One of the major issues that transgender and gender non confirming students face in campus is access to restrooms. Many transgender students don’t feel comfortable using restrooms created for their assigned gender. (Gender assigned at the time of birth)
For example, a biological male, who identifies herself as a woman, might not feel comfortable using the restroom with boys or men. 85% of transgender students drop out of school because of the “bathroom issue”, says a study. Ideally, transgender students should be allowed to use the restroom that suits their gender presentation. However in some cases, other non-transgender students feel uncomfortable or raise objection.
- The best way to address this problem is to have at least one single occupancy, gender-neutral/unisex restroom within walkable distance.
- If such a facility is not currently available, consider converting one of the multi-occupancy restrooms into a single occupancy room by simply providing a lock inside and an occupied sign outside.
- If there are single occupancy restrooms for school or college staff, make it available for students. Let the students know that anyone who is uncomfortable with multi-occupancy rooms can use that restroom.
- Include single occupancy, gender-neutral/unisex restrooms in all your future building plans.
We all rely on having a private place to attend to our biological needs. Those of us who are transgender deserve privacy and dignity like everyone else. Having a bathroom that we could use is not a special privilege, but a basic right.
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