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Harvard Trans+
Needs Assessment

In order to serve our trans+ community, we need to know how to serve our community.

Last year, we heard feedback, feelings, ideas, and information from 40+ trans+ attendees that were active students at Harvard.

This year, we're working on a formal survey with IRB clearance to collect data that will inform not only our work, but help us to advocate for the needs of our community across campus. 

In 2022, here's what we found:


Harvard Pulse Survey (Spring, 2019)


In the Spring of 2019, the Office of Gender Equity hosted the Pilot Pulse Survey on Inclusion and Belonging.


Nine statements and their validity were asked of students, staff, and faculty about their belonging at Harvard. The full report, executive summary, and data can be found here.


A few data points from this report  about trans+ students are crucial to note.


It is important to note that no staff filled out the form as genderqueer, nonbinary, transgender, unsure, or another gender identity of 2,084 respondents.


Only 48% or 46% of genderqueer or nonbinary, or aggregated, respectively, felt they belonged at Harvard.


In response to “I feel like I can be my authentic self at Harvard”. Only 41% of genderqueer or nonbinary students, and 39% of transgender students, responded ‘somewhat agree, ‘agree’, or ‘strongly agree’ to these statements.


Only 19% of genderqueer or nonbinary students and 17% of transgender students felt that Harvard leadership would take appropriate action in response to incidents of harassment and discrimination.

Harvard Trans+ Community Event (Fall, 2022)


The responses collected largely represents undergraduate students, though not intentionally. As a result, the conclusions are situated in the needs of the undergraduate population.  Additional needs of the graduate student population must be researched and properly addressed, in addition to greater research on the needs of the undergraduate population. Consider this a launching point.


Responses were to the following questions:


1. What do you, as a trans+ Harvard community member, need? Have those needs been met?


2. What do you believe trans+ students need at Harvard? Have those needs been met?


Highlights of the responses include:

  • Some of the most used words in feedback (outside of articles and irrelevant verbiage) were “thank you”, “elders”, “community”, and “healthcare”.

  • Also frequently mentioned were “bathrooms”, “housing”, “insurance”, “therapists”, “physical space”, and “leaders”.

  • Nine responses included “healthcare”, mentioning most frequently both mental and physical healthcare.

  • Seven responses included an ask for professors and other class leaders to invest in gendering students correctly

  • Six responses asked for support in changing their name and being addressed properly

  • Six responses mentioned a strong desire for working with community elders and the importance of visibility across ages in our community

Community members were not given a chance to discuss with each other. Discussion is crucial to broader community and coalition development; however, the goal of this report is to investigate the top-of-mind thoughts of a wider pool.

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