Gender Inclusive Housing

Lambton Hall exterior with a variety of gender symbols

Creating Inclusive Communities for all Students

Student Housing Services is committed to fostering diverse and inclusive spaces for all students. We are excited to introduce our Gender Inclusive Housing (GIH) residence option for Fall 2024. GIH is available to all applicants, including first-year students, transfer and graduate students, and open to applicants of any gender identity (including cisgender and allies).

Our GIH strategy and goals are centred around providing a range of inclusive housing options for trans and gender-diverse students. We aim to minimize barriers to applying and living in residence while providing education on gender identity to all U of G students.

What is Gender Inclusive Housing? 

When you apply to Gender Inclusive Housing, gender identity or assigned biological sex is not taken into consideration when completing the room assignment process.  Students who select GIH may identify as transgender, gender-diverse, or cis-gender and by selecting GIH may be placed with a roommate of any gender identity in a residence area that provides access to an all-gender washroom.  Students opting to live in GIH should have an understanding of gender identity and gender expression and be supportive of the LGBTQ2IA+ community.   

Gender-Related Terminology

At Student Housing Services, we acknowledge that the terminology surrounding gender identity is constantly evolving. The following terms provided are intended to serve as a resource and may or may not change over time: 

  • Cisgender: a person whose gender identity is the same as the sex they were assigned at birth.
  • Gender Identity* gender is a spectrum, and someone’s gender identity may be anywhere within, along, or outside the gender spectrum. It is their sense of being a woman, a man, both, neither, or anywhere in between. A person’s gender identity may be the same as or different from their birth-assigned sex. Gender identity is fundamentally different from a person’s sexual orientation.
  • Gender Expression* is how a person publicly presents their gender. This can include behaviour and outward appearances such as dress, hair, make-up, body language and voice. A person's name and pronouns are common ways of expressing gender.
  • Transgender (Trans*): An umbrella term for individuals whose gender identity is different than the sex they were assigned at birth that falls between, across, off, or within the gender binary. The term trans* represents transgender, non-binary, genderqueer, agender, genderfluid, two-spirit, and others whose identities fall inside or outside of gender paradigms.
  • Gender Diverse: An umbrella term that falls under that umbrella term Transgender (Trans*) for individuals whose gender identity is different than the sex they were assigned at birth that falls between, across, or off the gender binary spectrum. The term gender diverse may also represent non-binary, genderqueer, agender, genderfluid, two-spirit, and others whose identities fall outside of cisgender paradigms.
  • Sex* is the classification of people as male, female or intersex. Sex is usually assigned at birth and is based on an assessment of a person's reproductive system, hormones, chromosomes and/or other physical characteristics.

*definitions with an "*" have been informed by the Ontario Human Rights Code

Housing-Related Terminology

  • Gender Inclusive refers to a housing assignment that does not use gender identity as a criterion during the room assignment process for single and multi-occupancy rooms and is located in an area where an all-gender washroom is available within the alcove, floor, suite or unit.
  • Co-educational (Co-ed) is a term widely used to describe housing where a floor, building or townhouse accommodates all genders, however, multi-occupancy rooms and washrooms are gendered. Students assigned to multi-occupancy spaces will be assigned based on the gender they disclose in their application. Co-ed residences may be gendered by alcove, floor, or suite based on the location of a gendered washroom.  For example, South Residence is a co-ed residence, but each alcove is gendered and the washroom within the alcove is gendered.
  • Single Gender Housing refers to a building or self-contained unit (apartment, suite, or townhouse) assigned to a specific gender identity, and washrooms within the space are identified for single gender.
  • All Gender Washrooms are washrooms (which may include a toilet, sink and/or shower) that are available for use by any gender identity and may be private or shared communal facilities. All Gender Washrooms are identified by signage in all residences.
  • Gender Specific Washrooms are washrooms (which may include toilet, sink and/or shower) that are specified for use as either male or female-identifying students.  Gendered Specific Washrooms are identified by signage in all residences. Washrooms within a suite (Lambton or East Residences), townhouse (East Village and West Residences), or an alcove (South Residences), do not have signage.


Gender Inclusive Housing Options

Gender Inclusive Housing is available in all residence types:

  • Traditional residences (Lennox & Addington Hall, Lambton Hall, Maids Hall (Arts House), and South Residences)
  • Suites (Lambton Hall and East Residences)
  • Townhouses (East Village and West Residence)


Gender Inclusive Graphic with LGBTQ2IA+ symbols

Gender Inclusive Housing Application Process

Applicants interested in GIH should complete the standard Residence Application form through the Housing Portal.

