Transitioning at UWM

This section of our website has a wealth of resources and information that can help you learn about the steps necessary to transition at UWM. If you have a question or are looking for a resource that’s not provided here, please let us know – we’re always happy to help!

Name Changes

Legal Name Change

To learn about the legal process of changing your name, see our Legal Name Change page.

Once you have gone through the legal name change process, it is very easy to change your name at UWM.

Bring your amended ID and legal name change papers to Mellencamp Hall, Room 274. You can change the name that appears on your academic record by filling out a Student Record Data Change Form at the Enrollment Services Information Center. You may want to call (414) 229-2754 to make an appointment with Carolyn Johnson, Administrative Assistant for Enrollment Services. Carolyn will sit down with you and change your name and gender marker within PAWS, affecting your Norris medical records, official transcripts, and all mail addressed to you from the university.

You will have to call University Technology and Information Services (UTIS) to change your email address and D2L information at (414) 229-4040 or visit them at the Help Desk in Bolton Hall, Room 255.

What if I don’t legally change my name?

Obtaining a legal name change is not financially feasible for everyone. But as of June 1, 2015, there is now a simple process to be recognized by your name-in-use in documents and applications internal to the university. To change how you are recognized, fill out the Preferred Name Request Form for the Registrar’s Office.

Your preferred name will appear on PAWS, D2L, Office 365, class rosters, and the campus online directory. Your legal name will still appear on enrollment verification, official transcripts, financial aid and student financial accounts, student employment, and ID cards.

For more information on this process, visit the Registrar’s Office information page, or ask us at the LGBTRC.

Gender Therapy

Many trans* people seek a therapist to process their feelings about coming into a different gender identity than the one assigned to them. In addition, some doctors require ‘carry letters’ from these therapists in order to prescribe a regimen of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) or perform surgery.

Below are some resources provided by current trans*-identified UWM students on therapy options they have used:

Norris Health Center provides free short-term therapy, and the counselors there are able to provide you with references for longer-term care. Currently Norris Health Center will not provide students with ‘carry letters.’

Walker’s Point Youth and Family Center offers free and confidential counseling services, including 24/7 crisis counseling. Call (414) 647-8200 to schedule an appointment.

Pathways Counseling Center is a good option for those with insurance, as it has a specific ‘transgender program.’ However, they follow the old standards of care which many would describe as ‘gatekeeping.’ http://www.pathwayscounseling.com/

Zablocki VA Medical Center provides transgender veterans with therapy, hormone replacement therapy, and speech therapy for those eligible to receive VA health care.  Veterans should request their Primary Care Clinic to place a referral to Outpatient Mental Health to begin the process.

FORGE and the MKE LGBT Commmunity Center both provide more extensive lists.

Hormone Therapy

Norris Health Center currently neither prescribes nor fills prescriptions for hormones, regrettably.

Your family doctor, PA, or NP can prescribe hormones. You do not necessarily have to see an endocrinologist (a physician who specializes in hormonal systems). The MKE LGBT Community Center have listed some physicians known to provide HRT.

Many students without insurance travel to Chicago to the Howard Brown Health Center, which provides hormones using a sliding scale. They also prescribe on an informed consent basis, which means you do not need to go through months of proving your trans identity in order to obtain a prescription.

There is also now a clinic in Milwaukee that provides hormones on an informed consent basis. The Greater Milwaukee Center for Health and Wellness is located in Glendale on Port Washington Road.

Voice Therapy

The UWM Speech and Language Clinic provides low cost voice feminization therapy for male-to-female transgender clients. Clinical treatments start at the beginning of the Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters. There are limited spots each semester. Click here for more information, or call them at (414) 229-4351.

Gender Inclusive Restrooms

There are over 50 gender inclusive restrooms at UWM, below is a listing of the restrooms currently designated as gender inclusive. All of these restrooms are single stall and lockable.

