Gender Neutral Restrooms Raises Many Questions


“Our uniqueness, our individuality, and our life experience molds us into fascinating beings. I hope we can embrace that. I pray we may all challenge ourselves to delve into the deepest resources of our hearts to cultivate an atmosphere of understanding, acceptance, tolerance, and compassion. We are all in this life together.”- Linda Thompson, entertainer.

Within the past decade or so the topic of gender expression has been one with much controversy. Some people believe that anyone should be able to identify themselves as whatever gender they want while others believe that when a person is born a specific gender they must always be identified as that gender. Whether you agree with someone’s views or not you should continue to treat everyone with kindness and compassion. Albert Einstein said, “Our task must be to free ourselves by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty.”

Since there are already people who identify themselves with a different gender given at birth or who might not believe in identifying themselves a new question has sprung: When someone identifies differently from their birth sex, what bathroom do they use?

To try and answer that question many public places including restaurants, department stores, and schools have put into place gender-neutral restrooms. This helps to let others express themselves the way they want and help them feel respected and valued as people. It gives transgender and/or those who don’t identify their sex, a place to go where they feel less uncomfortable.

Despite all this, some people still feel uncomfortable about gender-neutral restrooms. When CHS senior, Miki Moua, was asked about her opinion on gender-neutral restrooms she responded, “Initially I would be all for it, but after thinking about it, there are many ways that students could find loopholes in using the gender-neutral bathrooms that are taking advantage of the ability to access them, but I think as long as there are some kind of restrictions that don’t allow that, then it should be fine, but that is what’s keeping me in the middle.”

It’s pretty common that most people don’t have a good understanding of what gender-neutral restrooms are like. Truth is many of us have actually used a gender-neutral restroom without even knowing it. That is because people don’t know that most gender-neutral bathrooms are either single-use bathrooms or have stalls for privacy.

CHS, along with other schools, has been making progress with trying to make everyone in their school feel accepted. CHS currently has two official gender-neutral restrooms; one in the hallway by the computer labs and the other in the nurse’s office. According to Mairi Scott-Aguirre, CHS is planning to make a restroom in the auditorium gender-neutral in a few years. If a student does decide to change gender, they can use whichever bathroom or locker room they feel most comfortable along with being able to change their gender identification on synergy. CHS also has plans for starting some unified sports which would be any gender, said Scott-Aguirre. Keeping the idea of sensitivity and privacy in mind ponder this: Perhaps you feel uncomfortable in your assigned locker room so you switch, but just because you’re now comfortable doesn’t mean everyone else is. Implementing these solutions is going to require sensitivity and respect for every individual affected.