Healthcare and Wellness

The University Heath Center staff is committed to treating everyone with respect, consideration, and dignity. All staff members go through a National LGBT Health Education Center Training on Affirming LGBT People Through Effective Communication. If you ever feel like your rights have not been respected you can file an informal or formal complaint suggestion by contacting the Patient Care Coordinator at 540-568-7777. A formal complaint goes through a review by the UHC Medical Director. A full list of rights and responsibilities can be found HERE

The UHC follows HIPPA and FERPA laws, which are privacy laws protecting all patient health information and student education records. This means that anything that happens or that you discuss at UHC is private and will not be shared with anyone else – like family members. On your chart, you can change your preferred name through MyMadison or by calling the Patient Care Coordinator at (540) 568-7777. If you call the care coordinator this would not change your name in other campus systems. All clinicians and staff members are dedicated to calling students by their preferred name and pronouns.

Services offered at the UHC include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Lab tests
  • Immunizations
  • TB tests and screenings
  • Suture removal
  • STI/STD testing
  • Urgent care

The campus Women’s Health Clinic also offers:

  • Vaginal infection treatment
  • Contraception advice and prescriptions
  • STI and pregnancy testing
  • Sexual dysfunction guidance
  • Breast health assessments
  • Pap smears
  • Other common health issues that people with a vagina might experience

There are gender neutral bathrooms located throughout UHC. Locations include 1st and 2nd floor waiting areas, all clinics, and labs.

UHC services are offered at little or no charge, and they do not charge insurance for students. However, if you are seeking care that you need insurance coverage for, we recognize that insurance coverage has the potential to consistently change. We recommend utilizing THIS link as a reference guide for your coverage, as it is the most updated resource guide. The link provides information on learning what your plan covers, determining your insurance type, and applying for preauthorization. Additionally, the guide offers information on Healthcare rights and insurance options.

Pre-exposure prophylaxis (or PrEP) is when people at risk for HIV take daily medicine to prevent HIV. When taken daily, PrEP is highly effective for preventing HIV from sex or injection drug use. PrEP is not for everybody but can help prevent HIV for those that are at higher risk. You may want to consider PrEP if you don’t regularly use condoms, have a sexual partner who has HIV or a higher risk for getting HIV, have injected drugs in the past 6 months, or recently had another STD.

Once you are on PrEP you need to return to your doctor every 3 months to get tested for HIV. Follow-up appointments are an important component of PrEP to make sure you are healthy and HIV-free. Learn more at:

In Harrisonburg, The Harrisonburg Community Health Center offers PrEP. Their Care Management location is dedicated to supporting those affected by HIV/AIDS, and their services include:

  • HIV/AIDS testing
  • Food Pantry
  • Housing Assistance
  • Case Management
  • Transportation to medical appointments,
  • PrEP education, referrals, and navigation

The site is located at 124 Newman Ave Suite B101, Harrisonburg, VA 22801. They can be reached at (540) 432-3308. Learn more at:

Planned Parenthood in Charlottesville, VA also offers HIV Testing, education, and referrals. They can be reached at (434) 296-1000. To learn more visit:

Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) is a treatment process for people seeking to physically change their bodies to fit their sense of gender identity. There are two types of hormone therapy: feminizing hormones (estrogen) and masculinizing hormones (testosterone). Receiving hormone therapy is one of many ways a transgender person can transition, and can be part of a pre-surgical plan or be a singular process. Using hormones without medical guidance is dangerous, and we recommend talking with a doctor if you are interested in HRT.

Not all transgender, non-binary, and gender non-conforming people will want to undergo hormone therapy, and their identities are still valid.

Charlottesville, VA is currently the closest place that will prescribe HRT. The Family Medicine and Specialty Care Crozet has HRT options. Services offered include:

  • Gender affirming hormone prescriptions
  • Connection to affirming mental health providers for surgery
  • Transition support
  • Gender affirming surgery
  • Dermatology
  • Gynecology
  • Urology
  • Speech Therapy

They also have a Teen & Young Adult Center which offers similar services. The Center is dedicated to listening to needs, removing barriers, and treating individuals with respect. They have earned recognition from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation for support of LGBTQ+ patients. Learn more at:

Planned Parenthood is also a welcoming option dedicated to service for all gender identities and sexual orientations located in Charlottesville, VA. Their services include:

  • General Health Care
  • STD Testing
  • Contraception
  • Hormone Replacement Therapy
  • Service referrals

Learn more at:

For students that need to self-inject medication (i.e. for HRT) they can request a sharps container, which is free, through the campus pharmacy. When containers are full, they can call housekeeping to pick them up or return them to the UHC for disposal.

