The Importance of Safety for Queer Kids

Gender Neutral Bathrooms

Gender-neutral bathrooms aren’t new. In Connecticut, as of 2011, it was required by law to have at least one present in government buildings. Even with this law being issued 11 years ago, people have been paying attention to it more than ever due to the influx of gender non-conforming students being more open with their gender identity.

The gender binary is a complicated thing that psychologists are still doing studies on today. Most people are brought up believing there are only two genders, male and female. The truth is, gender is a spectrum. Some may present female, but not identify with either gender and be somewhere in the middle. Typically people aren’t 100% male or 100% female, and it’s ok to explore that identity. For those who do know which gender or non-gender they’d like to present as, they tend to feel less comfortable using the bathrooms of their assigned gender.
Having a separate bathroom for people who don’t identify themselves within the typical binary society sets, male and female, is very important. It creates a safe space for them rather than having the anxiety of gendered restrooms. It allows them to feel more comfortable coming to school when they know they’ll have somewhere to go in case they need a private place.
Morgan isn’t an exception to the prior mentioned law, and our gender-neutral bathroom is located on the ground floor, near the teacher’s lounge. Most people don’t know who it’s for, let alone if it’s accessible.
Senior Josh Kokai said, “I appreciate they exist. I like having access to them. I just wish there was more than one because it’s annoying…, I can’t go during class or between classes because it’ll take too long.” I asked the same question to senior Alex Collins, and they said, “I’m glad we have it available, but I wish there was more than just one we could access.”
According to Assistant Principal Chris Luther, the main reason we don’t have more accessible gender-neutral bathrooms is that “the larger ones aren’t designed to lock from the inside.” When asked about how long that bathroom has been open, he said it’s been around as long as this new school has because it’s mandatory.
Assistant Superintendent and Title IX Officer for the district, Marco Famiglietti, explained that as the Title IX Officer, his job mainly consists of making sure that it’s upheld and respected throughout all schools in the district. When asked if there were any controversies involving trans students using the bathrooms, he said there had been no complaints brought up to his level of administration.