“Transgender university students have been given their own set of toilets at their union’s nightclub.”

January 30, 2009

If you’ve ever wondered why some transsexual folks get set on edge about “Gender Neutral Bathroom Activism,” we’re worried about this:

TRANSGENDER university students have been given their own set of toilets at their union’s nightclub.

Males, females and people who are disabled still have separate toilet facilities.

yeah. I’m sure it’s the reporter being a dipshit rather than the actual policy being that way, but the tone of the report says: “if you’re trans, these are the only bathrooms you can use.” Which would be a substantial step down in safety and accessibility of bathrooms for transsexual folks, particularly women & POC.

So, please, don’t condescend to us and tell us it’s coz we’re uncomfortable talking about peeing.

4 Responses to ““Transgender university students have been given their own set of toilets at their union’s nightclub.””

  1. shiva said

    I can’t believe the extent of the bigoted fuckwittery in all of the automatically generated “Possibly related posts” for this (and particularly in the one on the blog of the so-called “Libertarian Alliance”, who are about as far from libertarian in any meaningful sense of that word as can be imagined).

    Why do people have such a problem with this? No one (or very, very few people, anyway – certainly no one i’ve ever met) gender-segregates toilets in their own home, so why is it considered so crucial that everyone does in public places?

    If it’s about sharing space with “opposite-gender” people, then why not just have all self-contained single-stall toilets? The only type of toilets i can think of that actually necessitate sharing space while doing anything other than washing hands are the trough-type urinals… which only people with a certain type of anatomy (which isn’t even all cis men) can use anyway, and the only argument i can see for their existence is saving space, which isn’t that valid an argument anyway.

    Even my local pub has a single-stall toilet (in the semi-covered outdoor smoking area) with a sign saying “LADIES, GENTLEMEN, OTHERS”, and no one seems to have any sort of problem with it (except occasional bemusement). I guess this is probably one of those Cisgendered Neurotypical People Things that i “just don’t get”…

  2. alejo said

    Yeah. I know that on my campus, the two single-occupancy bathrooms on campus – which were originally created as disability accessible bathrooms – are (a) often used as impromptu storage closets, (b) much less well-maintained than the gendered toilets, and (c) separate enough from the other toilets that entering or exiting them is a conspicuous act – and they’re both located on busy, narrow hallways where just opening the door inbetween classes is likely to draw attention because people have to (usually annoyedly) navigate around the door. It is a situation pretty reinforcing of exclusion in that having a separate space for disabled and/or trans people gives the school an excuse to neglect that space and puts people using that space in a position of forced conspicuousness.

    I’m FTM, and I was read as male a large majority of the time before I started HRT – which was great, except when I was menstruating. I tended to bleed a lot, and that was hard to navigate using the men’s restroom, and impossible to use the women’s restroom because of personal comfort and the fact that I mostly moved through social spaces as male already. Enforcing separate spaces for trans people is alienating at best and very possibly dangerous, and so is not having a safer space in which to deal with other biological matters. Accessible, gender-neutral bathrooms with stall walls and doors that go all the way to the floor for /everyone/, promote I.

  3. Cedar said

    Enforcing separate spaces for trans people is alienating at best and very possibly dangerous, and so is not having a safer space in which to deal with other biological matters. Accessible, gender-neutral bathrooms with stall walls and doors that go all the way to the floor for /everyone/, promote I.

    Exactly. I mean, I’d be fine with the current style of bathroom just being all gender for everyone, all the bathrooms being all gender and have some single stalls for folx that need them. They’d probly put in better thingies to block viewing through the crack in the stall door, which I’d approve of. But, yeah, like, what’s the problem if they just make separate rooms for the toilets and made the sinks common for all? Not that hard or space inefficient. whatev.

    But that’s a good point about the U neglecting the bathroom that they think trans and disabled folx are using–it seems so obvious now that you’ve pointed it out, but I hadn’t thought of that.

  4. SS said

    alejo –

    if the restrooms are being used as “impromptu storage closets” and not cleaned well, this is definitely against building/fire code & ADA maintenance requirements. A phonecall of complaint to your local Department of Buildings and the resulting violation citation should take care of that quickly.

    Not that this helps alleviate the privilege & ableism that induces people to use those restrooms as storage in the first place, and it doesn’t help the location in the busy hallway, but it should at least improve the maintenance and usability of those toilets.

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