The Student Room Group

being non-binary/trans at uni

i’m non-binary (they/them), you could describe me as trans but i don’t like to label myself beyond just NB. my school wasn’t great towards me when i came out in year 7/8, but after year 9 people were very accepting (at least outwardsly). everyone used my chosen name & pronouns, and no one made any real hateful comments, so i felt very accepted.

i’m starting university this year and i’m not sure how i feel about being non-binary around new people, not knowing whether they’ll accept me or not. how do i actually tell people, so that i’m not misgendered? do i just say my pronouns when i meet someone? if people aren’t accepting of me, what should i say / do? it’s literally having to come out again.

if it helps, i’m going to warwick.
Original post by Anonymous
i’m non-binary (they/them), you could describe me as trans but i don’t like to label myself beyond just NB. my school wasn’t great towards me when i came out in year 7/8, but after year 9 people were very accepting (at least outwardsly). everyone used my chosen name & pronouns, and no one made any real hateful comments, so i felt very accepted.

i’m starting university this year and i’m not sure how i feel about being non-binary around new people, not knowing whether they’ll accept me or not. how do i actually tell people, so that i’m not misgendered? do i just say my pronouns when i meet someone? if people aren’t accepting of me, what should i say / do? it’s literally having to come out again.

if it helps, i’m going to warwick.

Going Warwick as well, we literally all have to do a values Moodle task beforehand and sign it to agree that we'll respect each other and I think there's even a segment on LGBTQ stuff. Haven't been warwick yet as I'm UG but the uni seems very 'woke' so doubt you'll have any issues. Also we choose our pronouns during enrolment

and advice on the coming out stuff, in my general experience (I'm straight but still) no one really cares what your gender or sexual oriental actually is, they just get annoyed if you make it your whole personality. But as I said before the values thing we sign beforehand is a actual agreement and everyone must abide it
Original post by Anonymous
i’m non-binary (they/them), you could describe me as trans but i don’t like to label myself beyond just NB. my school wasn’t great towards me when i came out in year 7/8, but after year 9 people were very accepting (at least outwardsly). everyone used my chosen name & pronouns, and no one made any real hateful comments, so i felt very accepted.

i’m starting university this year and i’m not sure how i feel about being non-binary around new people, not knowing whether they’ll accept me or not. how do i actually tell people, so that i’m not misgendered? do i just say my pronouns when i meet someone? if people aren’t accepting of me, what should i say / do? it’s literally having to come out again.

if it helps, i’m going to warwick.


Hi there

Sorry to hear about your experience in the lower school years. I understand your worry about not being accepted at University, but I believe most people will be open and friendly. Please do not stress yourself over it. :smile:

Although I do not go to Warwick University, I have lived in Warwick for the past few years. The culture in Warwick is quite diverse and accepting.

In general, I find that students at University are much more mature than sixth-form or lower years. (Making friends at University is quite different, as there are many people. If you do not get along with some, you do not need to feel pressure to hang around them). Rather, moving on and meeting others is a good option.

I think Warwick University has its own LGBTQ+ Societies, perhaps you can have a look at this and attend their societies. Depending on your University, I am certain you may also find support groups.

Students at University come from a very diverse range of backgrounds, so please do not worry to much. Just be yourself and I am sure you will meet friends that you feel comfortable with.

Hope this helps & all the best at University. :smile:

Chloe
-University of Kent Student Rep
Reply 3
Original post by Anonymous
i’m non-binary (they/them), you could describe me as trans but i don’t like to label myself beyond just NB. my school wasn’t great towards me when i came out in year 7/8, but after year 9 people were very accepting (at least outwardsly). everyone used my chosen name & pronouns, and no one made any real hateful comments, so i felt very accepted.

i’m starting university this year and i’m not sure how i feel about being non-binary around new people, not knowing whether they’ll accept me or not. how do i actually tell people, so that i’m not misgendered? do i just say my pronouns when i meet someone? if people aren’t accepting of me, what should i say / do? it’s literally having to come out again.

if it helps, i’m going to warwick.


in my opinion people at university are pretty mature and really chilled out in this aspect, you'll be absolutely fine :smile: in terms of your pronouns maybe I'd wait and see if they use the wrong ones and then you could just correct them, or just say it straight off the bat !! people genuinely won't care and they'll be happy if you tell them so they can use your correct pronouns! I genuinely really wouldn't worry, I think our generation is very accepting in comparison to the older generation and university is generally a place where students feel free to be themselves away from their parents. Good luck starting uni ! 🍀☘️
I saw someone once wear a they/them badge, maybe you could do that so you don’t need to always correct people in the beginning?
(edited 8 months ago)
Original post by Sorcerer of Old
I saw someone once wear a they/them badge, maybe you could do that so you don’t need to always correct people on the beginning?


:ditto:
some people might still not bother to use the pronouns but at least it’s something.
i would just say my pronouns when i meet new people. if they reject me, then i would leave them alone and move on to other people :smile:
Unis are getting better with gender identities and you will generally find that younger people are more open minded and not especially bothered or otherwise affected by it..

Of course you may find the odd person that is less cool, (and for many you may be the first NB person they have interacted with!), but that is the same with all walks of life and you'll find that it's a more welcoming environment than a random small/medium company.

