Bathroom Bias


Identifying as a male, I have almost never had to worry about whether or not a restaurant, store, mall or any other place for that matter would have a bathroom for me, and the same goes for those who identify as female. But for many around the world such as agender, transgender or anyone who feels that neither the men’s or women’s

restroom fits, the seemingly simple task of finding a

bathroom can be extremely difficult.

The idea for this article was prompted by a conversation I had with someone months ago. I was trying to convince the person of the importance of having the gender neutral bathrooms, and how some people don’t fall into the previously provided choices. But, I simply couldn’t get the person to fully understand the idea of the new facilities. I found that this is a theme among some, and I decided to write about it.

“For most people, it’s not something they think about. The majority of our community feels comfortable in having to make that choice between just two options,” sophomore Allison Bunker said.

A lot of people shared the same ideas as Bunker. In explaining why we need these spaces, Fine Arts Teacher Dana Bettinger put it most eloquently.

“We spend a lot of time and energy

creating an inclusive community, and if that’s a deeply held value.

It’s important to do what we need to

do to support all of our students,” Bettinger said.

“If we can make simple changes, like providing some gender neutral spaces that benefit some folks and don’t harm anyone else, I would argue that’s pretty important,” Bettinger said.

While for most the restrooms and changing rooms themselves aren’t the problem, money is a concern for some students,

specifically how much money would be spent on projects such as this.

“My fear is that a whole bunch of money is going to go towards [the restrooms], and not towards [class retreats, class funding, etc.]” a student who wished to remain anonymous said.

The addition of the new spaces however, cost very little money, as the areas already existed. It was just a matter of re-labeling them. Still many students believe that if the additions were to cost more than they did, or even large sums of money, that it would be more than worth it.

“I can’t really think of a better way to use money than making someone feel safe at school” senior Claire Mao said.

“What’s really important is that U Prep is striving to be a very

inclusive community, and not only with racial diversity but also with accepting everyone who identifies as gender non-conforming,” sophomore Ema Bergeron said.

These restrooms and changing rooms represent more than just new signs. They represent U Prep living out our school values of acceptance and inclusivity.

By Micho Matuszewski