LGBT Resource Center
USC Student Affairs

Trans@USC

Frequently Asked Questions:

Trans Programs at USC

The LGBT Resource Center works closely with the Queer & Ally Student Assembly (QuASA) to sponsor several events, programs and services for transgender students.  Toegther, they aim to continually educate the campus community about the transgender community and transgender identity development. 

  • Trans Action Committee. The Trans Action Committee (TAC) is a comprised of students, staff and faculty members. TAC aims to create an inclusive campus climate for transgender students at the University through advocacy and coalition building with multiple University departments. In 2012, TAC assisted with finalizing the gender inclusive housing option on the Rainbow Floor and served as an advisory group for the Undergraduate Student Government’s gender neutral bathroom and housing surveys. Meetings are monthly. If you are interested in getting involved, email Kelby Harrison at kelbyhar@usc.edu.
  • Gender Justice Month or No Gender November. In the past, this has been a month or week series of programming that is sponsored by QuASA and the LGBT Resource Center. Past events included a film screening of Boy I Am, Athens Boy Choir featuring Katz, a Transfeminist Panel Discussion, and topic themes from Japan, India, Thailand and the Pacific Islands. Visit the center’s website for a schedule of events or email quasa@usc.edu to assist with the coordination of these events. 
  • Trans Ally Training. The Ally Program is the University's ‘safe zone’ program that educates faculty, staff and students about the complexities and intersection of identities for LGBT students. Typically every semester there is a trans related discussion or trainings focused on the trans student community.

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Trans-friendly Student Housing

  • Rainbow Floor. The Office of Residential Education and LGBT Resource Center work together to coordinate the Rainbow Floor - a special interest Residential Community for LGBTQ and Ally students.  The Rainbow Floor provides a gender-inclusive option for residents, in which residents of the opposite gender identities share an apartment.  All students regardless of their year in school can apply to live on the floor.  The floor is located in Century 2 Apartments; each with single-person restrooms and shower facilities. 
  • Single Residence. If they choose, transgender students can work with the LGBT Resource Center and USC Housing to advocate for a single room (with a private bathroom) within the University's Residential Communities. 
  • Note: Universtiy policy states that only students of the same assigned birth sex can share a room within USC Housing. However, gender is determined by the gender identification registered with the University; therefore, a transgender student can change their gender with the University and live with roommates of their gender identification.

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Gender-Neutral Restrooms

Click here for a google map of student accessible gender neutral restrooms (GNR) at the USC University Park Campus (UPC)Please note, the map says that the GNR in TCC is on the third floor. This is incorrect. The GNR is on the SECOND floor by the service elevator.

Click here for a complete and descriptive list of student accessible restrooms at the USC UPC, which includes specifics like multiple stalls, single stalls and gender neutral restrooms for USC UPC buildings. 

The Lyon Recreation Center has a women and men large single stall changing room with a personal sink and mirror on second floor.

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Trans-related Health Care for University Employees

Yes, university employees are able to choose their own health care professional which means the option of a trans friendly physician can be selected.  You can choose from two types of medical plans: a preferred provider organization (PPO) and health maintenance organizations (HMO). The PPO (USC Network Medical Plan) gives you the most flexibility in your choice of health care providers. The HMOs (CaliforniaCare, Kaiser Permanente, and PacifiCare) place limits on your choice of health care providers.  For more information, click here.

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Trans Health Care & Health Insurance

As of August 18, 2013, the USC student insurance plan will cover transgender medical needs of up to $50,000 per lifetime. Coverage includes clinician visits, medication, surgeries, diagnostic testing for pre-op and more. For additional information about the transgender health benefits, please email Cathy DeFrancesco atb.well@usc.edu. Note: The transgender health benefits only extend students studying on the USC campuses and is not available for students of United Health plans for online learners.

USC Trans Referral Physicians

  • Dr. Patty Pinanong, a USC University Park Campus (UPC) Engemann Student Health Center physician, provides transgender-related health care inquiries and referrals. 
  • Dr. Lisa Richardson, a USC UPC Engemann Student Health Center physician, provides transgender-related health care inquiries and referrals.     
  • Appointments: (213) 740-9355

USC Affiliated Physicians (available via referrals from Engemann Student Health Center)

If you are referred to a clinician outside UPC, a visit to a USC affiliated clinician is covered at 90% as are tests and prescriptions for care not provided at the UPC Engemann Student Health Center. Students must get a referral through Engemann for the following specialists.

