SUNY policy gives students 7 options when choosing gender BY Kenneth Lovett NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Thursday, September 10, 2015, 11:40 PM A A A Share this URL SHANNON STAPLETON/Reuters Gov. Cuomo's state colleges now allow students to choose from seven genders and eight sexual orientations. ALBANY — For the state university, gender no longer just means man or woman. Students who register at SUNY campuses can now choose from seven options when giving their gender and eight for sexual orientation under a policy enacted Thursday by the SUNY Board of Trustees. When it comes to gender, a student can self-identify as a man, woman, trans man, trans woman, genderqueer/gender fluid, questioning or unsure. Or they can simply write in another identity. For sexual orientation, students can select from straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, queer, questioning or unsure. They, too, also have the option of writing in an orientation not identified. “With this new diversity, equity and inclusion policy, we are once again sending a strong message that the Empire State is a national leader and a beacon of inclusion for all students,” Gov. Cuomo said. But the Rev. Jason McGuire, executive director of New Yorker’s Family Research Foundation, called the new policy a “dangerous precedent.” “As a culture, how dare we run from truths we’ve understood for thousands of years — there are gender differences,” McGuire said. “People can identify as any number of things, but you are born with a certain sexual identify, you are born a certain sex.” The data collection change is part of a new diversity policy implemented by SUNY that also requires each campus have a chief diversity officer and strategic plans for student, faculty and staff recruitment and retention.