Sexual Health Coaching is an individual, non-judgmental session to discuss sexual health concerns and develop goals for achieving a positive and healthy sex life. Topics that may be discussed include sexual self-concept and behaviors, STI prevention and counseling, sexual debuts, relationships and more. To make an appointment schedule through the UREC Website - Wellness Coaching. Appointments are available every weekday with varying availability.

A wide variety of safer sex supplies and educational information is available for free at the Safer Sex Centers, including internal and external condoms, dental dams, and lube. You can also place an order ahead of time for pickup at UREC and the SLI. Place your order using the Custom Order form. 

Locations of the centers are:

  • The Wellness Center in UREC (located on the 2nd floor)

  • The Student Learning Initiative Resource office in Huffman Hall

  • The Pantry in TDU (Hours are now Monday 12-6pm; Tuesday-Thursday, from 12-5pm).

  • Student Success Center (Next to the pharmacy)

The Counseling Center is located on the third floor of the student success center. The CC staff consistently works to create a safe and welcoming space for the LGBTQ+ community. For all sign-in forms and surveys, the drop-down options include gender and sexual orientation options and a ‘prefer not to disclose’ option. All bathrooms located in the Center are gender inclusive. Front desk members have attended LGBTQ+ training sessions to enhance their understandings and service delivery. The office has monthly diversity seminars for clinical staff and a yearly training seminar on LGTBQ+ identities. The staff is ethically bound to continue learning and education on diversity.

The JMU Counseling Center has two groups specifically for members of the LGBTQ+ community. These groups are open to join at the beginning of each semester. In order to join, you must first go through an initial intake appointment. These are available on a walk-in basis from Monday-Friday from 10am to 3pm.

  • Queer 2 Questioning (Q2Q): An open and affirming group for those in the process of exploring sexual orientation and gender identity issues as they relate to self-understanding, relationships, and daily functioning. This group provides LGBTQ+ students the opportunity to share and explore issues and concerns in a safe environment.
  • TrueSelves: This group provides an open and affirming space for those who identify as transgender, gender non-conforming, and/or who are questioning their gender identity and gender expression. This group provides students the opportunity to share and explore specific issues and concerns related to gender identity and expression in a safe environment and to gain support from one another.

SOGIE partners with The Counseling Center for our traditional Puppy Pride event, where the CC brings their therapy dogs to the lavender lounge once a month!

Being Yourself at JMU

For first year students, if you are interested in gender neutral housing please contact the Office of Residence Life directly at (540) 568-4663. The Assistant Director of Housing will work with you individually or in roommate pairs. Upper-class students who would like to live in Gender Inclusive Housing will self-select this option through the Online Room Selection Process. Some options for roommate search would be searching in the housing system or on social media platforms. The Assistant Director of Housing can also support the roommate search process if you do not have a requested roommate.

The legal name change process is done with the court system and may differ between states. The National Center for Transgender Equality has a search process to find out more information on changing your name. Visit this website and search by the state your documents are distributed from (including federal documents). To change your legal name through the campus system, contact The Registrar. The Registrar will need to see (1) The part of the Order For Change of Name showing that the court authorized the change with Notary or Seal, (2) A copy of a picture ID, and (3) A signed ‘maintenance form’ that the registrar can provide to you.

If you have not changed your legal name, but would like to use a “preferred name” on campus, visit the MyMadison portal. Adding a preferred name will change your first name in basic campus systems like Outlook email, Canvas, the UHC system, etc. For a full list of where your name changes, contact the registrar at (540) 568-5615. Card services can change your name on the front of your JACard once you have designated a preferred name on MyMadison. Visit card services on the second floor of the Student Success Center to have a new card printed. Your legal name will still be printed on the back of the card, and it is free.

You can add your personal pronouns to your Canvas profile by going to Account – Settings – Pronouns. There will be a drop-down with the options “she/her”, “he/him”, and “they/them”.

If you wish to inform a professor of your chosen name and pronouns but aren’t quite sure how to word that communication here is an email template that you can use!

Dear [professor name],

I am a student in your (insert class name here) that meets (day and time of class). I am reaching out to let you know some important information about myself I would like you to know. I am letting you know that I go by (insert chosen name here) and my pronouns are (insert pronouns here). My name will probably show up on your roster as (insert birth name here), but I would like for you to call me (chosen name) in class, and I will be putting that on my assignments going forward.

Thank you very much.

