Queer and Trans Resources

Below is a collection of resources that may be relevant to the Queer and Trans communities of RWU.

If you know of a resource that would be beneficial to LGBTQIA+ folks at RWU, please contact the QTRAC to have it added to this site. 

If a resource is no longer in service, has changed its name, or if you discover a broken link, please contact the QTRAC so that we can correct the situation. 

Roger Williams University is committed to ensuring our queer and trans students, faculty, staff, and administrators are protected on campus. Sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression are included in our University Non-Discrimination Policy

If you or a member of your community experiences or witnesses a biased incident, please complete the anonymous Bias Incident Report. Learn more about our University biased incident response.

Scholarship awards, advocacy groups, and professional networks are making college more affordable and inclusive for the queer and trans communities

Many organizations and foundations offer scholarship awards specifically for queer and trans students to ensure lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, intersex, and asexual students have an equal opportunity to pursue higher education. Queer and trans students can benefit greatly from organizations that provide financial assistance, advocate for queer and trans rights, and offer networking opportunities.

Queer and Trans Student Scholarships

Organizations such as the Point Foundation offer scholarships for students who identify as queer and/or trans who attend both two-year and four-year institutions. Additionally, Campus Pride maintains a database of independent and institutional scholarships for LGBTQ+ students.

Additional scholarships for queer and trans students:

Frequently Asked Questions About Navigating Financial Aid as a Queer and/or Trans Student

As queer and trans students navigate the college process - from filling out applications to seeking financial aid to experiencing campus life - there are many questions that can come up surrounding identity, privacy, safety, and family. The questions below are some of the most frequently asked by queer and trans students as they apply for college and scholarships. Take a look to get answers and tips to help navigate the process.

Can scholarship organizations discriminate against me because I am queer or trans?

Fast Answer: yes

Federal scholarships such as the Pell grant do not discriminate against queer and trans students, but private scholarship foundations and organizations may choose not to award funds to queer and trans students. However, do not let this discourage you as there are many rising organizations that advocate for queer and trans rights and provide financial assistance to queer and trans students.

I am the child of a same-sex couple, what kind of financial aid benefits can I receive?

Fast Answer: private scholarships

Some organizations offer scholarships for students who are queer and trans or have parents in the community. The Audria M. Edwards Scholarship Fund and the Joseph Towner Fund for Gay and Lesbian Families are two examples, and the organization COLAGE is a potential resource for connecting students who have queer or trans parents with mentors to help guide them through the process of applying for scholarships.

Where should I look on campus for Queer and Trans community resources?

Fast Answer: the Queer and Trans Resource and Advocacy Center ( QTRAC) and the student organization, the Sexuality and Gender Alliance (SAGA)

At Roger Williams, we work with and support students to raise awareness and acceptance of the various communities that make up our larger queer and trans community (for example; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual, pansexual, or questioning communities). Through the QTRAC, we offer a direct resource area for all members of the queer and trans communities and their allies. The office is a key component in implementing RWU's examination of our global society.

The Queer and Trans Resource and Advocacy Center (QTRAC) is located in the heart of RWU's campus, adjacent to the 9, 10, 11 Tower of Maple Hall. The QTRAC houses our LGBTQIAP+ student organization, the Sexuality and Gender Alliance (SAGA), our student-led Trans Affinity Group (TAG), and two clubs that are committed to various issues facing women in the world, FEM Society and the Women's Collective.

There are many resources that promote diversity in schools by funding queer and trans students, but what if a student has not come out to their family?

If you want to apply for queer and trans specific scholarships and financial aid without letting your family know, here are a few ideas to maintain your confidentiality while still receiving the funds you need to attend your ideal college.

What do I put in the “Gender/Sex” category on my application?

Fast Answer: what you are comfortable disclosing

The “Common Application” only offers two gender identities for students to choose from— ‘male’ or ‘female’ - answers to this question are required to be kept confidential. RWU permits students to change their pronouns and gender identities on campus records during their academic careers if those identities change over time and allows students to use a first name different from their legal name in class or on certain records. A student accepted into college can contact their professors ahead of time to clarify the correct pronouns to use in class.

