Gender Neutral Restrooms
by Tyler Sobolewski
I would like to preface this by saying that I do not speak for the entire trans community, nor do I speak for all the trans kids at our school. But I do speak for myself and raise a point that needs to be heard.
- denoting or relating to a person whose sense of personal identity and gender corresponds with their birth sex.
Cis privilege is a real thing, just as white privilege for example. I would like to address this.
Transgender bathroom laws have been debated prominently in the last year. This is an issue. All we need is to go to the bathroom and feel safe while doing so.
According to the German Lopez in 2016,
59% have avoided bathrooms in the last year because they feared confrontations in public restrooms at work, at school, or in other places.
12% report that they have been harassed, attacked, or sexually assaulted in a bathroom in the last year.
31% have avoided drinking or eating so that they did not need to use the restroom in the last year.
24% report that someone told them they were using the wrong restroom or questioned their presence in the restroom in the last year.
9% report being denied access to the appropriate restroom in the last year.
8% report having a kidney or urinary tract infection, or other kidney-related medical issue, from avoiding restrooms in the last year.
This is an issue. At this point, safety and physical health are issues for us. At HB, there is a gender-neutral restroom. This is a good solution, but the issue with this is that many people think gender-neutral restrooms are just a free for all for everyone.
I only use the gender-neutral restroom, and sometimes I have to just “hold it” since it is too far away from my class. I’ve also been late to a class before because I had to wait for ten minutes. If you feel comfortable and safe in the girl’s restroom, I would ask that you use it. My brother and I have both had to wait way too long just to see another (as far as we know) cis girl come out of it.
So many people never have to worry about which restroom you will go in. So many people don’t have to worry about getting told off or beaten up.
These seem irrational, but often in public, these are real issues. And I would like to address them:
The gender-neutral restroom is not just a single stalled restroom.
The gender-neutral restroom is not a place to hang out.
The gender-neutral restroom is not a changing room.
The gender-neutral restroom is a place for trans people.
The gender-neutral restroom is a place for questioning people.
The gender-neutral restroom is a place for everyone.
But please. I ask you to not overuse this privilege you are given.