(chosen name)

Do you want more guidance and assistance on coming out? SOGIE, as a department, is available to assist any student with guidance on how to share your name and pronouns or have a conversation with any faculty or staff member. If you are interested in a meeting or if you would like SOGIE to communicate with a faculty or staff member on your behalf, please email our Assistant Director at

A gender inclusive restroom is a single occupancy restroom which can be used by people of any sex or gender. At JMU, you will sometimes see these called universal restrooms or gender neutral restrooms.

You can go HERE to navigate a list of gender inclusive restrooms. Additionally, HERE is a map of the locations of restrooms, which also includes location within the building and some accessibility notes. These links are continuously updated and edited as we continue improving this resource.

There are three gender inclusive changing rooms located on the first floor of UREC on the hallway to the Aquatics Center which are labeled “Universal Changing Rooms”. All three are equipped with a toilet, sink, and shower.

Intramural Sports has a gender policy that states, “All players may participate in the gender-specific league that identifies with their personal gender identity. A participant’s gender identity will be applied when there are gender specific rules or player ratio requirement within Intramural Sports leagues”

Other competitive clubs that play in leagues may have their own individual gender requirements, with most being like Varsity Athletics, but there are a good number of clubs that are not gender specific and open to anyone. You can learn more about club sports HERE.

SOGIE provides programming, community, and support for all LGBTQIA+ students at JMU. If you need support navigating campus, email our Assistant Director at Some other SOGIE resources to highlight are:

  • The Lavender Lounge – the Lavender Lounge is our campus LGBTQIA+ center, and is a safe space to hang out with other LGBTQIA+ students and allies.
  • The Self-Expression Closet - Located in the Lavender Lounge, this is a free closet. If you are looking for something new to better express yourself, check here! Once each semester we host a Clothing Swap, and during this week we take donations to the clothing closet. We accept gently used binders, bras, shirts, pants, skirts, dresses, jackets, sweaters, shoes, purses/bags and other accessories (belts, hats, gloves, scarves, jewelry, etc.).
  • Volunteer Program – SOGIE recruits new students to volunteer every semester. Volunteers meet weekly to build community and develop as leaders, and host many of SOGIE’s events throughout the semester.
  • Peer Education – SOGIE’s peer education program provides educational workshops to JMU in class and during evening events. As a peer educator, you receive training on facilitation skills and be able to provide education to our community.

Madison Equality

  • JMU’s oldest student led LGBTQ+ organization that focuses on fostering a supportive and inclusive educational and social environment. If you are interested, email

Shades of Pride

  • JMU’s LGBTQ+ organization with a focus on black and brown communities and allies. It is a space open to everyone. If you are interested, please DM (@sopjmu) on Instagram.


  • Queers United for Educating STEM Together is a queer support space for members of the STEM department/majors. If you are interested, please DM (@jmuquest) on Instagram.

D.E.E.P. Impact

  • D.E.E.P. (Diversity Education Empowerment Program) Impact is designed to influence meaningful change throughout the James Madison University campus community through the development of programs and services that heighten awareness, increase knowledge, and celebrate the value of diversity in all forms. Our student staff of Diversity Educators create and implement programming that focuses on promoting inclusion, advocacy, and respect in order to equip students with the cultural capacity to change and shape the world. D.E.E.P Impact is sponsored by the Center for Multicultural Student Services (CMSS)
Rights and Protections

JMU has several policies that provide support and protection to trans students at JMU. Here are a few we wanted to highlight. All policies are subject to edits as the university follows new rules and regulations and looks for ways to improve.

1302: Equal Opportunity

  • This policy outlines JMU’s commitment to diversity and inclusion by stating the protected classes against discrimination; including age, color, disability, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, parental status, political affiliation, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status.

Policy 1324: Discrimination and Harassment (Other than Sexual Harassment and Misconduct)

  • This policy outlines the procedures for a compliant of discrimination of a protected class (from policy 1302).

Policy 1340: Sexual Misconduct

  • This policy sets out the university’s commitment to providing a workplace and learning environment free from all forms of sexual misconduct. It includes how the university will respond in situations of sexual misconduct.

Policy 1346: Title IX Sexual Harassment

  • This policy sets out the university’s commitment to providing a workplace and learning environment free from all forms of sexual harassment. It includes how the university will respond in situations of sexual harassment.

The Office of Equal Opportunity

The Office of Equal Opportunity administers JMU’s commitment to providing an equitable and safe environment free of discrimination for the entire JMU community. To learn more about the procedure of a formal report go here. To file a formal complaint go here.

