Gender-neutral bathrooms provide safe environments

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At first glance, the thought of a gender-neutral bathroom might seem pointless. But I can tell you they are most certainly not. In fact, they are quite useful for maintaining a safe and accepting environment at South high school.

You might be wondering, why are they important? Who would they help?  Well if you really want to find out, keep reading this editorial.

The first thing we must understand is what the point of it all is. Not everyone is cisgendered. For some people that goes without saying, but many don’t understand that humans aren’t binary. To be cisgendered means that your gender identity matches the gender you were assigned at birth. For the majority of people, this holds true, which is why we have male and female bathrooms. But as a school, we must address everyone, not just majorities. Many people question the purpose or need for a gender-neutral bathroom. I can tell you the reason it is needed is to provide equality and make sure that no one is left out.

I am speaking from personal experience, being someone who is both genderfluid (someone who fluctuates between two or more genders) and androgynous (someone who doesn’t fit well into gender stereotypes or someone that could fit into both). Having to choose between the male or female bathroom was quite a challenge. I would have anxiety about going into the boys bathroom, in fear people would think i’m a girl, and vice versa for the girls bathroom. This would cause problems, some being that I’d wait around the bathroom for the people to leave so i could go in. I would stay in the bathroom too long because people were coming in and out constantly.

At the end of the day I got through it, but it didn’t happen as nicely as it could have. In my opinion, this is why gender-neutral bathrooms are important; they provide safe and comfortable environments for people like me. With the gender-neutral bathroom, all the fear I had was completely gone. Everyone is welcome in the bathroom, regardless of gender.

Something people have debated is the ill effects that could come from having a bathroom open to all genders. Many people brought up the prospects of students using it for sex, while others said that it wouldn’t get much use, or that only girls would use it (being that it was once a girls bathroom). The criticism that is most ridiculous is the bathroom being used for sex. No one wants to have sex in a bathroom, nevertheless a school bathroom! Another thing is that nothing is stopping either gender from going into the opposite gender bathroom. All in all, if its not happening now, it is not likely to start.

To answer the question we posed at the beginning, why are gender-neutral bathrooms important? The reason they are important is they provide people with a safe space where they can feel comfortable. It shouldn’t matter what your gender is, everyone regardless should be included and accepted. At the end of the day a bathroom is a bathroom, your parts should not decide where you pee.

 

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