(aka. unisex restroom, gender-inclusive restroom, gender-neutral restroom)
This is under the activism half of the TNBI:A&S club.
Whether you call them all gender, gender neutral, or transgender restrooms- in the end they all mean the same. A person of any gender identity and/or expression can go into that particular restroom. The LGBTQIA community at Bellevue College did some magnificent work over the last few years to get all gender single stalled restrooms. I thank them sincerely for their hard work and dedication.
However, I think that it is time to move onto to the next logical step: multi-stalled restrooms. I am not suggesting removing all gender-segregated restrooms immediately. That would be a drastic change which could be negatively effecting by trans, non-binary and cisgender people alike. The club is instead suggesting that for buildings that are taller than 1 story for one of the stories to have both multi-stalled restrooms to be on one story.
For example, the R building has 3 stories- the club is suggesting that 1 pair of gender-segregated restrooms be converted into all gender restrooms.
The reason for seeming “half-measure” is for 2 reasons. The first is that all gender restrooms are required on muli-leveled buildings for convenience. It is extremely inconvenient for trans/non-binary folks who can’t use gender-segregated restrooms to go back and forth, up and down flights of stairs to go to the restroom.
For example, a student may have a class that starts in a few minutes. They need to go to the bathroom. However, the nearest bathroom is about a 3 minutes walk and they know that they can’t make it so they are forced to chose between dysphoria and being called out in a restroom, holding it in or missing class.
This situation could easily be avoided to some extent if in every multi-leveled building 1 level had all gender multi-stalled restrooms. The second reason is to avoid forcing a person who isn’t comfortable going into an all gender restroom because of legitimate fears. For instance, our society perpetuates the idea that if a man goes into the women’s restroom than a woman instead might be endanger of violence, sexual assault or harassment. Also, for those who experience traumatic experiences when someone of another perceived gender from them walked into their restroom could make 100% all gender multi-stalled restrooms an impossible challenge. In respect towards those and others who have similar fears in the restrooms, in addition, to transwomen and -men who finally feel comfortable going in their restrooms, I think the best course of action is a slower transition.
That way trans*, non-binary and gender non-conforming people can go, without fear, of being harassed or simply given odd looks. It also allows those who aren’t comfortable in gender segregated restrooms to have a place to go to the restroom.
In the meantime, data can be collected on how the general population feels about these restrooms, if there was any trouble and anything of relevance at the end of each quarter.
If you are interested in the extension of All Gender Restrooms then we’ll be having meetings on Mondays at 1pm-2pm at BC and in a room to be determined.
If you have an questions of this rough plan or you have critiques comment below or email us. We would love to hear your feed-back, on or off campus- your opinions are valued.