“All Gender Bathrooms Now” – Pissed Off Trans* People on the DIY Gender-Neutralizing of Wesleyan’s Bathrooms

The sign that has recently been appearing on bathroom doors across campus. Sign courtesy of MyDoorSign.com, which has been making, marketing, and donating these awesome inclusive bathroom signs

allgenderbathroomsign

If you have been on campus recently, you have likely seen the above sign. In the last week or so, the plastic or wooden bathroom signs that normally read “Men” or “Women” have been torn down and replaced with paper signs like the one above. In many cases, these paper signs were accompanied by a manifesto titled “Desegregate Wesleyan Bathrooms,” which explains the logic behind the replacing of the bathroom signs. Unfortunately, the manifesto was not posted with every gender-neutral sign, and has frequently been torn down when the bathrooms were re-gendered. For those who are confused about why people have started gender-neutralizing the bathrooms, the text of the manifesto is reproduced below:

Pissed Off Trans* People StatementWe demand that Wesleyan University stop segregating bathrooms along gender lines and provide all-gender bathrooms in all buildings in the University.

We believe gender-segregated bathrooms create uncomfortable and potentially dangerous situations for trans and gender-variant presenting people.

We believe gender-segregated bathrooms reinforce trans* invisibility at Wesleyan.

We resent statements by Wesleyan Administration that all-gender bathrooms are widely available on this campus, when they are in fact often difficult to find or unmarked, in inconvenient locations, or simply not available.

We acknowledge that some people, particularly women, may feel unsafe in bathrooms that are no longer gender-segregated. We invite further discussion about this issue, but are currently not aware of any studies suggesting women are more likely to experience harassment or harm in all-gender bathrooms. (Citation: Rothblatt, Martine Aliana. The Apartheid of Sex: A Manifesto on the Freedom of Gender. New York: Crown, 1995.)

We believe it is not the duty of trans* or gender-variant students to self-advocate for all- gender bathrooms on their hall/place of residence, and that residential bathrooms should be all-gender.

We want to remind white and documented people and people with class privilege that those most likely to experience violence and increased surveillance from gender- segregated bathrooms are people of color, poor people, and undocumented people. 

downsized_1017131548The writers of the manifesto and organizers of the DIY gender-neutralizing of Wesleyan’s bathrooms collectively wrote the above manifesto under the pseudonym “Pissed Off Trans* People.” I asked them about their goals for student involvement in this process. They told me that they would like for the gender-neutralizing of the bathrooms to be a grassroots student process. Ideally, they told me, people would do it in their own residential halls and in public spaces they frequent. Those interested in participating would do what they can, and what they want to do. For some, that would involve taking down the gendered sign and replacing it with a gender-neutral one. For others, that would involve papering over the existing sign, or posting the manifesto next to existing single-use bathrooms. The organizers uploaded the PDFs of the gender-neutral bathroom signs and the manifesto to MediaFire so that those who wish to be involved or would like to read the manifesto can download it easily and anonymously.

I posed a number of frequently asked questions to them. They each stressed in their responses that their answers are just one person’s responses, and should not be generalized to speak for the entire trans* community, the other individuals who work under the pseudonym Pissed Off Trans* People, or the group’s policies and mission as a whole. Two people weighed in on my questions below, and a a third offered their comments at another time. To differentiate between the three individuals involved, I assigned a random pseudonym letter to each of them (PL, and N).

Do you want to eliminate all gendered bathrooms, or just have a more even distribution of gender-neutral vs. gendered bathrooms?

P: Because binary-gendered bathrooms exclude by decree and become dangerous/inaccessible spaces for trans*/gender-non-conforming people, yes, the elimination of all gender-segregated spaces on campus is necessary. There is no reason that trans*/gender-non-conforming people should put up with cisgender supremacist coding of “public” spaces. (Of course, we know by now that university spaces are not really “public” spaces.) However, there are some very legitimate reasons why some folks need gendered bathrooms – I know one common concern raised is that survivors of sexual assault sometimes feel unsafe using bathrooms in mixed-gender contexts. What I’d suggest is that we immediately address this need and demand that in every building, there is at least one single-use restroom that can function as a private, gendered safe space for these folks and anyone else that feels uncomfortable. Often, though, this concern is lodged as a defense of binary-gendered bathrooms in general, as they currently stand – and that is an unacceptable appropriation of certain people’s needs that fails to account for the needs of trans*/gender-non-conforming folks, whose voices are almost always marginalized.

L: Agreed. Single use bathrooms should be available if you’re uncomfortable.

Would you be willing to discuss permanently changing bathrooms to all-gender bathrooms with the administration, or do you view them as a lost cause?

P: Yes – in fact, we are talking to various administrators already. But I do know that we’re not going to wait for the glacial pace of policy and law reform to claim safe space bathrooms all across campus. I don’t find direct and instantaneous action incompatible with bureaucratic policy reform – they can happen at the same time, and they are. But there are certain ways in which the administration has felt like a “lost cause,” often when they call themselves allies and then condemn and punish us for the actions we (may or may not) have taken by all-gendering campus bathrooms. They tend to assume that their way of making change is the path we should’ve taken, or that we would’ve taken, if only we had thought through the “consequences” of our “actions.” They mention all the ways in which they’ve worked for our struggle in recent years, and that their doors were always open to our complaints – when we know that, actually, the daily experiences of discomfort and frustration and rage and marginalization and invisibility that many trans*/gender-non-conforming people go through have never even been on their radar, much less their priorities as community “leaders” (read: overlords). So, they may still be able to help us, but their opinions are not the bottom line, and their power status disqualifies them from ever really being “allies” in ways that matter.

L: We are doing so, but if we start something now (and we shouldn’t have to because countless others have done so in the past), it will be years before it sees light. I am doing my best to unlearn the illusions of “efficient” “systems that work.”

“Well, I would be behind this but it’s vandalism! And someone is going to have to pay to replace all those signs.”

