Cypress College LGBTQ+ Resources

Cypress College is a community that embraces diversity; fosters individuality; provides an accessible, supportive climate; and encourages a variety of perspectives and opinions. In celebration of that core value, we share the following resources for our LGBTQ+ community.

LGBTQ+ Liaison

An LGBTQ+ Liaison position was created for Cypress College in response to the California Education Code (Section 66271.2).

The LGBTQ+ Liaison serves “as a point of contact for the needs of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender faculty, staff and students at the respective campus.” The LGBTQ+ Liaison is here to serve the students, faculty, and staff of Cypress College. The primary goal is to provide a safer and more inclusive learning and working environment for LGBTQ+ individuals at Cypress College.

If you have any LGBTQ+-related needs or concerns, please contact the campus LGBTQ+ Liaison.

Jenelle Herman

Pronouns: she/her/hers


Jenelle is passionate about English language learners, queer folks, BIPOC, equity, inclusion, and social justice. At Cypress College, she serves in many roles that reflect those passions:

  • Professor of English as a Second Language in the Language Arts Department
  • Faculty advisor for the Queer-Straight Alliance student club
  • President of GLADE faculty and staff association
  • Member of campus/District committees:
    • Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee
    • Student Equity & Achievement Committee
    • Racial Justice and Equity Committee (a subcommittee of United Faculty)
    • Sustainability Committee

When she’s not teaching, she spends as much time as she can surfing and traveling with her wife in their campervan.

She is committed to advocating for those in our Cypress College community. Please reach out if she can support you in any way, and she will do her best to help you or guide you to the appropriate resources.

Campus Resources

All-Gender Restrooms

Here is a list of all-gender (labeled “unisex”) restrooms on campus:

  • Tech Ed 3 (TE3)
    • 1st Floor (outside): always locked, must ask for key
    • 2nd Floor: should always be unlocked
    • 3rd Floor: should always be unlocked
  • Art Gallery

Please contact the campus LGBTQ+ Liaison if you are aware of any others or if you or someone else has any negative experiences using the restrooms on campus.

LGBTQ+ Advocacy

If you’d like to be involved in conversations and decisions regarding LGBTQ+ inclusion on campus, as a student, the best way to do that is to join the student club (see above). You can also reach out to the campus LGBTQ+ Liaison any time.

LGBTQ+ Faculty & Staff Association

Check out the GLADE website for more information.

LGBTQ+ Scholarships

Check out the following links for more information about LGBTQ+ scholarships:

Queer-Straight Alliance (QSA) Club

The Queer-Straight Alliance (QSA) strives to be a fun and safe space for LGBTQ+ students and their allies to share their stories, learn about LGBTQ+ issues, support diversity and inclusion for all students, and make a positive impact on campus and in the community. The club is inclusive of all gender identities, sexual orientations, races, and ethnicities. Our members are a diverse representation of the spectrum.

The QSA participates in campus AS events, holds weekly club meetings, hosts National Coming Out Day (October), attends Pride Parades and Festivals (May/June), and more.

The QSA meets every Thursday from 12-1:30 p.m. on CypressZoom through our club Canvas.

For questions or information, email the club advisor ( or club officers (, or check out the club’s Instagram.

Upcoming LGTBQ+ Events

Name & Gender FAQs for Students

Cypress College is committed to providing an inclusive, supportive, and non-discriminatory learning environment for all students and to ensuring that every student has equal access to our educational programs and activities.

Cypress College recognizes that a student may prefer to use a name other than their legal name. Cypress College also recognizes that a student’s gender identity may not align with the dominant gender construct, including their legal sex.

Gender identity, gender pronouns, and chosen name may be used on unofficial records and documents in situations where legal sex and legal name are not required by law or District policy.

To learn more, check out the following FAQs.

What is the District’s official policy on names and gender?

On November 25, 2020, the North Orange County Community College District approved a new policy regarding students’ names and pronouns. Open AP 5041 for more details.

How do I set my chosen/preferred name?

Any student can designate a chosen/preferred name by submitting the Personal Information Change Form.

You may only designate a chosen/preferred first name; your legal last name (surname) will remain unchanged. Your chosen name will be reviewed and processed by the Admissions and Records office. If approved, Cypress College will make every effort to use your chosen name wherever possible. However, chosen name requests will be denied if the name is used inappropriately. (For more information, you can view the District’s Administrative Procedure 5041.) Chosen name changes are typically processed within two business days; however, it could take as much as two weeks if submitted at the beginning of the semester. Once they are processed, they will be immediately visible on faculty rosters in myGateway. It may take an additional two business days to be visible in Canvas. Chosen names will also appear on Student ID cards.