Application Process:

  1. Log in to the Housing Portal and select the desired housing term (i.e., Fall / Winter)
  2. During the application process, you will be asked for your gender identity. This is optional and does not affect the assignment process.
  3. Select Gender Inclusive Housing as a Housing preference.
  4. Add your preference for Building Location.
  5. Add your preference for Room Type (single, double, triple, etc.).
  6. Rank order your preference to tell us what is MOST important to you (GIH, Building, Room Type or Residence Learning Community).
  7. Complete all other sections of the application and SUBMIT by June 3.
  8. Pay your residence deposit by June 3.

All residence assignments are completed using a random lottery. Learn more here.


Contact Resources

Are you interested in speaking to someone about living in residence or attending the University of Guelph as a trans or gender-diverse student? You can contact:

Caleb Harwood (all pronouns) – Sexual and Gender Diversity Advisor, 

Bio: Caleb is the Sexual and Gender Diversity Advisor supporting and advocating for LGBTQ2IA+ students at the University of Guelph.  As a queer individual, Caleb understands the importance of creating welcoming spaces for gender diverse students.  They supervise OUTline staff and work collaboratively with other departments across campus to unlearn and relearn how we can better support our LGBTQ2IA+ community.  Read more about Caleb and the role of the Sexual and Gender Diversity Advisor.

Contact Caleb about all the resources available to LGBTQ2IA+ students.

Kristin Lennan (she/her/hers) – Acting Associate Director, Residence Life,

Bio: Kristin is the Acting Associate Director, Residence Life with Student Housing Services.  Kristin is responsible for the education, training, and supervision of the Residence Life Staff and Residence Life Management Team who will support you through your experience in residence.  Kristin's team works to create an inclusive and welcoming culture in all of our residence communities.

Contact Kristin to talk more about moving into residence, residence life supports, education about LGBTQ2IA+ issues, or questions about living in a GIH space on campus.

Leanne Caron (she/her/hers) - Manager, Residence Admissions, 

Bio: Leanne is the Manager, Residence Admissions and Marketing within Student Housing Services. Leanne's team is responsible for processing residence applications and deposits, residence room and suitemate assignments, and other accommodation needs.

Contact Leanne to talk more about the residence application, assignment placement, roommate pairing, residence move-in, or room transfer processes.



Frequently Asked Questions

Am I guaranteed a spot in GIH if I apply for it?

SHS will take every opportunity to provide students with their top preferences. GIH will be offered based on demand, and all students will be placed based on their application preferences.

Do I have to select GIH if I am trans or gender diverse?

No, selecting GIH on your residence application is optional.  

Are the GIH locations advertised to others? Are there signs in the community? 

No, we will not openly share the specific location of our GIH rooms with those outside of Student Housing Services. Only the building they might be in.

Can I live with my partner? 

GIH was created to help reduce the barriers trans and gender-diverse students face when accessing housing on campus. We strongly encourage students in a romantic relationship with one another not to request to live together. We may be unable to modify room assignments should the relationship status change and a partner wishes to move out.

Do I need to complete the accommodation request form for reasons related to gender identity? 

Requests to receive a specific room assignment based on gender identity do not require the completion of an Accommodation Request Form. Applicants who require GIH should indicate it as their first choice on both pages of preferences in the residence application.  However, if there are other needs related to room type (e.g., requires a single room) for medical or other reasons, you should complete an Accommodation Request Form for reasons other than gender identity.

Will I be assigned to GIH if it was not requested on my application? 

No. Only students who request Gender Inclusive Housing will be assigned to those spaces, however, you may be assigned to a building which includes a GIH community. 

What is the difference between co-ed residence and Gender Inclusive Housing? 

Co-ed residence is a living situation where a floor, building or townhouse accommodates all genders, however, multi-occupancy rooms (e.g., doubles, triples, quads) and washrooms are gendered. GIH does not consider gender in the room assignment process, meaning that multi-occupancy rooms may have students of any gender identity with access to an all-gender washroom. 

Does being assigned to GIH mean I will receive a single room? 

No. GIH will use all room types to complete assignments, however, gender is not a factor when finding a roommate. You may be assigned to a multi-occupancy room with someone who has a different gender identity. 

Can I request a roommate in GIH? 

Absolutely! Roommate requests are added to your application after the June 3 deadline once you have received a confirmed offer of residence. Learn more about the roommate process here. It is important that both roommates have the same location and room type preferences on their application, including a desire to be assigned in GIH.