'Gender-Neutral' Bathrooms


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*RedBull*

University of Vermont Adds 'Gender-Neutral' Bathrooms

Sunday, August 26, 2007

BURLINGTON, Vt. ? The University of Vermont's big new student center doesn't just have women's bathrooms and men's bathrooms.

It also has gender-neutral bathrooms, a feature added to accommodate transgendered people, as well as those with some disabilities. The four single bathrooms in the new Dudley H. Davis Center ? each with a toilet, sink, shower and lockable door ? cost about $2,500 a piece to build. Their wall signs identify each as "gender neutral restroom."

"It's about inclusivity and accessibility and the importance of meeting all people's needs, not just a few," said Annie Stevens, assistant vice president for student and campus life.

UVM isn't the only school trying to make its accommodations more accommodating.

At least 17 colleges and universities have included gender-neutral bathrooms in their new construction or in retrofitting residence halls, said Stephanie Gordon, director of educational programs at the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators.

"A multi-use bathroom doesn't necessarily feel safe to transgendered students, because they have concerns about how their gender would be read by others," said Dot Brauer, director of the school's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning and Ally Services.

A woman who identifies as a man, for example, may not feel welcome in a women's rest room. Transgendered people have been the target of verbal and physical abuse in rest rooms and been arrested, or suspected of lewd conduct, according to Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality.

"There are students whose safety and comfort is comprised," Brauer said.

Kelly, a 19-year-old transgendered UVM student who did want her last name published, said she's been made to feel "very uncomfortable" in rest rooms.

"I think that they're a really important thing to have," she said of the new facilities. "Just because there can be tense situations in gendered bathrooms, especially for trans-identified people, you need a space to use the rest room and feel safe and comfortable."

In 2003, UVM started retrofitting male and female restrooms into unisex bathrooms in classroom and administrative buildings by changing the signs, at $100 each.

Not everyone sees the need.

"I always have concerns when institutions or the government legitimizes behaviors or practices that could be discovered in the future to be harmful to those individuals," said Stephen Cable, founder of Vermont Renewal, a Rutland group dedicated to promoting traditional moral values.

The group also opposes a new law protecting transgendered people in Vermont from discrimination.

UVM has taken other steps to accommodate transgendered students. It allows students to change their first names on their campus identification cards and offers several gender-neutral residential suites.

But Brauer said the school can do more. She wants to see more gender-neutral bathrooms in the library, and private showers in the gym.

"If we can do something, however small, that takes a leap that is going to make life better for members of our community who otherwise would be vulnerable. UVM really shows a willingness to that," said Brauer.

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argonite
"If we can do something, however small, that takes a leap that is going to make life better for members of our community who otherwise would be vulnerable. UVM really shows a willingness to that," said Brauer.

Good for them, these kind of people need to be tolerated, not discriminated. The community will feel better as a whole.

People like below are the only ones who wont:

"I always have concerns when institutions or the government legitimizes behaviors or practices that could be discovered in the future to be harmful to those individuals," said Stephen Cable, founder of Vermont Renewal, a Rutland group dedicated to promoting traditional moral values.

"Could" be discovered in the "future" to be damaging. Sounds like he disapproves of something that hasn't been proven yet. Might as well not take medications, they "could" be discovered in the "future" to give cancer. Might as well throw away those video games as well. Oh wait, there's Jack Thompson for that.

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*RedBull*

I'm beginning to see the point the muslim extremists are making about the US. This kind of mush minded thinking is not progress at all. Giving into minority groups wishes was not the founding father's intentions at all. I see this as a slow down fall of the global society at large. I'm really not that conservative in my thiking, although I've sided with conservative political views at times. More so than Liberal thought. I believe our society is giving into extremists types of thinking. Soon enough MAMBLA may just get their adgenda met, sex with childern being legal. If one considers the slow decay of previously held restraints, it is only logical to conclude that anything is possible. Just becaue it is possible does not make it the right thing to do.

Will this lead to the end of the world? I don't know. Am I brining up the Bible topic now? Yes to some degree. I've never believed that I would see things coming to pass as it was described in the bible in the "final days". Now I'm beginning to be more aware of the slow down fall of man. Rome's greatest point in history was slowly decayed in much the same way. Allowing transgendered restrooms will lend to esentially having a public place for open unprotected sex, and some protected. Don't think it will happen? Guys, ever see those holes created in restroom stalls? Even in concrete walls separating some stalls they are sometimes present. Why are they created? What is their purpose? Most certainly peeping is not what is fully intended. I've had the unpleasant view of the glory hole protrusion while attempting to empty my bowels. I've also reacted by inflicting pain upon that situation as well. So in short, transgendered restrooms are wrong, and will not be good for any society.

I'm posting my thoughts, I'm not debating them in anyway. Insult me if you will, do what you like, but the only thing I have done is voice my opinion. I find topics offensive as others may find what I say offensive. Life isn't about protecting people from feeling offended.

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gigapixels

I can understand your point, but not in this case. This doesn't harm anybody at all, and simply enables a minority to feel more comfortable in public. How is that not what our founding fathers would have wanted?

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argonite

I don't think of being transgendered as being extremist. We live in an increasingly diverse world, and if our values are not as adaptive as the people within it, our society will become as stiff and unwelcoming.

Being transgendered isn't violating legal code anyway, having sex with children is. While our values can vary, fundamental laws don't vary quite so much.

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Erp.

Our local porn shop has something like that in the back.

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aubaine

I don't understand what the big deal is. Many European countries have gender-neutral bathrooms. ANOTHER (that's right, there are already many universities in the US that do this) university creates some and suddenly there's a story? Sounds like someone is just trying to cause problems where there aren't any.