Where will my gender, pronouns, and preferred/chosen name be used?

Every effort must be made by District employees to use your gender, pronouns, and chosen name as declared (on the Personal Information Change Form and within Canvas) in every context within the District, including face-to-face, electronic, and print interactions, except where legally required to use the legal name and sex.

  • Your gender identity will be used only for data reporting purposes.
  • Your personal pronouns will currently only be visible in Canvas.
  • Your chosen name will appear everywhere within Canvas and on Faculty Rosters within myGateway. We are currently in the process of updating other software applications used throughout the college to show your chosen name rather than your legal name whenever possible. Your legal name will be used on every other document, both for legal purposes and privacy reasons. If you have questions, concerns, or suggestions about the use of chosen names and legal names, please contact the campus LGBTQ+ Liaison.

How do I change or correct my legal name?

You must supply supporting legal documentation such as court documents, passport, California ID, California driver’s license, or marriage certificate, and submit the Personal Information Change Form. You can find more about how to change your legal name in the state of California on the California Courts website.

How can I update my personal pronouns?

A student’s personal pronouns are words used for a student in place of their proper name. Some examples include “she/her,” “he/him,” “ze/hir,” “they/them,” or other pronouns. Some students may use specific pronouns, multiple pronouns, or no pronouns.

Currently, personal pronouns only appear in Canvas. If you wish to add/change your pronouns in Canvas, please log on to Canvas. Click “Account” (top left), select “Settings,” and click the “Edit Settings” button. A drop-down menu will appear next to “Pronouns.” Be sure to click the “Update Settings” button. As soon as you have done this, your pronouns should appear in parentheses after your name everywhere your name appears in Canvas.

How can I update my gender/gender identity for college records?

A student’s internal sense of being masculine, feminine, nonbinary, genderqueer, agender, etc. defines their gender and/or gender identity. A student’s gender identity may be the same as their legal sex (cisgender) or different from their legal sex (transgender, nonbinary, etc.), and their gender identity may change over time.

A student can update their gender identity by completing the Personal Information Change Form. However, this information will currently only be used for data purposes.

How can I change or correct my legal sex designation?

In the state of California, a person can designate “female,” “male,” or “nonbinary” as their legal sex. A person’s legal sex appears on their birth certificate and other government-issued identification, including a driver’s license.

Students who wish to change their legal sex must supply supporting legal documentation and submit the Personal Information Change Form. You can find more about how to change your legal sex in the state of California on the California Courts website.

What do I do if campus employees do not use my chosen name and/or personal pronouns?

Campus employees are legally required to use each student’s chosen name and gender pronouns once they have been formally submitted (see above).

If you have done this, and campus employees are not respecting your name and/or pronouns, please be mindful that it may require some practice for some individuals, particularly if they have interacted with you by a different name and/or pronouns in the past, or if they are unfamiliar with nonbinary pronouns. It is important to Cypress College that you feel included and respected. If an individual does not seem to be making their best effort to refer to you appropriately, please use one of these options:

  1. It may be an honest mistake. If you are comfortable, communicate with the individual face-to-face or by email to let them know your chosen name and gender pronouns. If you wish, you may also choose to share a resource to help them better understand, such as
  2. If you are not comfortable communicating directly with the individual or if you have already done so and they are continuing to disrespect your identity, you can reach out to their supervisor or contact the campus LGBTQ+ Liaison.

How can I legally change my name and gender markers?

To legally change your name and gender markers, you must follow the legal process for the state you live in. The National Center for Transgender Equality has information for each state as well as for federal documents. If you open the link and scroll down, you should find information relevant for California residents.

Name & Gender FAQs for Faculty & Staff

Please be sure to check out the Name & Gender FAQs for Students section to gain a better understanding of the student name and gender policies and procedures.

Also, particularly if you use Canvas, please strongly encourage students to formally update their chosen name if it is different than their legal name. This makes online interactions especially so much easier, as it is difficult for both instructors and classmates to use/see one name in some interactions (e.g. Zoom) and see a different name in other interactions (e.g. online discussion boards). We want to consistently honor our students’ identities in as many ways as possible.

You can easily share this Canvas page in your Canvas courses to let students know.