As above, a lot of unis have lanyards or badges which may avoid some initial akwardness. It's LGBT+ society may also be able to give advice. Ultimately you should not feel any more akward telling people your pronouns than you would explaining how to pronounce your name.
The great thing about starting over in a new place is no one knows you yet. You can establish what your name is and what your pronouns are from the start and these people will have never known you otherwise, so it'll be easier for them to get it right.

I only ever had one person maliciously misgender me at university. This was during my masters, so everyone was 21+. She only ever did it behind my back. I was very close with two of her friends and they would correct her, but she disagreed with them. After a few weeks of her nonsense another friend and I ended up addressing the topic of respecting others pronouns in the class group chat - after that she never did it again. That same evening she actually sent me some text about being brave and respecting me and blah blah blah. Regardless, that's as bad as it ever got.

Since I've entered the workplace, misgendering has never been malicious. Where I hear it, I tend to just say "oh, I'm not a ___" and move on. I have overheard people correcting others on my pronouns, so I do know that it's being respected.

Anytime I start somewhere new I make a point of wearing a pronoun pin for the first few weeks/months, just to make things easier for people. I've found that most people are intuitive enough to notice it and use the correct pronouns from the beginning without any questions. I would absolutely recommend getting one if you haven't already.
Reply 9
Original post by Anonymous
Going Warwick as well, we literally all have to do a values Moodle task beforehand and sign it to agree that we'll respect each other and I think there's even a segment on LGBTQ stuff. Haven't been warwick yet as I'm UG but the uni seems very 'woke' so doubt you'll have any issues. Also we choose our pronouns during enrolment

and advice on the coming out stuff, in my general experience (I'm straight but still) no one really cares what your gender or sexual oriental actually is, they just get annoyed if you make it your whole personality. But as I said before the values thing we sign beforehand is a actual agreement and everyone must abide it


oh i did the moodle just the other day, it was definitely an… experience. it does feel partly genuine, but also exists to save face (especially with the whatsapp group chat scandal). i guess i’m even worried about reporting transphobia, because it might lead to more backlash? i am very open about being queer and present in a “stereotypical” way, so maybe i do fall under what you call “making it our whole personality”. i’ve met a few people doing my course online, and they’ve all been very accepting, so that’s a start. you starting this september makes us year mates, as well!
Reply 10
Original post by Sorcerer of Old
I saw someone once wear a they/them badge, maybe you could do that so you don’t need to always correct people in the beginning?


i have one of those, plus a non-binary pride flag pin! i don’t really wear them (as i don’t like wearing pins), but i also have clip-on they/them earrings (trouble is, they get a bit painful). i just worry that ppl will overlook them, so i’ll also make sure to introduce myself with they/them.
Reply 11
Original post by 1582
You can establish what your name is and what your pronouns are from the start and these people will have never known you otherwise, so it'll be easier for them to get it right.

Anytime I start somewhere new I make a point of wearing a pronoun pin for the first few weeks/months, just to make things easier for people. I've found that most people are intuitive enough to notice it and use the correct pronouns from the beginning without any questions. I would absolutely recommend getting one if you haven't already.


i’m actually unsure of what name to go by in uni. i go by 2 variations of the same name, 1 which mostly my family call me and 1 which all my friends / people at school call me. i left my preferred name as name 1, but i might actually ask them to change it (but keep my “official” name). i initially changed it a 2nd time bc i identified as binary trans for a while, which i definitely don’t anymore, so it’s more gendered.

i usually wear a t-shirt & hoodie, so i’m worried that a pin might damage them in a way that isn’t an issue with jackets or blazers. i’ve never seen anyone wear an enamel pin on either of those, but hey i do also have my they/them earrings to help me out.
Original post by Anonymous
i’m actually unsure of what name to go by in uni. i go by 2 variations of the same name, 1 which mostly my family call me and 1 which all my friends / people at school call me. i left my preferred name as name 1, but i might actually ask them to change it (but keep my “official” name). i initially changed it a 2nd time bc i identified as binary trans for a while, which i definitely don’t anymore, so it’s more gendered.

i usually wear a t-shirt & hoodie, so i’m worried that a pin might damage them in a way that isn’t an issue with jackets or blazers. i’ve never seen anyone wear an enamel pin on either of those, but hey i do also have my they/them earrings to help me out.

Honestly you can just say “hi my name is X and I use they/them pronouns” then maybe add “what are your pronouns?” (Some people might not appreciate the second question and find it unnecessary but eh). I’ve had one person do this to me, I didn’t find it that awkward despite me being someone that isn’t going to go around asking people for their pronouns and you won’t catch me saying “hi I’m Toad, my pronouns are she/her” when introducing myself to others, I ain’t got time for that.
Reply 13
Original post by Anonymous
i usually wear a t-shirt & hoodie, so i’m worried that a pin might damage them in a way that isn’t an issue with jackets or blazers. i’ve never seen anyone wear an enamel pin on either of those, but hey i do also have my they/them earrings to help me out.

If you have a lanyard you could attach a pin to the lanyard string? Or a bag?
Original post by bl0bf1sh
If you have a lanyard you could attach a pin to the lanyard string? Or a bag?


That’s a good idea as well, can pin to the university lanyard
Reply 15
Original post by bl0bf1sh
If you have a lanyard you could attach a pin to the lanyard string? Or a bag?


i didn’t think of that, thank you! i might get a non-binary lanyard as well, just to make it extra clear.
Reply 16
thank you everyone for all of the support and advice, it makes me feel better about being NB at uni! :smile:

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