Title IX … and you

Title IX protections for LGBTQ students

Title IX protections are meant to be for all students even when the alleged perpetrator and survivor are of the same gender. Student and employee rights under Title IX ensure that all students are treated equitably regardless of their gender identity, sexual orientation or their gender presentation. 

There is often confusion around Title IX and the protections it does and does not offer. Though the current presidential administration withdrew the guidance schools have been following (in regards to transgender individuals), the law remains. The guidance is meant only to serve as a framework or a guide on how the U.S. Department of Education will enforce existing laws. 

With the law remaining, the protections are still in place. Title IX maintains that all students have equal access to their education, including access to single sex spaces and activities consistent with their gender identity. Looking beyond Title IX, there are other federal and state laws that provide further protections including, but not limited to, the U.S. Constitution. 

Institutions are required to respect all students in matters such as preferred name, pronouns, access to single sex facilities (such as restrooms) as well as dress code. Having these policies in place also protects students from any bullying or harassment based on their gender or on someone not conforming to gender stereotypes. One example of harassment is teasing a female student because she doesn’t behave like most people think a girl should behave. 

The University of Hawai‘i and WCC prides itself on making sure students can access their education in a safe environment that is free from discrimination. On campus, the LGBTQ+ Commission, overseen by Ryan Koo and Lisamarie Bensman, offers both resources and supports. The Commission can also provide Safe Zone training for those interested in becoming allies or advocates for our LGBTQ+ community. 

If you feel you have been discriminated against or would like to learn more about the protections Title IX offers, feel free to contact me at karlas@hawaii.edu.

There are several Websites available for more information. 

  • • www.windward.hawaii.edu/LGBTQ/
  • • www.manoa.hawaii.edu/lgbtq/
  • • www.knowyourix.org
  • • www.transequality.org/know-your-rights/schools
  • • www.nwlc.org/issue/lgbtq-equality/
  • • https://www.knowyourix.org/college-resources/title-ix-protections-lgbtq-students/

by Karla Silva-Park and Jordan Lewton