Names and Pronouns

How do I get professors to use my preferred name and gender pronoun?

There are several options available to be able to communicate your request to your instructors and professors. In fact, CU-Boulder suggests that instructors and professors state that they will accommodate these requests by putting the following statement into their syllabi. (As a suggested statement not all teachers will include this in their syllabi, but many do.)

“Professional courtesy and sensitivity are especially important with respect to individuals and topics dealing with differences of race, culture, religion, politics, sexual orientation, gender, gender variance, and nationalities. Class rosters are provided to the instructor with the student's legal name. I will gladly honor your request to address you by an alternate name or gender pronoun. Please advise me of this preference early in the semester so that I may make appropriate changes to my records. See polices at colorado.edu/policies/classbehavior.html and at colorado.edu/studentaffairs/judicialaffairs/code.html#student_code.”

There are several ways to go about addressing preferred name and pronouns with your instructors and professors. Here are some ideas we have, and by no means are these the only ways.

  • When to inform an instructor:
    Many trans-identified and transitioning students prefer to inform their instructors of name and pronoun preferences before the beginning of the semester so as not to be outed during roll call or equivalent. Other students are comfortable stating their preference during the first roll call of the semester when many instructors ask for nicknames. Some folks are comfortable changing their name and pronoun mid-semester, and others prefer to wait until the beginning of the semester.

How to inform an instructor:
Your colorado.edu email account is the official means of communication at CU-Boulder. Faculty are required to check this email just like students, and many will be checking for emails from students before the semester begins and usually daily or more during the semester. For students who find discussing trans identity or transition in person to be difficult or awkward, email is a great tool. Here is an example of an email:

     Dear Professor Jones-

             I am writing to let you know that I am in the process of transitioning.  My name is currently listed as _________ on your class rosters and computer systems.  I will now be going by _________________ and prefer ____________________ pronouns.  I will be using my preferred name on all of my homework, tests or other class activities so please make a note about the change.  If you have any questions on how to manage name changes or anything else please contact the Gender and Sexuality Center on campus at gsc@colorado.edu or 303-492-1377.

Thank you so much for your understanding and help.

  • Other students are more comfortable discussing name and pronoun preferences in person. After class or at office hours are a great time to talk to your teacher, and they will have information on office hours on their syllabus.

  • What to do if an instructor does not respect your preference:
    Unfortunately there is no guaranteed way to ensure that another person will respect your requests to be addressed by your preferred name and gender pronoun. When this happens, you have the option to report the issue. As always, the Center is here for you to help out and support you, so contact us as well with any concerns or questions.

Pronouns

How can I change my email, CULearn, D2L, etc.?

Contact Morgan at seamont@colorado.edu.  He will be happy to help you with this.  Really.  Just contact him.  He is cool.

Can I change my Buff OneCard to reflect my preferred name?


Please note that we are actively meeting with the administrators on this issue.  Our goal is that students will be able to have their preferred name on their Buff One Card.  Last names will still require a legal name change.


The Buff OneCard is the ID card for students, faculty, and staff at CU.  The initial card may be printed with your legal name.  However, you may go the Buff One office in the C4C building and request that they only list the first initial of your name. For more information please contact the Buff OneCard office in C4C N180, and feel free to speak to Bonnie Hassler, Program Manager, or Sarah Douvres, Office Manager, with any questions or concerns.

Changing Campus Records to Reflect a New Legal Name

Who do I need to inform once I have changed my legal name?

After changing your legal name, the most important office to contact is the Registrar. Information on the forms to fill out and who to speak to can be found at the Registrar's change of information page.

Offices on campus that do not sync to the Registrar will need to be contacted separately. These offices include:

  • The Apothecary
    To have a preferred name added to your record at The Apothecary pharmacy in Wardenburg, simply let them know at the counter. The full-time pharmacists—Jane, Paul, and Sue—are happy to work with any folks who have questions or concerns.
  • CU Libraries
    The library system on campus pulls data weekly from the Buff OneCard office. To ensure that your name is changed at the library double-check that it has been synced to the Buff OneCard office.

You may also wish to pick up a new Buff OneCard. This can be done in C4C N180 for a small fee.

As a former student, how do I change my name on my diploma?

Like any other name change request, you simply need to bring, mail, or fax the proof of name change along with a name change request form (PDF).

Legal Name Changes in Boulder County

How do I change my name legally?

Firstly, you must change your name in your county of residence. For many first-year students, this will be your permanent residence, most likely the home of your parent or guardian. For students who live off-campus, your Boulder residence is sufficient to allow a name change in Boulder County.

To begin this process, you will need to pick up a change of name packet from the Boulder County Clerk of Court. In Boulder their office is in the County Courthouse on 6th and Canyon. The most current instructions for a name change will be inside this packet, and the basic steps are listed below.  For more detailed information, and a MUCH shorter wait for FBI background checks please visit here: http://denverfingerprinting.com/products-services.html

  • Obtaining two fingerprint cards, which can be done on campus at the CUPD office on Regent Drive.
  • A background check with the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
  • A court hearing, scheduled after receiving your background checks in the mail.
  • Publishing your signed court order in a daily newspaper for three consecutive days.

The total cost for a name change in Boulder County is approximately $300 over a two to four month time period, and of course these costs are subject to change. Please check with the Clerk of Court or the agency involved in any particular step for the most current information.

Legal Sex & Gender Marker Changes

How do I legally change my gender?

Legally changing your gender is a much more complicated process than legally changing your name. Instead of one change which is then reported to different offices, this change has to take place through the different agencies at which you would like this change to occur. Policies also vary according to state, or even to which state you were born in. For more information relating to your situation, please contact us and we can help you look for the specific information you need.

  • To change gender marker on Colorado state-issued IDs:
    This change can be made on any ID issued by the state of Colorado. The form required for this change is the DR 2083, download here: https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/sites/default/files/DR2083.pdf . It needs to be signed by a doctor, and then returned to the DMV where you will be issued a new ID with the new gender marker.
  • To change gender marker with Social Security:
    Information on this process can be found on the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) changing federal documents page and the Social Security Administrations FAQ page on changing gender. A letter stating that sex/gender reassignment/reaffirming surgery (SRS or GRS) has occurred is required.
  • To change gender marker on your US passport:
    New policies from the Department of State have made is such that SRS/GRS is no longer a requirement for changing the gender marker on your passport, rather only a letter from a doctor affirming your gender is required. For more information, please reference the Department of State's gender change information (PDF) and the NCTE passport information (PDF).

More information on federal documents can be found at the NCTE website.

How do I change my gender marker in campus records?

Campus records typically do not contain a gender marker, or must match the gender marker on any legal document.

  • The Registrar can change your gender marker in their system with a driver's license or other legal identification.
  • Wardenburg can change your gender marker in their system to a "T" instead of "M" or "F".

Do I need to do anything with selective service and financial aid?

The Registrar updates selective service for anyone eligible. You can either fill out a form in person, or you may fill out the form online on MyCUInfo (near where the Late Drop requests are).

MTF-spectrum identifying and transitioning students who are still legally male will need to register in the same way as anyone else legally male.  For FTM-spectrum identifying and transitioning students you must register as soon as possible after you change your gender marker at the university.  Your FAFSA paperwork and financial aid will be delayed if you do not register.  You can also request and exemption from selective service but you still must register.  For more information, please check out the Selective Service page on FinAid.org.

While rare, if you have encountered problems accessing your financial aid because of Selective Service, contact Selective Service for a Status Information Letter which states that you were not required to register; this will be honored by the Financial Aid Office. Remember that you must use your legal name with Financial Aid, and that name changes are processed through Social Security.