The newest addition to our MC campus didn’t come with a big announcement. In fact, many people are still unaware anything is different. The often overlooked door has now become our highly talked about gender neutral bathroom.
Those who did hear about the news began to search the campus for the bathroom and found it. Located in the N building near the photo room, the single room is clearly labeled, welcoming to all those who have never felt welcomed in bathrooms before.
This news has been met with some controversy. Some think that the new bathroom is pointless while others have already decided to disregard its purpose and treat it like any other bathroom.
These misunderstandings stem from ignorance; not many people understand what the term “gender neutral” means. The term is defined as being for both boys and girls but these bathrooms were designed to go beyond that.
This bathroom was created as a safe space for people who don’t feel comfortable in their designated gender binary. It was created for the students who identify as another gender, fall along the genderqueer spectrum or are gender non-conforming. The bathroom is not for those that are cisgender and feel comfortable in designated boy’s and girl’s bathrooms.
Many people are having difficulties with the second part of that definition. If the bathroom is for no gender, isn’t it for all? What this question forgets is that there already is a bathroom specifically catered towards you. If you are trying to find a parking spot in a packed lot and the only empty space is a handicapped spot you don’t park in it. You don’t because if you take that spot then you inhibit those who really need that spot. It’s the same idea; you have a bathroom that was created with you in mind, so don’t hog something that is the only option for someone else.
Another concern people may raise against the new bathroom is that it’s unnecessary. They either feel no one at our school has a need for it or they were unaware of other identities outside of biological ones. The second concern stems from lack of education. Our health classes need to be updated because often the only thing kids learn about gender identity comes from the internet, and we all know how kind, trustworthy and perfect the internet is. But if your concern is that you don’t think anyone on campus needs this bathroom then you need to realize the bigger picture. Just because you personally don’t know anyone outside of the traditional gender identities doesn’t mean these people don’t exist. Not to mention, many people may not feel safe or comfortable coming out and expressing who they are.
That is why this bathroom was created. It provides a safe space for people who go through the entire school day and just need a quiet moment to themselves. It’s the quiet privacy that every other student is guaranteed throughout the day. Our new gender neutral bathroom was created not for the blues and pinks, it was created for the chartreuses and magentas and everything under the rainbow, and I personally think our school could use a few more colors in it.