P: A friend of mine put it this way: ”What does it reveal about how our lives touch when your ‘vandalism’ is my ‘Liberation’?” Basically, vandalism is only read as being “vandalism” if it involves the destruction of property that is normally considered to be valuable, indispensable, and even sacred, in a way. As someone who feels that the plastic plaques aren’t valuable in any way, even if they “cost money,” and that all they do is coercively gender me and keep me out of spaces that I need access to, the destruction of these signs is a welcome alteration of the contours of university space. And, also, why do they “have to” be replaced? (We’re actually looking into cissexist state laws that might require this – but doesn’t everyone already know that the laws were never made to support the lives of trans*/gender-non-conforming people?)

L: Invisibilizing trans people means that violence done to us is also invisible, giving the illusion that the only “violence” here is to property and not to our persons. Valuing property over the humanity of oppressed people is fucked.

Do you think that this direct action approach could backfire and harm future dialogue with the University and/or with other students about changing the bathrooms?

photo (2)P: Frankly, peaceful and civilized “future dialogue” is not our priority here. We’re making sure that all of our trans*/gender-non-conforming friends and community members can access these bathrooms, not when administrators finally mull it over and say that it’s okay, not when every student at Wesleyan is well-versed in trans* politics, not when Connecticut state laws are changed – we’re doing it NOW because it can be done NOW. Another world is possible RIGHT NOW.

L: This act has political implications, but it is first and foremost to me about lived experiences we have every day. I am tired of being asked “what’s up faggot,” tired of being told I’m “in the ‘wrong bathroom,’” and other harassment that depends on this gender segregation. Committees and administrative meetings and “political acts” might yield eventual change, but they do nothing in the immediate lived time of people like me.

“But residential halls vote on the gender of the bathrooms, and most of them vote gendered bathrooms.” What makes the desire of trans people to have all-gender bathrooms worth more than the desire of some people to have gendered bathrooms?

P: Trans*/gender-non-conforming folks are almost always fewer in number than cis folks on residential halls. Since when has voting ever catered to the needs of minorities? Put more simply: What makes the desire of cis people to have binary-gendered bathrooms worth more than the desire of trans*/gender-non-conforming people to have all-gendered bathrooms? (What’s that? Is it centuries of systematic and individuated cissexism?)

Were more signs pointing people to existing gender-neutral bathrooms placed in more conspicuous locations (e.g. if bathrooms in PAC had a sign like the one in Olin directing people to the second floor), would that address some of your concerns?

P: No. Trans*/gender-non-conforming people are not the liberal exception to a cis-dominated world. We refuse the installment and explicit labeling of all-gender bathrooms “over there,” away from where the “normal people” get to pee as a final solution to the structural privileging of cisgender-segregated spaces over all-gender spaces. These kinds of “solutions” don’t address the reproduction of the gender hierarchy that they maintain.

L: FUCK NO!

Aside from residential halls and Olin, which campus spaces do you particularly take issue with?

and L: All of them.

Other comments about the need for gender-neutral bathrooms and the goals of these actions:

P: The priority is to desegregate places that are high circulation, focusing on student and public spaces that may feel straight/cis. The goal is to upset those spatial designations.

allgenderolinN: Yeah. I always was aware of Olin as a place that didn’t have gender neutral bathrooms. I didn’t study there because I couldn’t go to the bathroom in that building. More buildings have gender neutral bathrooms, true, but they’re usually farther away, or on another floor, or there’s only one, or you’re taking over a space designated for those with mobility disabilities.

P: Even if a building provides a space as a gender-neutral bathroom, the idea of a gender-neutral bathroom that is set aside from the “main bathrooms” is something to be fucked with.

N: The default should be gender-inclusive bathrooms. If you’re uncomfortable, we can include a separate, single-use bathroom so that you don’t have to share your space.

P: Also, some people may think desegregating the bathrooms is for the sake of liberal inclusive ideology – being politically correct about gender on campus. That’s not the goal here. I think this comes down to actual lived experiences that trans people have here, and fighting back about real lived situations and problems.

L: Right. It’s about trans people’s needs, not to those of trans allies.

N: In some ways it’s ideological, but you also need to pee somewhere.

The gender-neutralizing of the bathrooms has already generated response from the student body via Twitter. Some question the practices…

…While others make points in line with those of K, L, and N above:

Wesleyan has been the home of gender-related controversy several times in the past few years for policies surrounding large concerts like Spring Fling. Prior to the controversial Matisyahu show in 2011, the University administration sent out an email containing the following paragraph:

Pat down lines will be implemented as a security precaution. These lines will be executed in the gender binary. We understand that some students may not feel that one of the two most common gender pronouns may apply to them, but we ask that those students choose to enter whichever line they feel most comfortable in. [Emphasis Wesleying's.]

malefemale (1)

This was neither the first nor the last time that Wesleyan used gendered pat-downs at large concerts. When Girl Talk played on campus in 2008, similar tactics were used, with similarly negative feedback. At Spring Fling last year, gendered pat-down were once again used – this time, without the prior warning sent out in 2011. Along with almost everything else about Spring Fling 2013, the gendered pat-downs were criticized heavily. Zach talked with Ashe Kilbourne ’14 about the situation:

“Being trans*, part of what made me skip Spring Fling was the picture my friend sent me of the entrance to Freeman,” Ashe Kilbourne ’14 explained over Facebook chat. “Generally, I’d say this kind of highly public segregation is potentially humiliating for trans* people, and the gatekeepers involved rarely have any sensitivity to what they’re doing/policing. I heard upon granting entrance to a male and his female guest, a security guard told the guest to ‘give him a big kiss when you get inside.’ This seems exemplary of the entitlement people in gender policing positions feel to insert their rude shit into your life.”

Kilbourne mentioned that they weren’t the only trans* person who opted not to go inside for this reason.

“The offer to ‘choose the line you prefer’ only gives the illusion of security,” Kilbourne said. “Trans* folks may prefer one gendered space over another, but they are almost guaranteed harassment or incredulous looks if they follow their preference and don’t have passing privilege.”