Exercise your right to educational privacy under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

This federal law protects the privacy of student educational records, including financial aid and scholarship information. Once a student turns 18 years old, parents do not have access to these records unless the student grants permission.

When I came out, my parents disowned me. Can I apply for financial aid as an independent?

Fast Answer: yes and no

Young adults are legally considered “dependents” of their families until they turn 24, and it can be difficult to go through the process of emancipation. Instead, disowned queer and trans students can indicate on their FAFSAs that they are “homeless” or “at risk of homelessness” and request to change their status to “independent.”

On Campus Resources

We are deeply passionate about supporting the holistic health of our queer and trans students during their time on our campus. Both our Health Services team and our Counseling Center team at Roger have completed the University's Safe Zone Training. 

Health Services initiatives 

Counseling Center

Trans Inclusive Health Care

The student health insurance option provided by the University does cover Gender Affirming Care and Surgeries. While the campus Health Services office and Campus Clinic are unable to prescribe hormone replacement therapy, they can provide referrals to local providers for gender-affirming care. 

Additionally, many counselors in the Counseling Center have been trained on how to write letters of support for Gender Affirming Care. If you need a letter of support from a mental health professional for insurance and/or provider access, please contact the Counseling Center to learn about their process. 

Off-Campus Help Hotlines

The hotlines listed below provide crisis intervention and suicide prevention assistance for queer and trans communities. Please do not be afraid to use these resources yourself or to share them with someone who you think needs them:

Rhode Island is home to many incredible agencies, organizations, non-profits, and businesses that provide direct services to the queer and trans communities. These agencies work to address concerns such as access to mental health care, access to physical health care, access to hormones, sexual health screenings, legal name, and gender marker changes, and many more. There are also organizations whose sole purpose is to help queer and trans folks build community with one another! Below are some of the agencies we are directly connected to:

  • OpenDoorHealth - is an LGBTQIA+ focused clinic that can provide primary care, gender affirming care & referrals, contraception, and STI screening.
  • Zencare - a user-friendly platform that helps you find a therapist in the area.
  • Thundermist Health Center - a community health center with a specific focus on trans health care.
  • Do it Right Clinic - a community health clinic through the Miriam Hospital that specializes in STD preventive care at free to little cost to the patients. The Institute also provides free to low-cost STD screenings.
  • The Gender Clinic @ CNE Primary Care - a clinic to provide trans-affirming health care to folks of all ages.
  • The Center for Sexual Pleasure and Health - exactly what it sounds like! A community resource to help ensure you and your partners have safe and pleasure-centered experiences.
  • RI Legal Services - a legal service that looks into instances of discrimination against individuals of low socioeconomic status. Their newest legal clinic focuses specifically on queer and trans people.
  • AIDS Project of Rhode Island - a direct provider of STI screenings as well as a wonderful community agency doing important activist work.
  • TGI Network of RI - a support and community building agency for trans folks, gender non-conforming folks, and intersex folks.
  • Butler Hospital - the True Self outpatient program works with queer and trans folks to address their mental health concerns in an affirming way.
  • Project Fearless - a community agency that provides financial support for queer and trans folks seeking mental health care. They also provide community-building opportunities and are a great community activist group!
  • AS220 - a social justice organization that works to create a more just world through the arts.
  • Black and Pink - a community activist organization that works to defend queer and trans folks in our criminal justice system. They are also focused on prison abolition for all communities.
  • Blackstone Valley Advocacy Center is an agency working with survivors of domestic violence, intimate partner violence, and sexual assault. They specifically offer an LGBTQ+ advocacy program through the agency which offers confidential support, survivor support groups, and support navigating the legal system if someone chooses to press charges.

The following list outlines national agencies that work to protect and affirm our queer and trans communities in a variety of ways:

If you experience any type of financial, mental, or emotional hardship, the professional staff within the QTRAC and the IC are equipped to help you. Staff can help students access emergency resources related to mental health care, financial planning, housing, and many other resources.

You can also visit the Division of Student Life's Financial Well Being site for Information on additional financial resources.