Pilot Project “Counselling and support for trans* students” 2018 - 2019

Peer-to-peer counselling for trans* students at the University of Göttingen (January 2018 to December 2019) was in place to support students who might have had questions about their gender identity. People who were perceived in an unwanted way due to their gender expression, or have experienced embarrassment, exclusion or discrimination at the university because of their (attributed) sexuality also were welcome in the counselling.

Additionally, the counselling supported staff members (e.g. teachers) who have had questions regarding their personal contact with trans students or general questions about being trans* and studying .

Counselling services included

  • Orientation and support for students regarding decision-making processes and questions around gender identity
  • Information and support regarding study management including changes related to being trans
  • Information about social, legal and medical aspects of transitioning
  • Counselling when discrimination or exclusion has taken place
  • Support within the context of the University regarding the communication of transitioning processes
  • Information and support on the topic for non-trans* people

What does the term 'trans*' mean?

The term “trans*” describes all people who do not or only sometimes identify with their assigned gender at birth. For example: transgender people, transsexual people, genderqueer and non-binary people, but also cross-dressers and so called transvestites are included in this expression. People who experience trans* in their everyday lives have very different life realities and self-definitions. People with trans* experiences can define themselves as female, male or as another (not) gender.

What does the term 'inter*' mean?

Inter* describes the lived experience of being born with a body that does not correspond to the normative ideas of male/man and female/woman. Even today, the variation of gender characteristics still leads to discrimination and violations of human rights, such as unconsented gender-altering surgeries.

Inter* is not a "third gender", because the realities of people with natural variations of gender characteristics are manifold. Inter* people, like other people, can have a male, female, trans* or non-binary identity.