Gender Neutral Bathrooms on campus

SFA Pride Nac

SFA Pride Nac

Introduction

So far 17 states and many more communities across the United States include transgender people among protected classes for public accommodations. According to Dictionary.com, transgender is defined as “noting or relating to a person whose gender identity does not correspond to that person’s biological sex assigned at birth.” There are approximately 1.4 million transgender people around the world. That is 0.6% of the world’s population. (ThinkProgress) Pride Nac at Stephen F. Austin State University has started a petition to implement gender neutral bathrooms. These bathrooms will allow transgender students, faculty and staff to use the bathroom in the privacy of a secure location.

Benefits of Gender Neutral Bathrooms

Transgender students, faculty and staff would see the greatest benefits from these bathrooms the most however, these bathrooms can also be used for parents whose child is a different gender than them and care givers or personal attendants for the elderly who may be of a different gender than the person they are caring for.

Campaigns to make gender-neutral bathrooms available been appearing across the country over the last few years. Gender neutral bathrooms allow for transgender people to comfortably and safely use the restroom however they choose to identify. Transgender people tend to get bullied in the public restrooms because they do not use the facilities as their genitalia should. They feel as though they are always being watched and it causes them to be very uncomfortable. As humanitarians, people are supposed to want their peers to be as comfortable as possible at all times.

Gender neutral bathrooms have other benefits other than safety. These bathrooms would allow for two people of the same gender to be able to use the restroom without waiting in a line.  Traditionally, women use the restroom more often then men and tend to stay longer. Gender neutral bathrooms would allow for more women to use the restroom, and cuts down on the wait time while causing minimal inconvenience to men.

Disadvantages of Gender Neutral Bathrooms

Where there are benefits there are also disadvantages to implementing these new facilities. One might say that there is just as much of a risk in divided bathrooms as there are in gender-neutral bathrooms however, this is due to the fact that most pedophiles are heterosexual therefore there is only a slight chance that a pedophile will make a move in a gender divided restroom. Yet, in a gender-neutral restroom this possible chance of sexual assault turns into a 10 out of 10 chance due to the fact that every gender will be in one bathroom.

Not only is sexual assault a concern of most people but funding and space for these bathrooms is an issue. The space and money it would take to build these new restrooms would take away valuable classroom/meeting room space and take away funds from the universities or businesses trying to implement these new facilities that could be better used in other things. At SFA, students feel as though the money that would be going to these restrooms could go to improve the elevators in the Science building or go to pay for more parking lots.

Implementation at SFA

These bathrooms would be located in the Student Center and the Steen Library. Some construction would have to happen in these facilities to allow for more plumbing and the bathrooms themselves. Cameron Glenn, a Pride Nac member, said they (Pride Nac) knows that SFA tries to be an inclusive university however, the efforts SFA has tried thus far have not made any progress. Glenn said, “I hope that if SFA decides to implement these bathrooms that it will show that the administration is recognizing these students and trying to make SFA more inclusive.” For more information or if you have any questions, comments or concerns you can contact Pride Nac through their Facebook page.