To go along with pride month, I think it’s time to bring in another controversial topic, which is gender neutral bathrooms. In my eyes, this shouldn’t be too controversial, but it is. So, why where we pee is such a big deal?
This thought came to me from my cultural diversity class taken in college. I had a group project and my topic on the project was gender neutral bathrooms. This was a topic that would have never come into mind before this class, but learning about it opened my eyes a bit. Gender neutral bathrooms are important for trans men and women. Being transgender, it can be difficult when it comes to which bathroom to use. For instance, say you’re a transgender woman. You identify as a woman therefore you’d go into the ladies restroom right? Well it’s not always that simple. If you go into the woman’s restroom and you still have more manly features, then that wouldn’t be taken too well if seen in the woman’s bathroom. But say you go into the men’s bathroom, but identifying as a woman you may wear woman’s clothing, that in turn could not end so well either.
This is why gender neutral bathrooms are important. It can almost be considered like a safe space. They’re not only just beneficial for trans people either. Surprisingly in this day and age not all men’s restrooms have a baby changing station (sexist? hmm). God forbid a man has to change a child’s diaper, but ya know just in case that mystical event ever happens, they won’t have to worry about asking a stranger to change their child’s diaper for them or try to figure something out (this also can still be solved by adding more diaper changing stations to men’s restrooms).
I like to look on both sides and I do see some concern people might have with gender neutral bathrooms. Some women might feel weird seeing a man in the bathroom or vice versa. People might not know how to feel actually being conscious that there is a trans person in the bathroom. Whatever the case may be, I do understand some of the issues but at the end of the day people just want to pee, possibly fix their makeup, etc and go about their day. The change to gender neutral bathrooms is slowly starting and I hope it goes far. At the end of the day, we could still have gender specific bathrooms for the ones uncomfortable. Everybody deserves a safe space, even if it’s just a place where you pee.