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Fresh

Maybe restrooms should be based on sexual orientation...

Gay and straight women use one...

Lesbian and straight men use another...

?

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dwarm
Lesbian and straight men use another...

Men would love that too much ;)

I think gender neutral bathrooms are a great idea but I'm also pretty sure that they've been around for quite a while now, at least in Europe. In many European countries people are so open about sexuality/public nudity etc, that gender neutral bathrooms seems like nothing. Why is it such a big deal in the US? People really need to stop being so scared of each other lol, we're all humans :p

I'm in Germany at the moment and I went to a public swimming lake on a really hot day, I've never seen so many naked people together at one time and it didn't make me feel uncomfortable at all, as people might think it would've. Everyone seemed quite happy. I'm sure there were gays/lesbians/transgenders among those people, as well as elders and children... bathrooms are NOTHING. At most you would stand next to the opposite gender while washing your hands.. wowie? :s

EDIT: Lol, I just asked someone what they think of gender neutral bathrooms (a guy) and he said "It's a good idea, only.. what if I was taking a huge dump and it stank the place out like crazy, then I open the cubicle door and hot girls are right there. That's bad, but if it were guys I wouldn't care" ROFL :laugh:

Edited by dwarm
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Fred Derf

It all comes down to reasonable accommodation.

For example: Is it reasonable to require new public buildings to have wheelchair ramps? Is it reasonable to force all existing homeowners to install wheelchair ramps on their private property?

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aubaine
Maybe restrooms should be based on sexual orientation...

Gay and straight women use one...

Lesbian and straight men use another...

?

Why the **** would you do this? What does sexual orientation have to do with gender identity? Perhaps you don't understand what "transgendered" means (and neither does the Neowin spell-checker apparently).

Here you go. Educate yourself: Transgender

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Trixx

Why don't we just leave the bathrooms the way they are. I mean like the majority of society is confident with their current gender, and we should not have to cater to those few who don't like who they are gender wise. This amalgamation of gender is only going to increase amounts of trans gender people. What a stupid idea.

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gigapixels
Why don't we just leave the bathrooms the way they are. I mean like the majority of society is confident with their current gender, and we should not have to cater to those few who don't like who they are gender wise. This amalgamation of gender is only going to increase amounts of trans gender people. What a stupid idea.

Are you serious? You think having bathrooms available is going to increase the number of transgenders? That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard. The most this will do is make those who are transgender more comfortable in public areas. What's wrong with that?

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Trixx

I meant that if we have trans gender-friendly bathrooms, it will increase it.

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ncc50446

Chicks often use mens washrooms anyways. Womens washrooms = long lines, mens washrooms = short/no lines.

The worst this will do is create more bathrooms lines

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Fresh
Why the **** would you do this? What does sexual orientation have to do with gender identity? Perhaps you don't understand what "transgendered" means (and neither does the Neowin spell-checker apparently).

Here you go. Educate yourself: Transgender

I was being Facetious..something for you to go look up >>>>>>>> f-a-c-e-t-i-o-u-s

You can calm the hell down now.

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goji
I meant that if we have trans gender-friendly bathrooms, it will increase it.

:blink:

Your kidding right? The rational employed in your posts are void of any sense of reason.

Though I'm not to keen on gender-neutral bathrooms, they do serve a purpose to the public which cannot be denied. However, the implementation of such facilities nation wide would be a great challenge (socially, financially) that no civic leader in their right mind would even consider.

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Matrix XII

I don't really know what to say on this situation, I've never heard about it until now :|

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spenser.d

I don't see what the problem is. If you're gender-neutral, you can just walk into any bathroom you come across :p

-Spenser

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Fred Derf

We'd better not build any more wheelchair ramps then. That will probably encourage people to ride motorcycles and get paralysed.

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Fresh
We'd better not build any more wheelchair ramps then. That will probably encourage people to ride motorcycles and get paralysed.

I am trying to understand this...so you are comparing people that are handicapped to people that are uncomfortable using a bathroom marked men or women????

I have no problem with a restroom that is open for anyone to use...One at a time. I would think the ladies will have a problem when they see how much men seem to pee all over the seat :) Unless of course they do not mind that a urninal is installed???

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aubaine
I am trying to understand this...so you are comparing people that are handicapped to people that are uncomfortable using a bathroom marked men or women????

I have no problem with a restroom that is open for anyone to use...One at a time. I would think the ladies will have a problem when they see how much men seem to pee all over the seat :) Unless of course they do not mind that a urninal is installed???

Once again, I am forced to agree with Fresh. I think it is silly to have male, female, and transgender bathrooms. Why not just have unisex bathrooms?

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+Dick Montage

Unisex bathrooms are the most practical answer in a mature environment. See the problem there?

Also, what about those straight males (calm down Aubaine - just picking a demographic), who feel uncomfortable about sharing a loo with women?

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seta-san

vermont is just rediculus. they have been steered so far left it's getting retarded. Really i think the judges in that state are all pedifiles and that this is just another example of vermont being a little too pro alternative life styles. BTW. i hate the term tolerance or any other form of the word. I tolerate a baby crying. I tolerate long lines at the DMV. I shouldn't have to tolerate people making asses of themselves with their alternative lifestyles. And on discrimination.... why shouldn't we descriminate them? They descriminate themselves by making themselves different. By dressing and acting differnt, By insisting that they have a different restroom. They cause so much descrimination on themselves i'm surprised it isn't worse on them than it is.

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