The Lost Argument of the Gender Neutral Bathroom Debate

April 6, 2017

Gender Neutral Bathrooms in schools is a very controversial topic that has been debated across the nation. These facilities provide a place to utilize the bathroom for anyone who does not feel comfortable using the regular, gender separated ones. This feeling of unsafety originates from the prevalence of bullying and violence experienced by many students around the country. According to a study made by Jody L. Herman, Williams Institute Manager of Transgender Research, “70 percent of transgender and gender-nonconforming respondents experienced problems in gender-specific restrooms in Washington, D.C., with people of color and people who have not medically transitioned often faring worse than others” (“Transgender People Need Safe Restrooms”). This means that the simple act of visiting the restroom is a daily struggle for transgender individuals, some experiencing far worse than others. With this information, supporters of Gender Neutral Bathrooms argue that everyone should be secure and protected while doing something as simple as using the lavatory.

However, the case against these restrooms provides good points as well. They claim that students will use these bathrooms as a way for cisgender, someone whose gender identity corresponds with their sex at birth, students to “meet up” with the opposite sex, due to the fact that anyone would be able to use them. There is also the question of whether students would get mocked for using them, resulting in more discrimination than they already endure.

As a solution to this, some say that every transgender person should possess the invariable ability to use the bathroom of the sex that they identify with. However, that is completely omitting the entire community of non-binary individuals, or persons who do not classify themselves as totally a man or a woman. Delia Melody, in her article entitled, “The Crucial Problem We’re Forgetting In the Trans-bathroom Debate”, asserts that in “a world of gendered restrooms, nothing is correct for them, except for gender neutral restrooms”. Thus, these facilities are, arguably, even more essential for androgynous persons than for the transgender public. Nonetheless, this point seems to get lost in the fray, however it is crucial to know when it comes to taking a side in this debate.

With this in mind, I personally believe that my school should implement Gender Neutral Bathrooms. I am certain that it would be beneficial for the students who maintain a fluid sexuality. In my own life, I have encountered a few peers like this who are uneasy while using the restroom. Ridicule is an everyday occurrence for them, and obtaining a lavatory that they can use safely is extremely important. In the quest to make high school a safer, more enjoyable place to learn, providing an accepting community for every student should be of the utmost importance. Although I understand the severity of the negative arguments in this dispute, I think that it is essential that these students be unrepressed.

In summary, the public discourse on Gender Neutral Bathrooms’ implementation in schools has many different angles. These points of view supply numerous valid reasons, which makes choosing a standpoint extremely difficult. Nevertheless, I favor the perspective fighting for the enactment of a law to achieve these lavatories in every educational institution.

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