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Discovering and Supporting Yourself

This section is all about exploring and supporting yourself as you navigate your own identities throughout both your time here at UT and your life after UT. We have included resources about discovering yourself and reflecting yourself in an affirmative way at the university.

Questioning and coming out

For legal name and gender of record changes:

  • To change your legal name at UT, you must submit a Change of Name Request form along with the appropriate documentation. For more information, click here.
  • To change your gender on record in Banner, students must submit appropriate documentation to Katherine Abbot (kcooper@utk.edu), Associate Registrar. “Appropriate documentation” could be a copy of a legal document indicating gender or a letter from their primary care physician/mental health provider. If you have any questions, please contact Katherine at the above email.

For “preferred name”/chosen name changes:

  • Banner, MyUTK, and Canvas: To request the use of a preferred name (no legal documentation is required), click here to sign into Banner and submit the request. This Banner request should update with MyUTK and Canvas within 48 hours. Please contact OIT (865-974-9900) if your preferred name does not update within 48 hours on Canvas.
    FYI: Once the preferred first name has been established, the student is responsible for confirming with their instructors the existence and use of the preferred first name on respective class rosters. Official, external communications such as financial aid reporting, official transcripts, billing and similar documents will continue to display an individual’s legal name. The name on your FASFA (application for federal financial aid) must match the legal name in the student information system in order for aid to be processed.
  • UTK Directory: To change your name in the UTK Directory, students must update their “Known As” name with OneStop. Employees/faculty/staff need to go to their department of employment and ask them to update your “Known As” name in IRIS.
  • VolCard: Your VolCard name is also linked to the preferred name system. After the preferred name change is approved (usually within 24-48 hours of your request submission), you can go to the VolCard office and pay the $30 replacement fee to get a new VolCard with your preferred name on it.
    *The Pride Center is currently working to offset/fund this fee, so stay tuned*
  • VOLink: VOLink, the student organization portal, connects to the preferred name change system in Banner. We are aware there are current issues getting preferred names to update, and we are working to identify and solve this in a timely manner.
  • Handshake: We are currently working to identify the system and technology linkage between our preferred name change system through Banner and Handshake, the internship and job portal.
  • UTK EmailWhile folks cannot change their NetIDs, you can set up an alias for sending and receiving emails through your UTK email. Check out this OIT article for instructions on how to set up an alias.
  • ADDITIONAL NOTE: If you have EVER been on the university payroll (working at a summer camp here, note-taking, student assistant, work study, etc.), you must ALSO submit a Personal Data Form to Human Resources located here: https://iris.tennessee.edu/forms/human-resourcespayroll-forms/

If you are continuing to have problems getting your name accurately reflected here in various UT systems, please contact the Pride Center Coordinator, Bonnie Johnson, at bonnie@utk.edu, and she will assist as much as possible.

On campus resources

  • The Pride Center and CHEW both offer FREE safer sex supplies during their business hours, including lubricants, external condoms, insertive condoms, dental dams, and more.
  • 974-HELP: For distressed students of all levels. The 974-HELP referral line was developed to help distressed or distressing students reach their academic goals and to help maintain a safe community and learning environment for all students. If you have a concern about a student for any reason, do not hesitate to reach out and call. For more information check out their website here: https://dos.utk.edu/974-help/our-approach/
  • Student Counseling Center (SCC): The Student Counseling Center offers individual counseling and group therapy for all students, including LGBTQ+ inclusive individual, group, and relationship therapy; a set number of sessions a year are available for free to students who have paid their student health fee. For more information on the Counseling Center, including scheduling an appointment, check out their website here.
  • Student Health Center (SHC): The Student Health Center offers primary care services to our students. For general information, including regular appointment booking, check out their website here. 
    The Gender Clinic at the SHC offers services for students interested in medical transition. Stop by the Sports Medicine Clinic on the first floor or call Jessica Ott, the Gender Clinic administrative assistant, at 865-974-5663 to get a gender clinic appointment scheduled. Do not use the regular SHC appointment booking system for a gender clinic appointment. Check out the following .pdf guide for more information on the Gender Clinic, including pricing: Gender Clinic Guide
  • Center for Health Education and Wellness (CHEW): The Center for Health Education and Wellness empowers all Volunteers to thrive by cultivating personal and community well-being. They offer educational programming around physical, mental, and sexual health. At CHEW (located in the Health Center on the second floor), you can pick up safer sex supplies for free. For more information, check out their website here: https://wellness.utk.edu/
  • UT Psychological Clinic: The UT Psych Clinic is located in the UT Conference Center downtown. They offer therapeutic services with sliding scale payment. We recommend current students work with the Student Counseling Center first, since the student health fee already covers counseling services there but NOT at the Psych Clinic. For more information, check out their website here: https://psychclinic.utk.edu/

