For a school that advertises as queer friendly, EC’s gender neutral bathrooms are difficult to find, improperly advertised, and sometimes even locked.
EC needs to be held to a higher standard if the school wishes to fully support queer students (see page 3)
Gender neutral bathrooms should be in every building, all should be unlocked, and all should be accurately mapped. Society as a whole puts plenty of negative pressure on trans* people.
In several regards, the school does pull through. The Staff and Faculty for Equality (SAFE) is a coalition of staff and faculty who identify themselves as those who can be trusted to be an ally or provide a safe space for queer students.
The school also advertises the Queer Straight Alliance as a resource on the website as a group that promotes “understanding, awareness, and inclusion”. This shows that at the very least the school wants students to know their resources.
However, this is not enough. Both of those resources are groups that came together independently of the school. School support is good but also could be a cop-out of taking any actual responsibility.
Because the school advertises some resources but not others, we are obligated to question the priorities of the school and what being queer friendly actually means to them.
Gender neutral bathrooms are an essential part of an inclusive campus. Trans* individuals are put in a dilemma where regardless of the bathroom they use they may appear or feel out of place.
There are some cases where it goes even further beyond comfort and becomes a safety issue. No one wants to feel threatened while simply trying to use the bathroom, and not having gender neutral bathrooms reinforces that threat.
And yes, there are some gender neutral bathrooms, but what good does a gender neutral bathroom in the library do if it is not on the campus map? How helpful is a gender neutral bathroom in the basement of West Hall if it is locked?
The amount of trans* students on this campus should not matter. As long as there is even one, or as long as the school claims they care, that needs to come through in their actions not just their words.
They go through enough without having to also have nowhere to pee.