The Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE) Program - strengthens, maintains, and promotes a campus community that welcomes all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, through education, support, advocacy, and fostering equity. It is located on the 1st floor of SSC.

Madison Equality JMU's LGBT*QIQAP+ student organization. The primary mission of the club is the promotion of acceptance through education and awareness. Anyone supporting equality for all is welcome. See also the Madison Equality Facebook Page.

JMU LGBTQ Employee Group - an opportunity for JMU queer and ally employees to network and connect socially with potential opportunities for organized advocacy, activism, and collaborative leadership in the pursuit of a safer, more equitable employment experience for all LGTBQ and allied colleagues. Here's the Facebook Page.

Career and Academic Planning: LGBTQ+ Career Considerations page.

All-Gender Restrooms on Campus: In addition, we recommend downloading the crowd-sourced app called REFUGE. It is map-based and works all around the world. For now, it's far less complete than the information linked here, but the map/location-based interface is important. We all need your help identifying JMU restrooms, reporting on their accessibility, and pinning them in their correct locations within the app.

Gender Inclusive Housing Pilot Program at JMU, Office of Residence Life. Click the linked topic for more information. Students seeking housing accommodations are encouraged to contact Dawn Ohanessian at 540-568-7057 or the Office of Residence Life at 540-568-4663.

Legal Name and Gender Changes: If you have legally changed your name or gender marker, and that's right for you, congratulations! Contact the Registrar for help getting everything changed: • 540-568-5615 • SSC 5300.

Self-Determination: JMU does not currently offer a unified method for students or staff to enter their own name and/or pronouns in the databases that determine our identities on campus, but there are lots of other options for doing that on each platform. Beware, however, that some databases add a "preferred name" field to legal names, which may still be displayed. Contact the registrar or other appropriate office at important junctures such as graduation (diploma appearance), JACard pickup, or transcript generation. Access to these resources is rapidly changing, and increasingly centralized through MyMadison, but try these options:

