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Gender Diversity - what is it?

Das Bild zeigt eine neue Version der Pride Flagge, die vulnerablere Positionen innerhalb der LGBTIQ* Bewegung deutlich macht, nämlich vor allem solche von Schwarzen Trans*Personen.
“The ‘TQ PoC New Pride Flag’ features the Trans flag intersecting the original Rainbow flag while centring Black and Brown People of Color, in honour, memory, and acknowledgement that we must center people in the most vulnerable positions, to achieve liberation for all.”

Even if our perception in everyday life often leads us to believe otherwise, the categories of woman and man are not sufficient to fully describe gender and gender identities. Gender identity is not a permanent life-long label, nor can all gender identities be clearly and solely assigned to one of just two boxes. There have always been and continue to be people who do not identify within the gender binary.

Gender diversity is a social reality. This is also true at our university. 

In all statistical probability, the University counts not only cis-identifying and diadic but also trans, intersex, and non-binary/genderqueer individuals among its members. 

Gender diversity is a current focus of TU Berlin’s diversity strategy. We aim to improve the general conditions, for instance for trans, intersex, and non-binary individuals, both in formal administrative procedures as well as in our daily interactions with each other at the University.


(excerpts from the KFG’s Guidelines for Gender Sensitive Language in German)

  • Cis is the antonym of trans. The term cis or cisgender refers to people who identify with the gender recorded on their birth certificate as a result of physical characteristics. 
  • Dyadic refers to people who are not intersex and whose bodies reflect the medically accepted norms of male and female bodies.
  • Inter or intersex refers to people whose bodies do not reflect the medical or societal norms of a male or female body. Intersexuality can be a pathologizing diagnosis. Inter can also be a gender identity. Just like dyadic persons, inter persons can also identify as female, male or trans.
  • Non-binary (or enby for the phonemic pronunciation of NB, the abbreviation of non-binary) or genderqueer persons are those who do not view their gender identity as strictly female or male but rather beyond, between, or in both of these categories.
  • Trans (or transsexual, transgender and transident) are persons who do not, not only, or not exclusively identify with the gender attributed to them at birth on the basis of physical characteristics. Some trans persons identify with “the other” or another gender, while others do not identify with any gender.

In addition to these, there are number of other terms used to self-identify (many of which can be found in the queer lexicon). 

For trans, inter, and non-binary University members

  • Diverse gender marker or no entry in the public register

Our digital registration system, SAP, is able to record the following genders: female, male, diverse, and N.A. The salutation can be selected independently of the recorded gender and offers three options: Ms., Mr., or no salutation. If your gender marker is recorded as diverse or you have no gender in the public register, you can request Human Resources (as an employee) or the Office of Student Affairs (for students) to ensure that this is also the case at TU Berlin. 

For advice and support, contact Anna Schreiner.


  • Salutation on degree certificates for students

Soon all TU Berlin degree certificates will be issued with a student's first and last name only and without a salutation or other references to gender. Currently (as of December 2020), this is already the case for the bachelor's and master's degree programs in Physics and the master's in Historical Urban Studies.

If you are studying a different subject and need a certificate without a salutation, please contact Anna Schreiner or your program’s team in the examination office. This is already possible in individual cases.


  • Changing names and gender markers at TUB for students

Students who have a dgti supplemental ID (dgti-Ergänzungsausweis) can have their first name and gender marker changed at the University without first changing their entry in the public register and thus their official ID.

Of course, you can also have this information changed at TU Berlin if an official change has already been made.

In both cases, students can change the data (e.g. first name and gender marker) in tuPORT. For the changes to be accepted, you must upload supporting documentation. This can be your amended birth certificate or the dgti supplemental ID.

Once your data has been changed in tuPORT you can request a new student ID free of charge as well as a new email address.

Please note that you may encounter difficulties if you are also employed at TU.

If you need advice or support, please contact Anna Schreiner.


  • Changing names and gender markers at TUB for employees 

An option to change your name and gender marker in the TU database is unfortunately not yet available to employees as it is for students. Master employee data currently cannot be changed at TU Berlin without an official amendment in the public register. Instead, a workaround solution in SAP is offered where you can provide a preferred name. This means, that your master data in the digital registration system and on your employee ID as well as your firstname.lastname@tu-berlin.de email address remain the same. 