  • Dr. Johanna Olson, Director of the Transgender Youth Program
  • Dr. Marvin Belzer at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles
  • Note: Both above mentioned physcians will see individuals up to their 25thbirthday. This can involve in-house counseling/mental health referrals once patients are evaluated.

Example of a Possible Referral

  • Dr. Richard Horowitz, Southern California Transgender Counseling, to provide mental health support  (Dr. Horowitz does not accept health insurance, clients will need to submit for reimbursement with insurance carriers that accept out-of-network providers). 

General Insurance Coverage Information

There are 3 levels of insurance coverage for medical visits.

  1. A USC and Aetna affiliated MD has a $350 deductible and 90% coverage after that;
  2. A non USC, but Aetna affiliated MD has $350 deductible and 80% coverage after that;
  3. Some clinicians are not Aetna providers or do not accept insurance in which case if the bill is submitted to Aetna there is a $700 deductible and reimburses 50% of reasonable and customary charges.

Health insurance and summary of benefits can be accessed at http://engemannshc.usc.edu/insurance/ or call (877) 626-2299.

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Health Care Regardless of Insurance Coverage

The L.A. LGBT Center offers a Trans Health Program with services on a sliding scale. The Transgender Health Program provides comprehensive primary health care as well as trans-specific services such as pap smears for trans men, prostate exams for trans women, hormone-therapy supervision and post-surgical care for those who have undergone sex-reassignment surgery.

In addition, you can contact the following resources:

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Gender Identity and USC's Non-Discrimination Policy

USC's non-discrimination policy includes gender identity and expression.  As noted, “Gender includes both the actual sex of an employee or applicant for employment and that person’s gender identity, appearance or behavior, whether or not that identity, appearance or behavior is traditionally associated with that person’s sex at birth.”  To read the University's complete non-discrimination policy, click here.

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Name Change *

To change one's name with the University, students must complete the "Change or Correction of Name Form" with the Registrar’s Office (click here for more information).  The Registrar's Office requires verification with either written verification from the LGBT Resource Center or a written verification from the student’s physician.

If a student prefers to avoid working directly with the Registrar's Office, then the LGBT Resource Center can facilitate this process on the student's behalf.

It is important to note that a name change will not change your USC username. Instead, a redirect email can be created.  Please contact the LGBT Resource Center about making this change.

 * Note: Name and gender changes will not change on federal documents unless the student has made these changes to their social security. Also, name changes will not be trasferred in issues of payroll, which is especially important for graduate students that serves as teaching assistants or research assistants. University payroll will pay individuals with the name on their social security. If you need assistance changing your name/gender with the state or government contact the L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center's Transgender Economic Empowerment Project.

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Gender Change *

If a student legally changed their name with their state, then proof of this gender change on their state issued identification card can be presented to the Registrar's Office to change their gender with the University.  A gender change can be completed when submitting the Name Change Form to the Registrar. 

Student can also change their gender with the Registrar Office with written verification from the student’s physician presented to the LGBT Resource Center Director.

If a student prefers to avoid working directly with the Registrar's Office, then the LGBT Resource Center can facilitate this process on the student's behalf.

 * Note: Name and gender changes will not change on federal documents unless the student has made these changes to their social security. Also, name changes will not be trasferred in issues of payroll, which is especially important for graduate students that serves as teaching assistants or research assistants. University payroll will pay individuals with the name on their social security. If you need assistance changing your name/gender with the state or government contact the L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center's Transgender Economic Empowerment Project.

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Trans Participation in USC Athletics

USC Athletics abides by the National Collegiate Athletic Association policies and rules compliance. As a result, the NCAA policy for transgender student-athletes, as of September 13, 2011, states the following.

A new policy will allow transgender student-athletes to participate in sex-separated sports activities so long as the athlete’s use of hormone therapy is consistent with the NCAA policies and current medical standards, which state:

  • A trans male (female to male) student-athlete who has received a medical exception for treatment with testosterone for gender transition may compete on a men’s team but is no longer eligible to compete on a women’s team without changing the team status to a mixed team. A mixed team is eligible only for men’s championships.
  • A trans female (male to female) student-athlete being treated with testosterone suppression medication for gender transition may continue to compete on a men’s team but may not compete on a women’s team without changing it to a mixed team status until completing one calendar year of documented testosterone-suppression treatment.

Complete press release. NCAA Transgender Handbook.

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