Unisex Bathrooms

By Chelsi Byrnes

Having unisex bathrooms is a recent, controversial issue that has spread across the campus community at Lyndon State College.

However, the effects of this issue are broader than just this campus. The idea that all bathrooms should be converted to unisex bathrooms has spread all across the United States as well. Nationally, converting bathrooms has been going on for a few years now, but the changes at LSC are more recent.

Students Ki Kane, Demitra Potter and Sierra Dreesman say they agree that there should be unisex bathrooms across the country. However, the topic draws controversy, and other students, such as Alyssa Manchard and Rachel Fauci disagree on the issue of unisex bathrooms.

“I think it is going to work out in the end,” Kane said. “It will be helpful and successful.”

In Maine last year, Nicole Maines, a current LSC student who identifies as transgender, sued her high school for not allowing her to enter the girl’s bathroom because she was born male.

“It’s going to take some time and our generation has to be the ones that says yeah it’s okay that this is the correct direction,” Kane said. “It’s going to take time and we will have speed bumps like the gay marriage issue.”

People who identify as transgender seem to largely support the idea of unisex bathrooms, however a majority of America is beginning to form opinions on whether they should place these unisex bathrooms in public places.

Kane said, “People will be upset and when people are being mad and upset it’s gets things done.”

In the Whitney Museum of American Art in Manhattan, unisex bathrooms were placed all over the museum. Before the museum was built, the workers at the museum discussed the creation of unisex bathrooms.

“We are already a country known for hate and our country doesn’t like being hated,” Kane said. “If we don’t have this happen, we will be going through lots of hatred.”

The museum isn’t the only place where these unisex bathrooms are being placed. Cities such as Philadelphia, Berkeley, Santa Fe and Austin have all made it a legal law to have the unisex bathrooms in public places. Philadelphia has an app called Gotta Go and it shows locations in the city where there are unisex bathrooms.

Unisex bathrooms are also gaining ground in such universities as Michigan State University and John Hopkins University. Even the White House and the Eisenhower Executive Building are having the unisex bathrooms installed.

LSC is beginning to convert the existing men’s rooms to unisex bathrooms. Many Students either think that the unisex bathrooms are a great idea or they think they are the worst idea.

“I think having them on campus is great and fantastic,” Kane said. “When I first saw them they really made my day.’’

When the bathrooms were first created in the museum people questioned it. Woman especially questioned on whether they can go in the men’s bathrooms.

“I use male pronouns, I’m wearing a skirt today and I am transgender.” Kane said, “I’m really a queer. People identify me as one and say, ‘yeah you’re queer.’”

Many people can judge those who are transgenders and they have these stereotypical thoughts that they are transgenders.

Kane said, “I have the looks of being it and I like it when people accept others for who they are.”

Multiple people are making a huge deal of this controversial topic because it’s new and anything that’s new people will discuss about it for months at a time.

Kane said, “In the end, people need to chill and people need to let you be you and let me be me.”

The students all appear to have different opinions on whether or not the unisex bathrooms should exist.

Student Alyssa Manchard said, “I don’t mind and I don’t have a problem with transgender people, but I would feel uncomfortable sharing a bathroom with male,” Manchard said. “I don’t want to see a man using a urinal while I am washing my hands.”

Student Sierra Dreesman agrees and thinks we shouldn’t worry about rape and we should be allowed to have the unisex bathrooms.

Student Sierra Dreesman said, “Why are we so worried about men molesting and raping our daughters and mothers when they could do the same thing to our sons and fathers in their ‘gender designated’ bathroom?”

The New York City human rights law makes sure that people must use the single-sex restroom consistent with their gender identity.

“The fact that LSC has made the men’s bathrooms unisex shows some progress in accommodating more than just a binary gendered system,” Dreesman said. “However, by having only the men’s bathroom be unisex and the women’s bathroom remain the ‘women’s restroom’, it is perpetuating the idea that not only are women delicate flowers who can’t protect themselves, but that people who want to use the bathroom that is most comfortable to them are just looking to take advantage of the so called delicate flowers.”

Many people feel that this can end up not well because they have a fear that others can be raped using the bathrooms.

“I would like to have the opportunity to hear more input from individuals who are either transgender or simply those who want to choose a bathroom most comfortable to them,” Dreesman said. “I believe there is not enough discussion regarding this topic, and we are allowing the people in charge to call the shots when they themselves may not understand the situation and the implications and consequences of their actions.”

Public Restrooms weren’t created until the 19 century in the United States.

“We need more student involvement,” Dreesman said. “We need more voices from all different aspects of opinions.”

Ever since public bathrooms were created they have caused a issue with civil rights. They had caused issues with African-Americans and handicapped people and now they are causing problems with transgenders.

Rachel Fauci thinks otherwise. She doesn’t like the idea that people are combined due to potential rape.

Fauci said, “I feel that unisex bathrooms are unnecessary unless there are not enough resources.”

The White Dog Cafe in Philadelphia even thought about going as far as separating bathrooms based on political views. They were going to separate people that were Republicans from Democrats.

Fauci said, “There are smart dangers in our world today and some girls and boys are not in the right mindsets.”

The Founding Farmers restaurant in Washington, D.C. has separated the bathrooms by having one for woman, one for men and one called the rest of us.

“There are drugs on college campuses and to have unisex bathrooms may encourage some ripple to misuse them,” Fauci said. “It also can discourage new students to coming because they or their parents feel uncomfortable have this.”

Student Demitra Potter thinks that people should be able to pee wherever.

Potter said, “Agree, agree, agree let everybody pee in peace.”