However, you do have the option in the field marked “Künstlername” and “Künstler-Anrede” to enter your preferred first name and salutation. These will then be used in many places within the system instead of the information on your personal ID. This change is not yet implemented everywhere, though, so the first name on your ID may still be used in some places. 

If your institute or organizational unit uses its own email address (such as firstname.lastname@soz.tu-berlin.de), you have the possibility to replace the first name from your ID with your preferred first name in the address. 

Additionally, you can see whether the email address with just your last name, lastname@tu-berlin.de, instead of both your first and last name, is still available.   

If you need advice or support, please contact Anna Schreiner

For all other University members: Becoming an ally

(Many of the following tips are from the “trans.inter*.nicht-binär” pamphlet as well as the Guidelines for Gender Inclusive Language - both in German - published by the Coordinating Office for Women’s Advancement and Gender Equality - KFG.)

  • Never out someone. If someone shares with you that they are trans, inter, or nonbinary, keep this information to yourself, unless the individual has agreed that you can discuss it with others. If you know someone’s birth name, keep this information to yourself and do not share it with anyone.  
  • For instructors: When calling on students in class, do not address them as Ms. X or Mr. Y, but rather use only their last name. Using only a student’s last name is still preferable than using both their first and last names, as some students may use a different first name than that on their personal ID or on your class roster. Provide students with the opportunity to fix information on the class roster (do so confidentially, such as via email).
  •  Respect students’ choice of address and their chosen first name. If students ask you to use Ms. instead of Mr. (or vice versa) and another first name, respect this wish and act accordingly. If you accidentally make a mistake, apologize and quickly correct yourself. You don't need to make a big deal out of it.  Instead, focus on getting it right next time. 
  • Always use gender inclusive language, both when writing and speaking. In German, the gender asterisk is one form of inclusive language, such as in the word “Student*innen”. Another alternative is a neutral form like “Studierende”. Further information and tips are available in the Guidelines for Gender Inclusive Language published by the Coordinating Office for Women’s Advancement and Gender Equality. 
  • Use gender neutral salutations in emails, if you do not know how a person identifies, such as “Guten Tag Laura Lopez” or “Hello Laura”.
  • Include your own salutation and pronouns in your email signature and website. By doing so, you demonstrate and normalize that someone’s gender identity cannot be determined on the basis of their first name or appearance alone. You also indirectly make it easier for others to state their salutation and pronouns. In your signature you can ask recipients to provide their pronouns and salutation so that you can correctly address them.


My pronouns are she/her. Please let me know what pronouns you use.

My pronouns are he/him. Please let me know what your pronouns are so that I can correctly address you in the future.

Please use a gender neutral greeting for me and refrain from using Ms. or Mr. Last name. Instead you can use “Guten Tag Vorname Nachname”, “Sehr geehrte*r Vorname Nachname”, or “Hello First name last name”.

  • Restrooms labeled for either men or women can make it difficult for trans, inter, or nonbinary persons to use the bathroom, as they may be perceived as being in the wrong place. Help avoid this happening. If you see someone in the restroom who appears to be in the “wrong” place at first, consider that maybe you are mistaken and that their appearance may be leading you to this conclusion. Allow the person to use the restroom in peace. Step in if others critically comment on the person’s presence. Promote gender-neutral restrooms in your area.
  • In general: Step up if you witness discrimination! Trans persons in particular are disproportionately the victims of transphobic or sexist (verbal and physical) attacks. Do not look away. Offer the affected person help during and/or after the attack.
  • For instructors: Review your teaching canon. Can you include a critical reflection of gender norms? Do so if you can.
  • For students: Review your reading lists. Are there women or queer people who have also made relevant contributions to the topic at hand?

Advising services, associations and self-organization for TIN persons

  •  QUEER LEBEN - Counseling center for inter- and transgender people and their relatives
  • Lesbenberatung Berlin - an open place for women, girls, Inter* and Trans* in different life situations 
  • LesMigras- Counseling for lesbians, bisexual women, Trans* and Inter* (LBTI) 

  • TrIQ - social center and an association active in politics, culture and research, which supports transgender, intersex and queer people living in Berlin and beyond
  • GLADT - Self-organisation of black and of color lesbians, gays, bisexuals, trans*, inter* and queer people in Berlin
  • Casa Kuá – Trans* Inter* Queer Community & Health Center

Zusatzinformationen / Extras

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