Bathroom For All

The gender neutral bathroom project

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Bathroom For All

Savanna Kerr, Section Editor

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Walking around the corner and picking either the bathroom door with the W/M sign or the girl with a skirt, and guy in pantsuit seems like a simple, unthinkable task to most. However what we only sometimes see is what most call an “all gender” bathroom. This is as simple as it sounds, Shoreline communities All Gender Bathroom Project defines it as a restroom that is accessible to people of all different gender identities.

There are many schools in Washington that have been approved to provide all gender bathrooms, and although Shorewood has alternative strategies, we don’t have a designated bathroom for “all-genders”, and people who may be transitioning. When speaking to administration about why that is, Mike Sherry, a security guard at SW states that “The timing of our building design just may not have been synced with the now open and prominent issues of trans-fluid.”

Following this, Sherry says, “Students should feel safe and accepted in everything they do here. This entire campus costs ninety-five million dollars, having one particular facility per floor doesn’t seem like enough.”

For some, choosing the right bathroom has always been a reoccurring issue. Our own Casey Bent-Callaghan who has experienced transition at Shorewood expresses his thoughts.”Bathrooms have been a stressed for me my whole life” he says.

When hearing other SW voices, the need for an all gender bathroom becomes more appropriate. Rowan Hurt, a member of the LGBT community at Shorewood states their opinion…”I personally would very much like them here at Shorewood. We have single stall gender neutral bathrooms that we share with staff, which is very uncomfortable because there are teachers coming in and out. And you need a key card to get in which is very inconvenient.” they say.

Noga Khen, another active member of the LGBT movement at SW states, “It’s a necessity, there are so many people who don’t personally fit within the norm. People are afraid of guys and girls in the same bathroom together. If teenagers want to do illicit things, they will find a way.” Khen brings up the arguable factor of having inappropriate activities take place in the all gender bathrooms. This becomes present and applicable when speaking to students from different schools about their experiences with the bathrooms.

Ballard High school holds multiple all gender bathrooms and although they may be put to good use by some, they are taken advantage of by others.

“I think that the gender neutral bathrooms were added to our school with the intention of including all types of students at Ballard. However, they are used inappropriately by many students which defeats the purpose entirely, ” Madeleine Clarke, Junior of Ballard High School.

When speaking to Avery Cochrane, an Ingraham High school junior, she states that “The gender neutral bathrooms have provided a safe place and are convenient to everyone.”
The Shoreline School District is working on making change and many students hope that these changes come about sooner rather than later.

Want to help make change in this area? Come to the GSA club Fridays at lunch in room 3110.

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