Wesleyan is also not the only place where these sorts of conflicts have arisen risen. Brown University’s Blog Daily Herald posted at the beginning of this semester about the second year of renovations at a residential hall named Keeney Quad. One of the changes during the renovations was the changing of all gendered bathrooms to gender-neutral ones. On October 4, Brown’s Residential Life department announced that the gender-neutral signs outside restrooms were mistakenly put up during renovations, and would be replaced by permanent gendered signs within two weeks. Student reactions to this decision were varied. Many students pushed back against this decision, removing temporary gendered signs on the bathrooms. Others argued that, while they were fine with gender-neutral bathrooms in most situations, they preferred gendered bathrooms when showering. Earlier today, the Blog Daily Herald made a post about student efforts to re-gender-neutralize the bathrooms following the installation of gendered signs.

As a parting note, I leave you with two calls to action by two of the gender-neutralizing organizers. First, P’s point about gendered bathrooms and power:

Spatial construction of gendered space is a power that some people have over the bodies, identities, and lived experiences of people who use or can’t use those spaces. The way that bathrooms gender space is a form of cis-supremacy. That shouldn’t be a power that people have over others. I don’t know about other people engaged in these actions, but I know I’m not going to wait for University policy to change and I’m not going to start a lengthy dialogue with Michael Roth about this because it needs to happen now, and it can happen now.

…And L’s point, about helping trans* people:

Feel guilty about the time you used the wrong pronouns for someone? Turn that guilt into something useful. Don’t understand trans identity/politics/anything, but would like to? Identify as an ally? Here’s a great place to start: It is easy to take down a sign. Grab it with your hands and rip it off. Put it in the trash after or take it home as a souvenir. Go here. Download these materials, print them, have them on your person and put ‘em up wherever you see fit.

What do you think about the gender-neutralizing of Wesleyan’s bathrooms? Sound off in the comment section below.

BZOD EDIT 10/26/13, 2:44 PM: On Saturday, October 19 at 8:42 AM, Professor Claire Potter (formerly at Wesleyan, now at the New School) posted this comment:

Former Wes and trans-identified faculty voice, who fought for gender-neutral bathrooms (with only some, but some, success): I’m surprised that there is no political discussion of the use of the word “segregation,” which invokes a history of intense, legally enforced and lethal racial oppression in this country. Does the use of this word — without acknowledging the differences between bathroom politics on an elite, liberal arts campus and bathroom politics during a period of massive resistance to civil rights for African Americans — make sense? I wonder if there isn’t another word that would better capture the uniqueness of this issue rather than allowing it to merge uncritically with other forms of social emergency.

In response, the Pissed Off Trans* People requested that I replace the previous bathroom renaming kit with this one. This changes the “Desegreate Wesleyan Bathrooms” to “All Gender Bathrooms Now”. I have accordingly changed the title of this post and the image of the flier.

* * *

We haven’t had a ton of posts about trans* issues lately, but be sure to check out this article in the Pacific Standard, recommended by a shoutbox commenter. It’s quite thought-provoking and interestingly addresses the history of the singular “they” in the English language. Also, here’s an interesting op-ed on Oberlin College’s blog about gender-neutral bathrooms.

Related Posts:
Who Killed Spring Fling’s Vibe?
Matisyahu Regulations Calls to Mind Girl Talk ’08
Pacific Standard: Are Gender-Neutral Pronouns Actually Doomed?
The Brown Daily Herald: ResLife to remove Keeney gender-neutral bathroom signs
Blog Daily Herald: 
“Where will I poop?” A Keeney exclusive
Blog Daily Herald: 
Sh*t hits the fan: Another Keeney exclusive
Oberlin Blogs: What’s that about the bathrooms?

  • A J MacDonald Jr

    “We live in an age of gender confusion. Much of this is a result of the deliberate attempt by various social engineers to convince us that gender is not fixed or static, but fluid and changeable; that there are not two genders but many genders; that gender is really a social construct; that gender roles are interchangeable; that humans are really androgynous; and that gender is not important in human relationships.”

    See: 21 Reasons Why Gender Matters

    See: Androgyny: The Pagan Sexual Idea

    See: Libido Dominandi: Sexual Liberation and Political Control

    See: Sweden: The Triumph of Cultural Marxism

    See: Biden: Jewish leaders helped gay marriage succeed

  • Wangchuck

    I’m the kind of guy who would have torn down that sign too, as a form of civil disobedience

  • Pingback: Student group, Pissed Off Trans* People, ‘degender’ campus bathrooms, face fines | THE GUERRILLA ANGEL REPORT by Lexie Cannes()

  • JD

    Could someone please tell me how to contact the people organizing the posters and protests? If you don’t want to provide your name in public, considering some backlash in the comments, you can e-mail uselessmail777@gmail.com. Or not. I just feel like this was not handled the best way it could be, primarily because the posters that were put up split Wesleyan into three groups: trans* students, cis students, and the administration.

    I’m only a sophomore, but in my time here, it’s seemed to me the best way to get anything done on campus is to get the whole student body involved and unified as a voice directed at the administration. My reaction to the signs posted–and, it seems, many others–was that instead, we cis students are helping the administration oppress trans* students. I’m also not saying that’s not true, but if you want the student body to get involved, you can’t expect a positive reaction from “you suck, so help us do what we want so that we’ll think you suck less,” which is very much how the signs came off to me personally, and it seems from the comments that I am not alone in that perception.

    I would really like to help redirect this campaign because I do think it’s a really important cause that’s being handled in a REALLY aggressive and completely unproductive manner. Yes, it sucks that minority rights are not respected when it comes to gendering of bathrooms. But in saying that, you’re admitting that you are in the minority, and as much as you may hate it, you NEED cis people to get on your side if you want to get what you want–you NEED allies. You deserve allies. As in the civil rights movement, desegregation was not achieved solely by one race or another. It was achieved by the coordinated efforts of all. I suggest a similar approach with matters of gender.

    Maybe I’ve pissed you off, Pissed Off Trans*People, with my message, but I believe in what you’re trying to do and would really like to help with a more inclusive, positive angle–which I think would be far more productive. Consider it?

