University of Maryland students can now update their gender marker to an “X” on the university’s Testudo site to identify themselves as nonbinary, according to an email Thursday from the university registrar’s office.
Last year, the university announced plans to add the new gender marker to Testudo by 2026. The university said it has completed the multi-system overhaul needed for nonbinary gender markers.
In a statement to The Diamondback, the university said the new initiative is a milestone in supporting the “inclusive demographic data collection of sexual orientation and gender identity and expression.”
Gender markers do not appear on student identification cards, class rosters or transcripts, but can be seen by university employees in some databases or reports, according to the registrar’s office website.
The new gender markers will also appear on students’ University Health Center patient profiles. For insurance to process a student’s medical claim or prescription, a student’s gender marker must match the indication on their health insurance plan, the website said.
International students’ gender markers will be present on I-20 forms and must match the legal sex on their passport, the website said.
According to the university, the nonbinary gender marker is scheduled to be available to university employees with the launch of Workday, the university’s new information management system. Workday will launch summer 2024 or later, a September newsletter from this university’s “Elevate” program said.
Kristopher Oliveira, the university’s LGBTQ+ Equity Center director, said representing student identities through data will promote a standard of care that will allow students to be seen for their full identity.
“It’s important for students to be able to see themselves fully recognized through our university systems,” Oliveira said. “[The addition is] also going to share and show a much richer picture about the diversity of our community.”