Thursday, September 26, 2013

Gender-Neutral Washroom

Up in Canada the Memorial University of Newfoundland now has gender-neutral bathrooms,
First gender-neutral washroom established at Grenfell Campus
The Muse
By Robert Leamon
September 25th, 2013

As part of Corner Brook’s Pride Week celebrations, Grenfell campus’s first gender-neutral washroom was unveiled this week. The single-stall washroom was previously designated as being for males or females, but that label has since been replaced by the text “Gender-Neutral Washroom.”
Advocates for gender-neutral washrooms say that by establishing these spaces, people who do not conform to the gender binary of men or women, as well as transgender people, will feel more welcomed within the community. Gender-neutral washrooms also have been proven to reduce instances of harassment toward transgender people who would otherwise be forced to choose between male or female washrooms.
When I was a guest lecturer at my Alma-mater last week after my presentation I was asked by the MSW Program Director what I thought about gender-neutral bathroom for the new campus in Hartford. I told her that single stall “family bathrooms” could serve as a gender-neutral bathroom so a trans-person could use it if they didn’t feel comfortable using the regular bathroom and that a person who doesn’t want to share a bathroom with a trans-person can also use it. I do not believe that we should be forced to use gender neutral bathrooms and under Connecticut state law we can use the bathroom of our gender identity (That is the common interpretation of the law, however, it has never been heard in court).

Right now I am on a LGBT panel at the School of Medicine at UConn for second med students. The last of three outreaches this week.

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