    • They have cis allies…

    • BZOD

      A few things:

      1) Not everyone in the collective known as Pissed Off Trans* People identifies as trans*. As another commenter points out, there are also cis allies already involved in these efforts.

      2) The comments are not exactly a representative sampling of the Wesleyan student population. You didn’t say that, but your comment about not being alone in perceiving the signs as aggressive against cis people suggests that some considerable part of the student body is against the gender-neutralizing of the bathrooms, which we cannot prove or disprove since there’s no conclusive evidence on it.

      3) “I would really like to help redirect this campaign because I do think it’s a really important cause that’s being handled in a REALLY aggressive and completely unproductive manner.” I would question how you’re defining “unproductive” here. Ten days ago, no one was talking about gender-neutral bathrooms on campus, or the issues faced by transgender students. Since this post went up, it has been the most read post on Wesleying each day until Friday, and it now has over 60 comments. I’d say that, as far as starting a serious discussion about this issue, the direct action has been extremely successful.

      4) I’m genuinely curious: what about the signs came across as telling cis-gendered people that they suck? As a cis-gendered person, I read them as a critique of gendered social spaces with the intent of raising dialogue about this issue and making people who take gendered bathrooms for granted understand the discomfort faced by trans* and gender-variant presenting individuals. In other words, I don’t think a critique of institutions, standards, and policies that favor cis-gendered people is, in itself, a critique of cis-gendered individuals. But as a cis-gendered person who studies trans* issues extensively, I want to know how someone without my background on these matters would view the materials presented.

      5) Have you considered that the Pissed Off Trans* People may not be aiming for an “inclusive, positive angle”? Promoting inclusion generally implies compromise and negotiation, and a “positive” angle implies moving within accepted, pre-existing methods for change. As P and L point out above, they are and have been working with the administration along these lines, but this incremental movement does not help trans* people in the day-to-day.

      Personally, I don’t think that this sort of direct action has to give way for simultaneous discussion to begin about the feasibility of gender-neutral bathrooms at Wesleyan. Nor do I think that POTF needs to be “redirected.” Perhaps we need more discussions about gender-neutral bathrooms on campus, and cis-privilege, and trans* issues, but I don’t think that getting the people generating the urgency for discussion to stop doing what they’re doing is the way to do that.

      • JD

        I’m kind of a rambly person, so please forgive me for not localizing my responses to bullet points. I’ll try to break it up into paragraphs so it’s not just a solid wall of text, though.

        I should have been more specific. When I mentioned getting more allies, I’m specifically thinking of are the fence-sitters/uneducated. Although as far as I’m aware, we all attended various talks about gender neutrality and different sexualities during orientation, I think there are a lot of people who are not aware of the depth of the
        subject. For instance, when my freshman dorm voted on gendered vs. nongendered restrooms, no opinions were offered on either side, so basically the choice offered was “do you want to try this new thing which may be uncomfortable or unfamiliar for many of you, or do you want to stick with what you know?”

        Maybe I am part of the singular social circle on the Wesleyan campus that does not discuss these issues, but I feel like there are huge numbers of people on the campus that would totally be more active allies if any of various issues were brought more to their attention. That being said, I’d imagine, and again, I could be wrong, that for a lot of people, this is the first time since orientation that gendered bathrooms have been brought up; they lack information. And the language in the signs posted and the language used in the above article references cis people as “oppressive,” “supremacist.” Yes, this is pretty much true, but it’s also true that most people are not even aware that that’s how they come across, which I think is the real issue here. The way to fix this, however, is not by using such strongly charged words in my opinion. This is the language I was referring to when I said that it came across as telling cis people that they suck. I think it’s easy to not be offended by this type of language if you’re aware that this is true, but if this is your first introduction to the issue, I believe it was not the best foot to start on. Making someone come to a conclusion on their own forces, to a certain extent, for them to internalize that realization and really grapple with it, which would be a more effective route to take, in my opinion.

        I also feel like perhaps I phrased my description of the “aggression”
        incorrectly, based on your response. I’m not opposed to gender neutral bathrooms and I wasn’t implying that other students are, but the tone of this movement has come off as very aggressive. I believe it’s possible to state an idea that someone agrees with in a way that they don’t agree with. I believe the intent of this movement is very much in the right place. I believe the tone could be worked on.

        I appreciate your comment “as a cis-gendered person who studies trans* issues extensively, I want to know how someone without my background on these matters would view the materials presented.” I believe myself to be at least partially one of those people. I certainly think I know more about them than the average American, at least from my hometown, but not necessarily compared to Wesleyan. I think that these signs and the tone of the interview operate from the paradigm that a decent majority of students are aware of the issues that trans* individuals face when it comes to gendered bathrooms, and in my experience, that’s not true. Before coming to Wesleyan, it did not occur to me that there would be any issue with using the bathroom of the gender you identify with (or using a gendered bathroom when you don’t identify with a gender). It’s just not a subject that came up in my daily life before Wesleyan, and I think that’s true of a lot of people here. Maybe I’m wrong about that.

        With regards to 5) (yay, I’m actually organized enough to address a singular bullet point! Progress!) I was referring to the student body. Had I been writing these signs, I would have liked to see part (particularly the end, to wrap things up) as a direct call to action of the student body. I think there were the hints of one there, but never explicitly stated. Frankly, it felt rather disorganized, as though the writers had been having a conversation in their dorm room about the issue and then thought “yeah, let’s just write all of this down!” rather than organizing it into a compelling, organized call to action. I recognize that this is an extremely emotional, personal, and critical issue. But at least in my own life, as someone who struggled for a LONG time with reigning in my emotions and opinions, I’ve found that I am the most convincing and get what I want the most when I take a moment to step back from my own experiences and
        really try to put myself in the other person’s shoes. I think this was
        attempted, but especially in the last paragraph of the sign, it came off as very patronizing, akin to saying “if you’re white, privileged, and documented, you just don’t get it.” Again, pretty valid point, but I’ve never had a positive reaction from telling someone “you just don’t get it.” The proper response is “then help me understand,” but I don’t think that’s the most common response.

