Illustration by Randy Hatfield
Caption: "We invite trans & gender-nonconforming students, faculty, & staff to use the bathroom they feel most comfortable with. Do not question the gender of others using the facilities. Access to bathrooms is a fundamental right for everyone." - text on poster
By Eva Guarnero
Posters encouraging students to use the bathroom of their preferred gender appeared on the doors of every bathroom in the PUB on March 28, and then were taken down that same evening.
The posters encouraged transgender and gender nonconforming students to use the bathroom of their choosing, and told others to not question the gender of those they see using bathrooms. They mentioned the existence of laws and policies allowing people to use the bathroom of the gender they identify as.
Michelle Kleisath, the advisor for Project Pride and a multicultural instructor at SCC, put the posters up. Kleisath said that the posters are a reminder that these laws exist.
“I feel like this is something that, given our community standard, our community would really embrace this kind of anti-discrimination statement.” Kleisath said. “It’s something being taken on by several schools in the area.”
The posters were printed by the UW to coincide with anti-discrimination policies enacted in Washington State earlier this year.
According to Stephen Smith, they were removed because the Student Leadership Center did not approve them, and they did not show the posting date on each poster. Smith did not definitively say if the Administration took down the posters or not.
El Raven, Associated Student Government Governmental Affairs Officer, said that the posters were totally unrelated to the ongoing All-Gender Bathrooms Project, and that no one involved with or claiming to represent the All-Gender Bathrooms project was involved in their posting.
Raven also said that policies allowing transgender individuals to use the bathroom of their choosing would not have the same desired effect as gender-neutral bathrooms would. He said that traditionally gender-segregated bathrooms would still force people to choose between one of two binary identities, and would be of little help to people who do not identify as male or female, or who are still in the process of transitioning.
In addition, he claims that such policies offer no help to parents with different-gendered children or disabled students with different-gendered attendants. “All-gender restrooms are non-segregated,” said Raven. “You do not have to identify as one gender or any gender in order to use these spaces.”
“The benefits of all-gender restrooms do not extend only to the transgender community,” Raven continues. “Mothers with sons, fathers with daughters, disabled individuals in need of attendants, as well as those who are gender nonconforming or genderqueer also stand to benefit from these restrooms. “
There are currently three unisex bathrooms on campus, one in the automotive building and two in the library. The one in the automotive building is not immediately available to students, however, and there is little to no obvious signage for the ones in the library.