If you have any questions that are not addressed on these pages, or if you’d like to be more proactively involved in serving our LGBTQ+ students, please feel free to reach out to the campus LGBTQ+ Liaison ( any time.

What’s the easiest way to share this information with my students?

A Canvas Page has been created and shared in Commons with a simple announcement that directs students here. Please feel free to import it into your courses. It would be great to share this information with students before the start of each new course so they have a chance to make changes prior to the start of the semester. This is particularly important for our transgender and gender nonconforming students who may be “outted” by the use of their legal name in the class setting.

What should I do if a student’s name doesn’t match on my rosters in myGateway and in Canvas?

First, give it a second. There is a delay between a student’s name being updated in Banner (which feeds myGateway) and in Canvas. This delay can take up to two business days (although it’s usually quicker).

If it’s been a few days and there is still inconsistency, it is possible that the student updated their chosen name in Canvas prior to this new procedure. When the chosen name process was first initiated, the college was not yet able to also change the student’s name in myGateway. If this is the case, please encourage the student to resubmit the Personal Information Change form so that myGateway will be updated to reflect their chosen name as well.

If there are still inconsistencies, please contact the campus LGBTQ+ Liaison ( or follow up with Admissions & Records (

I’m trying to search for a student in myGateway, but I can’t find them.

Currently, search features do not support chosen names. If you attempt to search for a student by their first name and no student is found, you can search by their last name only or by their Banner ID. This should produce a search result for you.

Please do not use the name in the search result when interacting with the student or with their classmates. They may not want others to know their legal first name. This is a privacy issue and could lead to outing a student and other serious problems for that student and is in violation of the District’s AP 5041.

What if I’m uncomfortable using a student’s chosen name and/or personal pronouns?

You’ll need to use them anyway.

It is important that students feel included and respected. Beyond that, campus employees are legally required to use each student’s chosen name and gender pronouns once they have been formally submitted following the college’s procedures.

If a student has followed the appropriate procedure, and a campus employee still is not respecting a student’s name and/or pronouns, the employee can be reported to HR.

Learning to use an individual’s chosen name and pronouns may be challenging for some; it can require some practice and getting used to. If you are struggling to use someone’s name and/or pronouns appropriately, please consider reviewing these helpful resources on how to use pronouns as well as what to do if you make mistakes.

Do staff need to use a student’s chosen name and personal pronouns?

Yes! As much as possible.

Not every software integration used at Cypress College has been updated or has the ability to pull in a student’s chosen name. In these cases, please make every effort to confirm a student’s chosen name when interacting with them, especially if calling the student’s name out in front of others.

In the current version of Banner, there is not a placeholder for personal pronouns. However, it is a good practice to introduce yourself your pronouns and to ask those you interact with which pronouns they would like others to use for them (especially in contexts where pronouns are likely to be used to refer to individuals). Feel free to review this excellent resource on how to ask someone their pronouns.

Can faculty and staff change their name and gender information too?

Yes and no. Let’s break that down.

  • Chosen Name: Faculty and staff do not yet have the ability to designate a chosen name. However, the goal is to use AP 5041 as a template to create a similar District-wide policy and procedure for employees. If this is a priority to you, please feel free to reach out to the campus LGBTQ+ Liaison ( to participate in the work.
  • Personal Pronouns:
    • Both faculty and staff are encouraged to designate their personal pronouns in their email signatures.
    • Both faculty and staff are also encouraged to designate their personal pronouns after their display name within Zoom. You can do this by going to your Profile at To the right of your name, click the “Edit” button. In the Display Name field add your pronouns (usually in parentheses) after your name. Then click “Save Changes.” You can also choose to edit your display name each time you use Zoom by right-clicking your video, selecting “Rename,” editing your name, and selecting “OK.”
    • Faculty can follow the same process as students to add their personal pronouns after their name in Canvas.

But how should I list my pronouns?

The most common designations are he/him, she/her, or they/them. Some individuals simply designate he, she, or them. Most folks mark their pronouns by putting them in parentheses after their name.

But everyone uses my pronouns correctly. Do I still need to designate my pronouns?

If you’re willing, yes! We live in a cis-normative, binary society. We generally put the onus on those who may fall outside that cis-normative binary to bear the weight of creating new norms. The more people who choose to share their personal pronouns even when it may seem obvious or unnecessary, the more we normalize sharing and not assuming pronouns. I strongly encourage you to practice sharing your pronouns and to encourage students and others in your life to do the same. To learn more about the importance of pronouns, please check out