TLC, representing a.t. Furuya, reaches settlement with San Diego State University

TLC client a.t. Furuya

               TLC client a.t. Furuya

Transgender Law Center client a.t. Furuya won a settlement in his case against San Diego State University and its affiliate, Associated Students, for the harassment and discrimination he faced when using a locker room at SDSU’s Aztec Recreation Center (“ARC”). Under the settlement agreement, SDSU is obliged to provide privacy partitions in all ARC locker rooms, institute mandatory training for all ARC staff on SDSU’s nondiscrimination policy, and post signage about the policy throughout the ARC facility.

“The day I was verbally attacked in the men’s locker room was an extremely terrifying moment.  As a transgender person, I knew I had a right to be in the men’s locker room and a right not to be harassed for being transgender, but no one else, not even university staff responding to the situation, seemed to know what my rights were,” said a.t. Furuya, a transgender rights advocate and SDSU graduate student.  “SDSU has taken important steps towards making sure that what happened to me does not happen to other transgender students.”

Furuya experienced the harassment in January 2015, when another patron verbally assaulted him because he is transgender. When university staff sought to intervene, they demanded that Furuya leave the locker room in violation of state and federal nondiscrimination laws.

SDSU has released a public statement about the settlement as well as other steps the university has taken to provide a more affirming environment for transgender students.

“Transgender students, like all students, should be able to participate in campus life and access the same facilities as their peers without fear of being singled out and harassed. It’s not only right – it’s the law,” said Kris Hayashi, executive director of Transgender Law Center. “By making the student body aware of SDSU’s nondiscrimination policy and by training staff to enforce it, this settlement agreement will go a long way towards making San Diego State University a more welcoming and safer environment for all students.”

Federal and California nondiscrimination laws make it clear that transgender students have the right to use university and school facilities consistent with their gender identity.  Title IX also mandates that universities respond to and remedy harassment based on gender identity and that a failure to do so is a violation of law.

Students facing harassment or discrimination can reach out to Transgender Law Center for support through the legal information helpline at transgenderlawcenter.org/help.

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Transgender Law Center changes law, policy, and attitudes so that all people can live safely, authentically, and free from discrimination regardless of their gender identity or expression.