Gender Identity and Expression

Gender Identity refers to how individuals perceive and address themselves as. One's gender identity can be the same or different from their sex assigned at birth. Gender expression is referred to as the external appearance of one's gender identity, usually expressed through behavior, clothing, haircut or voice, and which may or may not conform to characteristics associated with being either masculine or feminine, deemed by society as typical.

The University of Maryland (UMD) Non-Discrimination Policy includes "gender identity or expression" as a protected category, and the university has a Policy on Inclusive Language and a Policy concerning Name, Sex, Gender, and Other Personal Identity Information in University Records.

Please be aware of the following policies and helpful resources for students, staff, and faculty. 

Name/Gender on Records

Primary name and legal name*

At UMD/USG, your "primary name" and "legal name" are different"

  • Your primary name is the name by which you are generally known. It appears on University identification cards, class rosters, and employee directory.
  • Your legal name appears on government-issued identity documents such as a passport. At UMD/USG, your legal name must appear on official transcripts, financial aid documents, payroll documents, and other places where a legal name is required by law or university policy.

Unless you specify otherwise, your legal name is your default primary name. To specify a primary name that is different from a legal name, the process is different.

USG Employees may access their personnel files directly to update their primary name. Go to PHR. Under "Employees" section, select "Display/Update Personal Data." After logging in, you will see your "Payroll Name" which is your legal name. This is the name that will appear on your payroll checks. You will need a legal change of name to change your payroll name (see below). You will also see "Alternative Name." You may simply update your primary name in those fields.

Students and employees, please note that the primary name in your personnel file may overwrite the primary name with the Registrar. Therefore, if you are a student and you work or have ever worked for USG and still have a personnel file, you must make the change at PHR and file a primary name change request with the Office of the Registrar at College Park in order for your primary name to appear on class rosters, etc.

Legal change of name*

To change your name on all documents at UMD/USG, you must obtain a Court Order. Those employed on campus must present the Court Order to Human Resources to make changes to your payroll name and other applicable documents.  If you are both a UMD student and a USG employee, you will need to provide the Court Order to the Office of the Registrar in College Park as well as the Office of Human Resources at USG.

How you obtain a Court Order depends on the jurisdiction where you live. In the State of Maryland, you must apply to the Circuit Court of the county (or City of Baltimore) where you reside. The exact procedures vary from one county to another and may change from time to time.

Change of Gender Markers*

Your gender marker does not appear on ID cards, but might be seen by personnel in various databases. If your gender identity does not match the marker in University records, students should contact the registrar's office of their home institutions. USG Employees may update their gender identity directly by going to PHR. Under "Employees" section, select "Display/Update Personal Data." Individuals who are both students and employees must update their information in both systems.


As of Spring 2017, Facilities Management at USG has created a single-use all gender restroom on campus. This restroom is located on the 1st floor, Building III (near the Priddy Library)

Employee Health Insurance

Health Insurance available to all State Employees covers some transition-related care. The plans offered by State are lengthy and complicated. For gender clarity about precisely which procedures are covered, employees should carefully examine each plan and question their representatives. See 2017 Benefits Guide and 2018 Benefits Guide.

Please note, The Universities at Shady Grove (USG) is committed to creating and maintaining an educational, working, and living environment that is free from discrimination and harassment. University programs, activities, and facilities are available to all without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, marital status, age, national origin, political affiliation, physical or mental disability, religion, protected veteran status, genetic information, personal appearance, or any other legally protected class.

*Source: UMD Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, & Transgender Equity Center