information session will go over basic information regarding the bill and its impact. You should expect department specific trainings to roll out later this year.

I have more questions, who can I talk to?
If you have questions the legislations impact on MiraCosta and potential work in your department please reach out to:

JP Schumacher, Director of Student Equity & LGBTQIA+ Campus Liaison
jschumacher@miracosta.edu

Nick Mortaloni, Interim Dean of Student Life & Judicial Affairs
nmortaloni@miracosta.edu

Hayley Schwartzkopf, Director of Labor Relations & Title IX Coordinator
hschwartzkopf@miracosta.edu

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
ipierce@ucsd.edu

Why is this important?
The Gender Recognition Act is one huge step toward equity and protection for transgender, instersex, and non-binary individuals. This legislation means that now individuals will have their identities legally recognized. For many transgender people across this nation, the old process of getting their gender legally changed included a series of intrusive medical assessments and long, demeaning interviews with psychiatrists in order to ‘prove’ their gender identity. For intersex and non-binary individuals there has been no process that would allow for a legal recognition of their gender identity. The Gender Recognition Act, makes this aspect of life a little bit easier for transgender, intersex, and non-binary people, affording them with the respect, recognition, and self-determination that they deserve.

Further, this legislation will help make it easier for organizations to provide adequate services and support for the transgender, non-binary, and intersex communities. Regardless of your role on this campus, it is all of our responsibility to make sure that we uphold MCCD Board Policy 3400.

“MiraCosta College is committed to providing a strong, supportive, and authentic environment where difference is valued, respected, encouraged, and honored; where all faculty, staff, and students experience a sense of belonging and the freedom to express themselves; and where their experiences are recognized and valued. MiraCosta College strives to be a model for equity and inclusion.”

Is non-binary the same as intersex and transgender?
No, non-binary, intersex, and transgender are three separate terms. Here are some definitions:

How do I address someone who is non-binary?
It is very important for us to remember that you cannot tell someone’s gender just by looking at them. Most of the time we are making assumptions based upon how someone presents themself. Asking people for the pronouns they use will prevent our wrong assumptions from causing undue harm and emotional distress.

Here are some phrases you can use to ask for someone’s pronouns:

** A quick note about honorifics **  

A honorific is a title that conveys respect and honor. Some common honorifics are: Ms., Mr., Mrs., Miss, and Dr. In many cases we address formal letters and emails by stating, “Dear Ms.______” and when receiving important phone calls we may hear, “Hello, may I speak to Mr._____.” For those who use gender neutral pronouns it may seem a bit confusing to select the correct honorific. Here are some suggestions:

When will we begin to see changes taking place on campus?
Change can often be a long and slow process. Please know that this is a top priority and work is being done to make sure that changes are happening swiftly. While each department’s scope of work is different we are committed to beginning this important this work this semester. Updates will posted regularly on this site. Feel free to check here periodically.