        Regarding some semantics, I think the word “uncomfortable” shouldn’t be used to describe trans* experience in gendered bathrooms. I would like to be clear—I am not in any way trying to deny the discomfort felt by these students. Rather, the opposite. I think both cis and trans* people feel “uncomfortable” with respective bathroom situations, and there are so many different, indistinct levels of discomfort. “Uncomfortable” is easy to brush aside. Personally, I will admit it would be a little weird for me to share a restroom with all genders, and feeling “weird” about it, I think, technically classifies as discomfort. It is a change from what I am used to. But trans* people, at least from what I’ve gathered—I don’t want to be seen as speaking on behalf of someone I have not shared the experiences of—do not feel “weird” about using gendered bathrooms. It goes beyond that. It exacerbates gender dysphoria, and forces a reminder of all the ways society treats them as “different,” and that’s just on a personal, internal level. On a societal, social level, it is true from what reading I’ve done that trans* people are more likely to be assaulted in restrooms because of their gender. Both of those facets are INCREDIBLY more impactful than my feeling “weird” about it. I do think, as has been acknowledged by pretty much everyone, that victims of sexual assault need to be integrally included in discussions, but for those of us lucky enough to not have to deal with those demons, I think most of the “discomfort” is purely because it’s something weird and different for us, which does not really compare on any level to what trans* students have to put up with.

        I’d also like to clarify that I don’t think action should stop. I don’t think it should be limited to discussion. I’d just like to see it directed into “peaceful protest” type things. My favorite idea thus far has been a sit-in type thing—get a couple students to sit either just inside or outside restroom doors of a gender they don’t identify with and be ready to give a few quick bullet points about why they’re there to anyone who asks. I think there are probably many flaws in this plan I haven’t investigated yet—for one, I don’t know what the legality is in CT about people being in the “incorrect” restroom, which could potentially be an issue—but I’ve been wanting to put it out there, so there it is.

        • BZOD

          Okay, cool, I get where you’re coming from.

          Personally, I’m still not bothered by the tone of the movement and I think that if those sorts of “peaceful protest” ideas were used, this discussion probably wouldn’t have been happening right now; the post would be about two people sitting outside a bathroom, would have gotten 500 views, and it would have been forgotten in a day. As far as starting conversation, this has been extremely effective – even if you’re right about cis people feeling alienated at times.

          However, I think one way to address your concerns would be to have a discussion about trans* issues, bathrooms, etc. in which people could ask each other questions in an open format about these sorts of things. Wesleying is actually going to cohost such an event with WesDEFs, among others (which we’re going to make a post about tomorrow once we hammer out some details). That way, people who are curious/offended/confused by this direct action can understand the issue more and figure out how to be allies if they so choose.

          (For the record, I also didn’t think at all about trans* issues before coming to Wesleyan and, with the exception of orientation, hardly discussed or thought about trans* issues until I became much more involved in studying sexuality-related issues in junior year.)

          • JD

            Cool! I look forward to the discussion.

  • Casa

    Nothing is as simple as black and while. Please consider the different sides and understand the other. And calling other people names is both close-minded and would not cause the other person to know the error of his/her ways.

    • BZOD

      The use of his/her, language that excludes people who identify themselves outside of the gender binary, undermines your point.

      • Casa

        Yeah I know. XD I was more talking about the more hateful comments. Nothing against the writer!

        • BZOD

          Oh yeah, I wasn’t taking offense. I was just suggesting that, instead of saying “…the other person to know the error of his/her ways”, which focuses on a gender binary, it would be more inclusive to say “…the other person to know the error of their ways”, which includes those people who do not identify as male or female. Sorry if my response sounded confrontational, hah.

  • Jdoe

    Are you people on crack? You are getting upset and saying that it is wrong to have a few gender neutral bathrooms in each building because it is demeaning and implies those who feel more comfortable are lesser and have to go away from the “normal” places to pee.

    YET, you advocate having a few single use or segregated bathrooms for those who have issues with gender neutral bathrooms. I don’t want to be seen using the “rape victim bathroom” anymore than you want to be seen using the “trans bathroom”

    Hypocrisy at its finest, you are only alienating the majority of the student body.

  • Hi! :D

    I think it’s not about the gender … It’s about the biological organs used in using the restroom…

    • BZOD

      No one knows the biological organs used by other people with whom they share a bathroom (the use of urinals excepted). I also fail to see how the genitals a person has is the business of anyone else. When people criticize others for using the “wrong” bathroom, it’s typically due to gender expression, not genitals.

      • Hi! :D

        Yeah. Totally agree. I’m mostly talking about the urinals. If there is no urinal, there is no need.

  • girl ’16

    I think the real issue is that the perception of trans* folk still needs working.

  • Lawrencect

    This is what happens when kids go to expensive colleges on their parents dime – they have no appreciation for the opportunity before them. Make them all do some hard back breaking labor for a few weeks at minimum wage. Then this would all stop and they would actually try to prepare themselves for the future.

    • BZOD

      I feel like figuring out ways to protest social problems and inequalities is a pretty good skill to develop.

      • Lawrencect

        So, having been given the opportunity to attend one of the top schools in the world based on your intellectual and social success to date. You feel that protesting the sign on the bathroom door is the best use of your capabilities?

        I am sure society is grateful that as a nation we are investing millions if not billions of dollars in higher education not to mention the resources your family expended to put you in a position both financially and academically to attend such a prestigious and exclusive institution. The best you can come up with it protest a bathroom sign? Really; with all that is going on in the world today and after all this you can only come up with a bathroom door as something important to protest?

        • BZOD

          People have different priorities. For trans* and/or gender-variant people who could feel unsafe in gendered bathrooms, yes, how the bathrooms are defined may be very important. It’s a bit myopic to assume that something that seems silly and unnecessary from your perspective is not a big deal to someone else.

          Also, this isn’t a zero-sum game where everyone only protests one thing at once. The people involved in protesting about gendered bathrooms could very well be working with USLAC to improve the custodial staff’s working conditions, or protesting against U.S. involvement in Syria, or running conversations about need-blind.

