Center for Diversity and Inclusion—LGBTQ+ Resource Center

10 Tips for a More Inclusive Space


On the first day of class, call roll with last names only and ask students what name they go by and what pronouns they use. This takes care of students whose name does not match their legal name on your roster, as well as nicknames. Asking everyone for their pronouns will make transgender and students with other gender identities (genderqueer, agender, nonbinary) feel comfortable and welcome.


Respect everyone’s pronouns and names. You may have students whose names and pronouns change over the course of a semester: make a concerted effort to use what they ask you to use. If you make a mistake (like using the wrong pronoun), apologize.




Don’t make assumptions about people’s gender identities or sexual orientation. For example, if you’re talking about Valentine’s day casually in class don’t assume if a woman says “my date” she means the date is a man.


Don’t separate students into groups via gender, and don’t conduct activities where you use gender along a binary. If you need to separate students or practice statistics where there are two answers, use another binary that is not based on gender such as: do you wear glasses or not; crunchy or creamy peanut butter; cats or dogs; etc.




Engage students in conversations that question society’s norms, particularly in regards to gender and sexuality. These do not have to be overtly political, and can come up naturally in your course context. For example, a sociology class may discuss relationships, and you can talk about the variances that might occur.


Include LGBTQ+ identities in your curriculum when possible.




When you hear “that’s so gay” or other derogatory language, intervene. Letting this language go unchecked may indicate to LGBTQ+ students that you are not an ally.


If you are talking about sex in class, instead of only saying “male or female” say “male, female, or intersex.” This makes it easier for intersex people to be open if they wish.




Know where the nearest gender neutral bathroom is (in your office building and where you teach). If a trans or gender non-conforming student asks you, accompany them to the bathroom so they will feel safe.


Understand that every individual’s experiences are different. As with anybody, no one experience is exactly alike, so make sure you understand an individual’s needs and expectations, so that you can make them feel the most comfortable.