According to NBC News, California recently introduced a bill that requires Californian public colleges to update the name of a student’s diploma to their gender identified name.
The introducer of this legislation, David Chiu, says that he intends for this to break down barriers that trans and nonbinary people face in school.
I think this bill is a wonderful idea and would only improve the lives of students it affects. Diplomas can play a huge role in a student’s life other than officiating their degree–they always represent an identity that received and worked hard for that degree.
This legislation is already in effect for K-12 students, but it should be passed for college graduates, also.
Discovering one’s identity can take years or a lifetime, and one may not always choose to reveal that identity to the public or is still taking their time to feel comfortable doing so.
A diploma with a student’s name that they don’t identify with can “out” them without their permission or consent, forcing them to come out in public and explain to loved ones or friends.
It is vital for students to be in control and have the choice of what identity goes onto their diploma. Not only does a diploma that is not updated ruin or change a person’s ability to get a job or apply for graduate school, but it also can cripple the feeling of their own academic accomplishments.
For those who worked to earn one, a diploma should be entirely one’s own and state the name that the graduate identifies with.