  • Name and Pronouns in Email Signature: All students and employees can include names and pronouns in an email signature. The instructions vary by platform. 
    • Outlook-Mac: OutlookMenu/Preferences/Email/Signatures
    • Outlook-Windows: New Message/SignatureButton/Signatures
    • Exchange-Online: GearIcon/Settings/Options/EmailSignature (Do this one in a computer browser.)
  • Email Name: SOGIE is reporting that student name changes in MyMadison now carry over to Outlook email, Canvas, and the University Health Center system. Faculty and staff can change their display names by accessing the web version of Outlook, clicking the setting (gear) icon, then "options," then "general," then "My account." Name changes in MyMadison also carry over to Outlook and Microsoft Teams for faculty and staff. 
  • MyMadison: Select either the "Student" tab or the "Employee" tab, then locate the "Personal Information" section and click the "Personal Information" link, therein, to make changes. Students will be directed to fill out a form in MyMadison requesting the name change, and approval goes through the Registrar. That may take up to 48 hours. Currently, it seems as though changes in MyMadison carry over to Canvas, although it is not clear whether that works during a semester or just at the moment students are added from MyMadison into their Canvas courses. Similar changes can be made inside Canvas, however, as below. For faculty and staff, changes in MyMadison should automatically populate Microsoft Outlook & Teams (email, etc.).
  • Diplomas: This page says that your full name, as listed on MyMadison will appear on your diploma. When you file your graduation application, confirm with the registrar that your name will appear correctly: • 540-568-5615 • SSC 5300.
  • Canvas Pronouns: Pronoun setting are available to everyone, but name changes must go through MyMadison. In the purple navigation column, choose “Account," then “Settings.” On the resulting page, click the grey “Edit Settings” button on the right. Choose your pronouns and click the “Update Settings” button. Recognize that, although pronouns can be viewed on profile pages and discussions, they are not displayed in other places, such as the gradebook (often used for participation grades and calling roll).
  • JACards: JACard with preferred name on the front and legal name on the back are available. First enter your name in MyMadison, and wait for approval from the Registrar. Then contact JACard Services ( or 540-568-6446) to make sure all the appropriate databases have been updated before you visit to collect your card. Replacement JACards cost $20, but SOGIE is reporting that Student Affairs is picking up that cost for name changes. If that doesn't work for you, please contact Professor Bryson at Safe Zone or the SOGIE office for assistance.
  • Zoom: Go to for a JMU account or, otherwise, and login to your account. Click "Profile" on the sidebar, then "Edit" (on the right) to change your display name. If you are using a JMU account, there is a pronun field, as well as a dropdown, where you can decide to always display your pronouns or have Zoom ask each time you enter a meeting. Alternatively, you can add your pronouns after your Last Name in parentheses. For example: B.P. Bryson (they/them). Make sure to finish by clicking the "Save Changes" button at the bottom of the page. Zoom offers separate "name" and "display name" fields, that appear editable, but your JMU-owned account may reset the "name" field when you log out, so make sure your display name is set correctly. Log out, then log back in, and confirm your changes. In most meetings, you can also change your display name on the fly by clicking the "Participants" button along the bottom of your meeting screen, hovering your mouse over your name, selecting the blue "More" button that appears, and selecting Rename. (There is also a control for sharing pronouns there, if you have entered them.)
  • Webex: Log in to WebEx and locate your name near the upper right corner. Hover or click your name, then click on 'My Profile.' Click 'Edit My Profile', below your profile photo. Add your pronouns after your last name in parenthesis. Remember to finish by clicking the 'Save' button.
  • Pronouns on Other Platforms: You get the pattern, if you are able to edit your name, you can add pronouns in parenthases after your last name.
  • Class Roster Workaround: Safe Zone has also developed a questionnaire that instructors can use in Canvas to generate accurate spreadsheet rosters with names, pronouns, pronunciation, etc. for use in class. Class participants can also be asked to sign posts on the platform with names and pronouns. That information, then appears at the end of each post, closer to the reply button when others respond.
  • Progress: JMU is in the process of developing a new and integrated identity management system that will support self-service capabilities for students, employees, alumni, applicants, parents, and others. This is great news, but it is also a complex process with implementation scheduled to span from the fall of 2022 to the spring of 2025.
  • New Stuff? If you have encountered something new or useful, let us know so we can update this page. Just contact Professor Bryson. Many thanks to all the people who have already reported changes that help us keep this page up-to-date! 

JMU EEO Policy #1302: Includes gender identity, sexual orientation, and genetic information (among others).

JMU Discrimination and Harassment Policy #1324: Includes gender identity, sexual orientation, and genetic information (among others).

Shenandoah Valley Equality - The purpose of Shenandoah Valley Equality (formerly SVGLA--Shenandoah Valley Gay and Lesbian Association) is to build inclusive community for LGBTQ people in the Shenandoah Valley. 

Friendly City Safe Space: Have you ever wanted to be in a space where you could be uniquely you? Where you could feel safe to talk about your hopes and fears? If you’re part of the LGBTQ+ community, you’ll be excited to hear there is now a place like that right here in downtown Harrisonburg at 217 South Liberty Street, Suite 203. Check the web site for drop-in hours.

Hope House: Housing solutions for LGBTQ+ youth ages 18-24 who are homeless or at risk of homelessness in Harrisonburg, Staunton, and the surrounding counties. This project is just getting off the ground. See the web site for more information.

Shenandoah LGBTQ Center -The Shenandoah LGBTQ Center is a supportive network where LGBTQ people of all ages in the Shenandoah Valley and Greater Appalachia can thrive as equal, healthy, supported members of our society. From support groups for individuals and families to outreach, education, and advocacy, Shenandoah LGBTQ Center is committed to addressing the unique challenges faced by the rural LGBTQ community.

Side by Side (formerly ROSMY) - is a non-profit agency that provides support services for Richmond area gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth. Our youth center offers support groups, a computer lab, a library, and social opportunities for GLBTQ youth age 14-20. Side by Side also conducts trainings and workshops for adults who work with youth.

Equality Virginia - is a statewide, non-partisan lobbying, education and support network for the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, and straight allied (GLBT) communities in Virginia.

See also - The SOGIE Program's Resources Page.

Back to Top