Off-campus and online resources

  • Planned Parenthood – Knoxville: Planned Parenthood is one of the nation’s leading providers of high-quality, affordable health care, and the nation’s largest provider of sex education. They offer medical transition services in addition to other affirming sexual healthcare.
  • Positively Living: Positively Living provides case management, supportive housing, food service, and mental health/addiction counseling to individuals who are homeless; mentally ill; addicted to drugs, alcohol, or other substances; and/or living with HIV/AIDS. They offer free STI testing, PrEP, safer sex supplies, medical transition services, and more.

  • UT Housing accommodations: Please contact Richard Swearingen at swearing@utk.edu for more information on housing options for transgender and nonbinary students.
  • All-gender restrooms at UT: Check out this map for the locations of all-gender restrooms on campus. You can navigate to this map independently by starting at maps.utk.edu, click “restrooms” on the left menu, then “all-gender restrooms.” *Note: some are unavailable before/after business hours due to building closures. We are currently working to expand access. Let us know if you have any concerns or interest in adding all-gender restrooms to your facility, and we can link you up with the appropriate people.*
  • Accessibility accommodations: For accessibility, transportation, testing, and classroom accommodations, please check out Student Disability Services.

Religious resources

 

Affirming faith spaces on campus and in Knoxville

This list is not an exhaustive list and serves as a working document of religious spaces across Knoxville that are welcoming to the LGBTQ+ community. If you have any suggestions or information on faith locations listed, please contact pridecenter@utk.edu with your feedback and information. Thanks!

Churches
  • Tyson House: The Tyson House Lutheran-Episcopal Campus Ministry is an ecumenical worshipping community located at UTK. During the fall and spring semesters, they have a weekly dinner and worship service, every Sunday at 6:04 p.m. They also have a weekly faith formation class. Tyson House has been a Reconciling in Christ congregation since 2016.
    Website: tysonhouse.org
    Contact: (865) 637-2031
  • Wesley Foundation: The Wesley Foundation is the United Methodist Collegiate Ministry at UTK, located on-campus. They offer Sunday worship, Wednesday night dinner and discussions, small groups, and intramural sports. They offer an LGBTQ+ focused worship group called Mosaic.
    Website:http://utkwesleyfoundation.org
    Contact: (865) 522-2728; info@utkwesleyfoundation.org
  • UKirk: UKirk is the Presbyterian ministry on campus. They offer Wednesday worship, Monday lunches at 12:30pm (vegetarian-friendly), a community garden, and a pay-as-you-can coffee/tea shop in their building.
    Website: ukirkutk.org
    Contact: (865) 394-9242
  • Church Street United Methodist Church: Church Street is a close-to-campus Methodist ministry. They offer Sunday service, Wednesday worship and lunch, volunteer opportunities, and other community engagement.
    Website: churchstreetumc.org
    Contact: (865) 524-3048
  • Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church: TVUUC is a close-to-campus Unitarian Universalist church. They offer Sunday worship, many weekly and monthly engagement opportunities, Wednesday evening potlucks, and an LGBTQ+ affirming youth group.
    Website: tvuuc.org
    Contact: (865) 523-4176
Synagogues
  • Temple Beth El: Temple Beth El is a Reform Jewish synagogue, affiliated with Union for Reform Judaism. They offer youth programming, regular services, and adult education. Check out their website for more information.
    Website: tbeknox.com
    Contact: (865) 524-3521
Mosques
  • If you know a local mosque(s) that is LGBTQ+ affirming, please let us know at pridecenter@utk.edu, and we will update this section immediately!
Other faith traditions
  • If you know of or attend any other places of worship/practice faith traditions that are LGBTQ+ affirming and open to the public, please let us know at pridecenter@utk.edu, and we will update this section immediately!

The Commission for LGBT People has developed a pocket-sized resource guide for trans and nonbinary folks on campus. Check it out here: https://cflgbt.utk.edu/transgender-non-binary-resource-guide/