The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 46, No. 3 - 72

J. Michael Denton, Leia K. Cain

from. Only having transnormative models may
limit trans students' ability to access a range
of gender expression and identification (Catalano, 2014; Jourian, 2016). HRL staff could
potentially help expand students' knowledge
about possible role models and examples
through exposure to diverse queer media and
literature as well as funding and supporting efforts to create diverse trans and queer
student networks. Facilitating and supporting
trans student networks and providing trans
education in the halls for all students can also
alleviate feelings of isolation and possibly increase a sense of belonging (Pryor et al., 2016).
While centering the perspectives of multiple trans students on inclusive housing helps
meet trans students' multiple needs (Johnson,
2017; Nicolazzo et al., 2018), concerted effort
must be made to find and address multiple
trans students' perspectives as trans experience is not universal. After prioritizing trans
students' voices, action and change should
then follow; asking students to labor on committees or boards as token representatives is
a form of oppression. HRL professionals can
go beyond relying on students by also staying
current on trans higher education research
and literature.

Institutional Change
Limiting equity and safety for trans students in
housing to a few measures shows the problems
in not addressing structural issues, namely the
multiple identities of queer students or the
gender binary. Taylor's story illustrates the possible benefits and advantages trans-equitable
housing can have for trans men (or any trans
student), but such support will likely be on a
case-by-case basis until HRL professionals
challenge normative presumptions around
72

gender. Understandably, such challenges
remain complicated and present many obstacles but are goals for just-minded practitioners
(Marine, Wagner, & Nicolazzo, 2019).
Recommendations for creating institutional change are difficult to provide because
they must be individualized to each campus,
but HRL professionals seeking to enact transinclusive change may find some principles
useful. Gender policing and genderbashing
are rooted in the belief that the gender binary
is the default, normal, and preferred way to
organize human society and lives. Therefore,
any step to displace and dismantle policies and
practices that reinforce the gender binary helps
alleviate trans oppression. Gender-inclusive
housing can be one such step, but housing
professionals need to rethink using the binary
gender as the basis for housing assignments.
Change also requires the centering of trans
voices. Those voices include not only students'
voices but hiring and promoting trans staff
(and faculty) at all levels to advocate for change
(Johnson, 2017). Centering trans voices also
requires "decentering cisgender narratives,
fears, and feelings throughout the process of
creating and maintaining gender-inclusive
policies" (Nicolazzo et al., 2018). A significant
component of institutional change is how
officials respond to advocates and activists.
Students, faculty, and staff who agitate for socially just change for trans and queer students
should not fear repercussions for contesting
gender binary policies, practices, and attitudes.
Marine et al. (2019) found that many student
affairs professionals expressed concerns for
their careers for their trans advocacy. When
university leadership creates a climate of fear
or minimizes these concerns, they "are, in

THE JOURNAL OF COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY STUDENT HOUSING



The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 46, No. 3

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 46, No. 3

Contents
The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 46, No. 3 - Intro
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