Transgender Student Information

What is being transgender?

Being transgender (or “trans”) is the state of one’s gender identity not matching the one that was presumed at birth. The sex that doctors put on birth certificates when people were born is often referred to as assigned sex at birth, or designated sex at birth.

Cisgender people are people who feel like their gender has always matched their assigned sex at birth.

I think/know I am transgender and I am studying at the University of Otago.

Great! Firstly, Every trans person deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. There is an enormous amount of gender diversity and many people do not fit neatly into the category of ‘woman’ or ‘man’. People can identify with neither, both or feel that their gender changes. Every trans person’s journey is different and you have the right to determine what that looks like for you! We can support you with matters relating to your involvement with the University, as well as providing a community to support you on your journey.

Download this pdf document (alternately as a Word doc here) for information on changing your name and gender marker at the University of Otago, a list of resources and FAQs. This document is handy for Transgender students and anyone else who wants to learn more, be supportive and inclusive of Trans students on campus.

Other useful links

- Information, fees and forms to legally change your name can be found by following this Department of Internal Affairs link: click here

- The Department of Internal Affairs also has a page titled ‘Information for Transgender Applicants’ which contains information and links with regards to changing birth certificates and passports: click here

Gender Neutral Toilets

Download this document in pdf (alternately as a Word doc here) for a list of gender-neutral toilets on campus.

Click here to download a PDF map of the locations of all gender neutral toilets around campus.

Feel free to pop in the OUSA Student Support Centre and have a chat to Hahna, your Queer Support Coordinator. You can also email her at

'Queer' is a term used to describe the many variations of sexual attraction and sex/gender identity, including intersex, transgender, transsexual, genderqueer, asexual, fa'afafine, takatapui, lesbian, bisexual and gay. Although it may not be the preferred term for everyone, it is used to challenge binary representations of sexuality, sex, and gender.