          If you’re curious as to why this is a big deal for trans people, I posted some articles below, which I can repost here:

          http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/01/transgender-new-yorkers-face-scorn-violence-public-restrooms_n_1928748.html – Pretty mindblowing first-person account of bathroom violence in HuffPo

          http://www.basicrights.org/news/trans-justice-news/trans-and-gender-non-conforming-people-bathrooms-and-attacks-on-our-community/ – Fact sheet by Oregon’s Basic Rights group

          http://transgenderlawcenter.org/issues/public-accomodations/peeing-in-peace – Peeing in Peace, a pamphlet by the Transgender Law Center. Check out section D. The Problem for some more info on this.

          http://data.lambdalegal.org/publications/downloads/trt_equal-access-to-public-restrooms.pdf – Lambda Legal’s fact sheet (which contains an example of bathroom discrimination in CT near New Haven, actually)

          http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/27/trans-murder-rates_n_3824273.html – Trans* people are much more frequently victims of violence than even gays and lesbians

          • Lawrencect

            I have no issue with everyone respecting each other and accepting us as we are, my issue is that if this gets to the bathroom door level; we are past the point of a successful dialog and outcome. Instead of focusing on the last part, your efforts, intelligent, passion could be better focused on the cause of this divide. Education, integration and understanding on both sides.

            One of the curiosities of liberal arts colleges is that in an extreme effort to be all inclusive, the institution excludes the middle and factions that don’t meet certain “standards”. It becomes no different an environment than the places you process to so dislike and abhor. If you you really want to change people’s behavior and attitudes you need to understand where their phobia’s, misconceptions come from and change them from the root.

            Violence, bullying, bigotry is unacceptable in any form. Educate from the middle out and you might find a more successful outcome.

    • Dan Tillman

      Why are you assuming none of these people ever worked a minimum wage job? I swear the stereotype that everyone in a nice school is a spoiled rich kid only exists so people who didn’t get in could say “at least I’m not living on my parent’s dime.”

      I know people who went to outstanding schools that took out loans for the tuition and worked through most of high school and college in minimum wage jobs. I also know people who dropped out of community colleges that also worked minimum wage jobs in high school and continue to do so while living with their parents.

      Your ability to work a minimum wage job really isn’t that impressive. In fact it’s just about the “minimum” you should be able to do. Having the discipline to perform well enough academically to get accepted into a top tier school. Now that’s note worthy.

      • Lawrencect

        You make my point, I really doubt the students who had to pay their own way had any time to waste on making issues of issues of issues. Stop complaining and get to work, do something with your life.

        • Dan Tillman

          I do not make your point. Not surprisingly there many people in this world that are capable of being good students, having jobs, and caring about social issues.

          Regardless of whether or not you agree with their point it’s not fair to belittle it by saying it’s a non-issue and they should do something with their lives. It’s a rather unoriginal tactic that doesn’t solve anything.

          If you disagree with them then say why. That’s how discussions work.

  • alum ’12

    Are people really not embarrassed about the way this discussion is happening?

    To the “pissed off trans*” folk: For a group of people so singularly obsessed with near universal acceptance, how do you not realize that this particular course of action is in flagrant opposition to the needs, wishes, desires, social/cultural/religious practices of so many of your peers? Why is the discomfort of trans* students on campus more valuable or worth protecting than the religious requirements of, say, the practicing Muslims or Orthodox Jewish population on campus? What makes YOUR needs so much more important than those of other groups? Forcibly neutering the campus’ bathrooms is little more than a massive pain in the ass for the people charged with replacing the signs, and your “manifesto” just reads like a giant fuck you to anyone who might disagree–no matter how legitimate or illegitimate their reasons for objection may be in your eyes.

    This whole movement smacks of an entirely different level of entitlement that I thought the trans* population on campus was supposed to be more aware of and vocally opposed to. Astounding.

  • XXX

    Ok — let’s imagine every bathroom is changed in the manner discussed above. You finish your four years at Wesleyan, and now what? You go out into the real world where this will never exist. Wesleyan is already infinitely more accommodating than anywhere else. If you can’t handle that, then how will you bear existence in the real world?

    • BZOD

      I don’t understand this argument. Even if the real world isn’t as accepting as Wesleyan, how does that invalidate attempts to make Wesleyan the most accommodating institution that it can be? If nothing else, we can consider Wesleyan a testing ground for social policy to possibly be implemented on a broader scale in the future.

    • JD

      Never is a very strong word. If this is truly an important issue (which thousands of people across the country believe), then Wesleyan is not the exception, but the first stepping stone. If we learn how to make productive change here, we can use it as a blue print for whatever workplace we end up in the future. If we can change our future workplace, perhaps other branches of that company will change. If the company we work for changes, and if that change is positively supported in the marketplace by trans* people and their allies, then other companies will make the switch in order to maintain a competitive edge in terms of appearing equal (as is happening with all the gay pasta commercials). It’s a very small step, and to some, it may seem a very small issue, but huge changes are never achieved overnight. Many, many movements for equal rights started out with individual, tiny changes that, eventually added up.

  • deep45

    whys is this even an issue. who cares, go back to class and become a productive member of society and not a whiner of so-called human rights abuse. if you would like to pee with the ladies feel free. But lets get back to what really matters to this nation, strengthening all social classes by performing at a high standard

  • Student 15

    Why can’t there be some gendered and some gender-neutral bathrooms in every building? Then everyone can be comfortable. Why does it have to be “all gendered” or “all neutral”? This seems like a pretty simple solution that will leave everyone with an option that keeps them comfortable, whether they are trans*, survivors of sexual assault, or would just be more comfortable using traditionally gendered bathrooms. Not everything needs to become an assault on the patriarchy, Wes. I love how liberal and progressive and “striving-for-change” our student body is, but vandalism seems a bit extreme for an issue that seems to have a pretty civil fix.

  • potatorock

    I’m not trans-phobic or homophobic, but I am shitting-in-front-of-girls-phobic. Let’s keep this majority in mind, and let me shit in peace. And let’s keep the bathroom a safe place for all.