Title IX

Title IX seeks to reduce or eliminate barriers to educational opportunity caused by sex discrimination. Title IX is included in the university wide harassment and discrimination prevention training given to all employees. All the University’s policies regarding sexual misconduct and Title IX are inclusive of all community members, including LGBTQ+ members. The entire staff of the Title IX Office are members of the Safe Zone Network. To learn more about reporting to Title IX go here. Any questions regarding Title IX may be directed to the office at or by calling (540) 568-5219. To learn more about the procedures of a formal report go here.

Survivor Advocacy

JMU Survivor Advocacy services act as a safe, confidential, welcoming, and inclusive resource for JMU students impacted by sexual violence, relationship abuse, and stalking. We also serve family, friends, and other support persons to student survivors. We welcome all who may have questions, who need support and guidance, and who are seeking resources and connection. Advocates will call you by your preferred name, and you have to option to not provide a name if you like. It is not unusual to feel nervous about talking with someone about something you’ve experienced. Know that when meeting with an advocate, you can share as much or as little as you choose. Survivor Advocates are well-trained and will listen and help you explore and understand your options and resources, regardless of what you disclose. You may or may not wish to report the incident; either way, the decision will remain in your hands. There are also resources outside of reporting that our advocates can help you understand and access. Regardless of your needs, our advocates can be a source of information and support as you navigate what feels best for you.

A core value of JMU’s Survivor Advocacy services is to provide a space that is welcoming and inclusive. Therefore, as a Survivor Advocate, it is imperative to promote inclusivity and equity across campus and to have a general commitment to fostering diversity. Discrimination and harassment based on race, citizenship, national origin or ethnicity, ancestry, religion or creed, political affiliation or belief, age, sex or sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or disability will not be tolerated. All advocates receive ongoing training and consultation on how to best support survivors of all identities, including trans survivors. The Assistant Director for SVPA works in collaboration with the Assistant Director for SOGIE to ensure that advocate consultation and training opportunities are inclusive of trans identities. 

To connect with an advocate:

Advocates are responsive to email and phone during our regular business hours of Monday–Friday, 8am–4:30pm. Our advocates respond as soon as possible during these business hours and no later than one business day from the time you initiate contact. Learn more here.

The Collins Center, our community partner advocates, has a 24-hour sexual assault crisis hotline and advocates who can provide 24/7 services: (540) 434-2272. 

There are also several state laws in Virginia that provide protection for trans people.

Discrimination protections

  • Effective on July 1, 2020, Virginia law prohibits discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation in all areas, including employment. (See Virginia Human Rights Act). This "Virginia Values Act," provides nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people in employment, housing, credit, and public accommodations. It is the first of its kind in the Southern United States. Additionally, law allows localities to enact their own non-discrimination protections against sexual orientation and gender identity.

Hate crime laws

  • Virginia's hate crime laws address violence based on race, religious conviction, color or national origin, sexual orientation and gender identity. Sexual orientation and gender identity were added effective July 1, 2020.

Recognition of same-sex relationships

  • Same-sex marriage in the U.S. Commonwealth of Virginia has been legal since October 6, 2014, following a decision by the Supreme Court of the United States to refuse to hear an appeal of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in the case Bostic v. Schaefer. Since then Virginia has performed legal marriages of same-sex couples and recognized out-of-state marriages of same-sex couples. The defunct statutory ban on same-sex marriage and civil unions was repealed in 2020.

Gender identity and expression

  • Law enacted in 2020 state that, from September 1, 2020, individuals will just need “appropriate clinical treatment” to change sex on a birth certificate. Effective July 1, 2020, Virginia added gender X on state driver’s licenses. 

Adoption and parenting

  • Virginia allows single persons and opposite-sex married couples to adopt children. The state has no explicit prohibition on adoption by same-sex couples or second-parent adoptions. Since July 1, 2019 Virginia law explicitly includes surrogacycontracts for same-sex couples. 
The views and opinions expressed on this website and its pages are those of JMU's SOGIE Office. JMU wholly controls its own websites, retaining the right and ability to exclude any information and any link at any time. These JMU webpages may contain links to other websites not owned or controlled by JMU. These links are provided purely as a convenience to individuals who may be interested in this topic, and the content of those external websites do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of JMU. Those external web addresses contain information created, published, maintained or otherwise posted by institutions or organizations independent of JMU. JMU does not endorse, approve, certify or control these external web addresses and does not guarantee the accuracy, completeness, efficacy, timeliness or correct sequencing of information located at such addresses

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