  • 3 in the Student Union – one down the service hallway past the LGBT Center, and two near the Student Association Office
  • Many of the bathrooms in the Northwest Quadrant
  • 2 on the third floor of the Library (W302 and W303)
  • 1 in the basement of Norris Health Center (B8)
  • 1 on the eighth floor of Enderis Hall, room 828
  • 1 on the fourth floor of Sabin Hall (470)
  • 1 on the first floor of Vogel Hall (125C)
  • 1 on EVERY floor of Cunningham Hall (B130, B30, 130, 230, 330, 430, 530, 630, and 730)
  • 1 in the basement of Mellencamp Hall (B57)
  • 1 on the eighth floor of the Chemistry Building (801)
  • 1 in Sandburg Hall on the 2nd floor commons
  • 2 in the Honors Hall (134 and 151)
  • 2 in the basement of Lapham Hall (NB16 and SB86)

These are a nice option if you feel uncomfortable in the male and female-assigned spaces, whether it is a matter of transitional status or non-binary identity. Of course, you have the right (guaranteed by UWM) to use ANY bathroom you like – don’t feel limited to using gender inclusive ones alone!

You can view the room numbers and exact locations of each restroom on the UWM Campus Map.

Klotsche Center and Locker Room Facilities

Does the Klotsche Center provide gender inclusive facilities (i.e. locker rooms)?

The Klotsche Center is a fitness center available to students who pay segregated fees as well as paying Klotsche Center members. The Klotsche Center has a gender inclusive, family changing room available – please inquire at the front desk for access. Students are encouraged to utilize the facilities that align most with their gender identity and comfort levels.

Are fitness classes open to students, faculty, and staff of all gender identities and expressions?

Campus recreation along with student wellness programs offers several fitness and educational classes and programs for students who pay segregated fees as well as paying Klotsche Center members. Some of these programs may be specifically geared toward men and/ or women based on their title or description but are not limited to women only or men only. Please feel comfortable attending any class offered that you are interested in.

Do UWM Intramural policies include gender identity and expression?

UWM Intramural Sports does not have defined policy on transgender participation. However, they have expressed that transgender athletes are welcome to participate as the gender they identify with. In addition to men and women’s specific teams/leagues, Co-Rec teams/leagues are also available and open to all students, faculty, and staff.

Athletics

Do UWM Athletic policies include gender identity and expression?

The UWM Athletic Department non-discrimination policies are drawn directly from the UWM non-discrimination policies, which states:

UWM maintains a policy against any discriminatory conduct, including sexual harassment, by faculty, staff or students. UWM defines discrimination as conduct that (1) adversely affects any aspect of an individual’s employment, education, or participation in activities or programs at UWM; and (2) is based on one or more characteristics of the individual that are protected under federal, state or local laws. Characteristics that are protected under federal, state or local law (“protected statuses”) may include: age, ancestry, arrest or conviction record, color, disability, gender identity/expression, identity as a veteran, disabled veteran, or Vietnam veteran, marital status, membership in the National Guard, state defense force or any other reserve component of the military forces of the United States or this state, national origin, pregnancy, political affiliation, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation.

However, UWM competes in intercollegiate athletics through the NCAA and are subject to their rules.

NCAA regulations state that trans female athletes may not participate on a women’s team until they have undergone testosterone suppression treatment for at least one calendar year. They may only participate in men’s athletics before this.

Trans male athletes may compete on either men’s or women’s teams before medically transitioning; however, they can only participate on men’s teams once they start testosterone therapy.

For more information on participating in NCAA sponsored athletics, see the NCAA Transgender Handbook.

Campus Policies

Both the UW System and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee include gender identity and expression in non-discrimination policies. Visit UWM’s Office of Equity/Diversity Services (EDS) summary of relevant laws, policies and regulations for more information.

If you experience a negative experience based on your gender identity or expression, please visit the Campus Center, contact us, or fill out the Hate/Bias Incident Reporting Form.