    • Benny d ’14

      it seems to me that you are trying to establish a false equivalency between your discomfort (which is indeed regrettable) and the discomfort of people systematically oppressed by structural norms. To be clear: I do support the construction of single occupant bathrooms to minimize the discomfort of people like you, and more importantly, to respect the concerns of people who have experienced, and/or fear sexual assault. But the equivalency you draw between the majority’s phobia, and the reality of structural oppression is a deeply problematic one.

      • Christopher O’Brien

        Do you have ANY idea how much it costs to construct a bathroom? Its not like you can print one off your computer.
        Secondly, are you suggesting that the # of “uncomfortable” transgendered students is larger than the male or female students who would likewise be uncomfortable going to the bathroom – or feel a risk of potential sexual assault – amongst other oposite gendered students. You don’t know who’s walking in next and many of us use the bathroom as a refuge to take a momentary and priveleged break.

        • fuckyou

          idgaf about the discomfort of cis people. boofrickinhoo. you can be made uncomfortable for once in your life. it’s not like you have to be trans* and have people hate you for no reason. appreciate your cis privilege and take a step back. if this whole debacle has proven anything, it’s that there’s some unbridled hatred/disrespect for trans*folk at this school. guess it just had to come out anonymously. cowards.

          • AlanMorlock

            and most people “dgaf” about whether or not you do not accept the already available all-gender bathroom being “over there.” It so much fun not giving a fuck about the concerns of other people while demanding they care about yours isn’t it?

          • nofuckYOU

            I would like to see you say that to a victim of sexual assaults

          • not all victims of sexual assault would be uncomfortable using all-gender bathrooms. not all victims of sexual assault are cis women.

  • derp

    “We believe gender-segregated bathrooms reinforce trans* invisibility at Wesleyan.” ….. I think ‘invisibility’ is the wrong word here. ‘Transparency’ is better.

    • thisisimportant

      Reinforcing the gender binary of either female or male does NOT increase transparency of trans* people because the gendered bathrooms neglect trans* people or those who do not feel comfortable entering gender-segregated spaces. These bathrooms perpetuate the “social norm” of the gender binary, marginalizing trans* people who may experience discomfort from using them because of acts like cis people calling them out for using the “wrong” bathroom etc.

  • Tenured_Radical

    Former Wes and trans-identified faculty voice: I’m surprised that there is no discussion of the use of the word “segregation,” which invokes a history of intense, legally enforced and lethal racial oppression in this country. Does the use of this word — without acknowledging the differences between bathroom politics on an elite, liberal arts campus and bathroom politics during a period of massive resistance to civil rights for African Americans — make sense? I wonder if there isn’t another word that would better capture the uniqueness of this issue rather than allowing it to merge uncritically with other forms of social emergency.

  • Anonymous

    At risk of sounding ignorant or insensitive, how do gender-segregated bathrooms create “dangerous” situations for trans and gender-variant presenting people, let alone anyone?

    I understand the frustration with the structural “oppression” going on, but all of this talk about “violence” has me utterly confused.

    • alum

      Would also like an answer to this…

      • BZOD

        No worries; it’s a valid question.

        Lots of people whose gender identity does not match their bodily sex face physical or verbal abuse when they use restrooms coherent with their gender identity. Of the 6,000 transgender people in the U.S. surveyed in the National Transgender Discrimination Survey, over 50% reported harassment in “public accommodations” (including bathrooms, restaurants, hotels), and 10% reported being physically attacked.

        Is it likely that trans* people could be victims of violence in gendered bathrooms at Wesleyan? It’s probably less likely than in most other places in the world, but it’s still a serious source of discomfort.

        And here’s another thing. Anyone can be assaulted in a bathroom. But for those of us who are cis-gendered, we won’t be assaulted BECAUSE we’re in the gendered space of the bathroom.

        Some reading on this:
        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/01/transgender-new-yorkers-face-scorn-violence-public-restrooms_n_1928748.html – Pretty mindblowing first-person account of bathroom violence in HuffPo

        http://www.basicrights.org/news/trans-justice-news/trans-and-gender-non-conforming-people-bathrooms-and-attacks-on-our-community/ – Fact sheet by Oregon’s Basic Rights group

        http://transgenderlawcenter.org/issues/public-accomodations/peeing-in-peace – Peeing in Peace, a pamphlet by the Transgender Law Center. Check out section D. The Problem for some more info on this.

        http://data.lambdalegal.org/publications/downloads/trt_equal-access-to-public-restrooms.pdf – Lambda Legal’s fact sheet (which contains an example of bathroom discrimination in CT near New Haven, actually)

        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/27/trans-murder-rates_n_3824273.html – Trans* people are much more frequently victims of violence than even gays and lesbians

        • alum

          You still haven’t answered the question, though. Wesleyan isn’t a NYC McDonald’s, nor somewhere random near New Haven. I still don’t see how violence is a concern on Wesleyan’s campus in regards to gender-segregated bathrooms.

          I think this is a case of some members of the trans community taking their fears about bathroom usage in the “real world” and projecting it onto Wesleyan’s campus, which as we all know, is anything but like the real world – the presence of gender neutral bathrooms to begin with shows a much higher level of acceptance and recognizance of trans rights than the “real world.”

          I’d bet a lot of money that the National Transgender Discrimination Survey results, if done at college campuses of schools like Wesleyan, Vassar, Oberlin, Brown, etc., would look a lot different.

          “Is it likely that trans* people could be victims of violence in gendered bathrooms at Wesleyan? It’s probably less likely than in most other places in the world, but it’s still a serious source of discomfort.”

          When has a single incidence of violence concerning bathroom gendering taken place on campus?

          • BZOD

            I think physical violence is only one part of it though. I have neither statistics nor anecdotes to back this up, but I’m sure that trans* students have been verbally criticized, at the least, for using restrooms that are not consistent with what others perceive their gender to be. I have little doubt that this type of verbal abuse happens, even though physical abuse likely does not.

