CHAVOUS: Living our Values – Gender Identity and Restroom and Changing Room Access

"from the desk of tabbye chavous" pen and paper

To the University Community,

At the University of Michigan (U-M), we are committed to enhancing and celebrating our diversity and cultivating equitable and inclusive campus environments.

One aspect of creating a welcoming, equitable, and inclusive environment is providing safe, accessible, and convenient restroom facilities for all. This is a part of daily academic, work, and personal life that we all should be able to take for granted, but currently, across a number of U.S. states, many LGBTQIA2S+ community members cannot due to anti-LGBTQIA2S+ discrimination and legislation.

By contrast, in spring 2023, the Michigan Senate passed Senate Bill 4, which expanded the state’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act to provide protection from discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, or expression.

As a part of this law, in the state of Michigan all individuals have the legal right to use restrooms, locker rooms, and changing rooms consistent with their gender identity in all public educational institutions, no questions asked.  

Consistent with U-M’s values of diversity, equity, and inclusion and human dignity, we affirm and uphold the law – supporting and protecting all campus community members’ and campus visitors’ safe access to restrooms that correspond with their gender identity. We will not deny access or discriminate against individuals based on their LGBTQIA2S+ identities or any other protected identity class. 

While the university has all-gender facilities in many buildings, the right to access gender-specific restrooms will continue to be available to everyone, including those in the trans community. 

(For a map of all-gender restrooms on the Ann Arbor campus, as well as additional informational and support resources, please refer to this link provided by our U-M Spectrum Center).

We also know that we – as a collective campus community – have a responsibility and must show leadership and courage not only in advancing and supporting equity-oriented laws and policies but also in taking active and continual steps toward creating a culture of full inclusion for our LGBTQIA2S+ community. As we launch into our DEI 2.0 Strategic Plan period, I look forward to collaborating with our campus leaders and community in this important work.


Tabbye M. Chavous
Vice Provost for Equity & Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer
Professor of Education and Psychology

*The term, LGBTQIA2S+, is inclusive of people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and/or gender expansive, queer and/or questioning, intersex, asexual, and two-spirit.