            As for your point about the trans* community “taking their fears about bathroom usage in the “real world” and projecting it onto Wesleyan’s campus”, I think that, when we consider the effects of verbal abuse, this statement holds no water. But even if the real world has more transphobia than Wesleyan, saying that there is more violence against trans* people elsewhere and therefore we shouldn’t deal immediately and effectively with the issues that arise on campus is problematic.

          • alum

            I have no issue with claims of verbal abuse, and while I would strongly state that incidence of such abuse are vastly more infrequent on Wesleyan’s campus than the real world, I take great issue with this mention of violence, which, as you mention, doesn’t exist on Wesleyan’s campus. While the definition includes the threat of force and not just use of force itself, there is quite a big difference between uttering a slur and threatening use of force; it’s another level of abuse entirely. The term “violence” has been thrown around when discussing this issue and it really should be used more carefully.

            I never said we shouldn’t deal with the issue; my post only questioned the claim of violence. I have a problem with people claiming x, y, and z are occurring when in reality it’s just x. I do believe projecting is occurring to some degree.

            For what it’s worth, I do think most bathrooms on campus should be gender neutral (especially in dorms), or at least one in every building on campus, as the manifesto suggests. However, I lose some of my sympathy for the cause when vandalism is the method of action.

        • Christopher O’Brien

          Telling someone “you’re in the wrong bathroom” isn’t harrassment. If so, it is as offensive as saying “dude, you’re driving the wrong way!” on the highway.

          We all make mistakes- missed the sign, unfamiliar with our surrounding, didn’t do as Romans do… etc but chalking “harrassment” up to standard expected norms is a bit extreme, isn’t it?

          Its almost saying as well that you can sit on stage with a performer even though you were assigned a seat in row 13. “Well, I’m supersticious and didn’t want anything to happen. I paid for a ticket so I have a right to be here so…”

  • Anonymous

    When I was a freshman (’07), most halls voted to have gender-neutral bathrooms. As a cis-gendered person, I was happy that my trans* friends had a bathroom they felt comfortable using. I also didn’t care about having a single-gendered bathroom, so take that into consideration. After I read this quote, “But residential halls vote on the gender of the bathrooms, and most of them vote gendered bathrooms,” I was bothered by what seems like a drastic change in the ability of Wesleyan students to step outside of their comfort zones in order to allow trans*/genderqueer/gender non-conforming access to spaces they have every right to enter.

    • Anon

      “I was bothered by what seems like a drastic change in the ability of Wesleyan students to step outside of their comfort zones in order to allow trans*/genderqueer/gender non-conforming access to spaces they have every right to enter.” Either way, if we desegregate bathrooms or we don’t, someone is going to be left feeling uncomfortable. It will be the trans* and etc or it will be those who want gender segregated bathrooms. There will have to be a compromise somewhere, but I definitely don’t think it should be so extreme as desegregating or segregating ALL bathrooms. That solution seems like the opposite of compromise, bordering on forced tolerance, which could end up evolving into resentment.

  • Haha what a joke

    This has to be a joke, right? Apparently not. The fact that people actually think that someone should use the bathroom based on their preferred gender is an absolute insult to society. It’s no wonder that you extreme leftist hippies have absolutely no impact on society. Instead, people with just a bit of normality run this country i.e. big business that runs you hippies to the ground. You guys are a joke.

  • except…

    “We invite further discussion about this issue, but are currently not
    aware of any studies suggesting women are more likely to experience
    harassment or harm in all-gender bathrooms.” – Except that studies show that bathrooms are the place where women are most raped in refugee camps (at the shared latrines) and often during war time.

    Having a mix of gender neutral and gender separate bathrooms seems like the way to go.

    • flabbergasted

      wow. you just used wartime and refugee camps in comparison to bathrooms at a university. please tell me you don’t go here.

  • anonymous

    google Oberlin

  • nn90

    I don’t want anyone to feel uncomfortable or get harassed when using the bathrooms, but the suggestion here seems to be that someone must get displaced – either the sexual assault survivors or the trans/noncon students. I find it bizarre that the trans students above seem to so thoroughly reject the idea that they use a single-stall bathroom, but are so quick to exile the assault survivors to these bathrooms. If you allow that the same arguments apply to both groups – the single stall bathrooms are less convenient and needing to use them reinforces a distinction between the individual and the rest of society for things beyond their control – then how do you decide who gets displaced?

    There are more sexual assault survivors than trans students, although I’m sure there’s a fair amount of overlap. Personally, as a recent-ish victim of assault, I know that using single bathrooms is incredibly triggering for me – I feel isolated and vulnerable and I have panic attacks. I’d rather be surrounded by people when I’m in the bathroom, although I’m not too concerned with their gender.

    • KatCo

      I obviously don’t want to make the lives of survivors of sexual assault any more difficult, and probably some kind of dialogue needs to be held where they can share their concerns about this, if they have them. You, for example, say that an all-gender bathroom would not be a more threatening space than a gender-segregated one, but that single person bathrooms are triggering.

      But I think if this community really cares about helping sexual assault survivors, there are much more meaningful ways we can (and should) support them. Treating them as a monolithic group of cis-women who are now afraid of men being in their bathrooms and playing them off against trans* students is really just insulting to everyone. It erases the individuality of sexual assault survivors by presuming to speak for all of them, and it erases the sexual violence that is experienced by trans* people themselves.

      • Jdoe

        Its not that single person bathrooms are triggering its just that the trans community seems to not want to use them but force others to do so. If you are a girl (or guy) going to such a bathroom you may get a label that you don’t want.

        I think you are weaving, why is it not ok to have 50/50 seperate/neutral bathrooms?

        • KatCo

          If we could build all the kinds of bathrooms in all the buildings and then people could just take their pick, that would be awesome. But I don’t think that’s happening any time soon.

          Maybe think about it this way: nn90 is a cis-person who has the option of using either a multi-person bathroom specifically for their gender, or a single use bathroom. They can then make the decision about where they feel safest.
          A trans person, who might be in a similar position as a survivor of sexual assault, is forced into the single-use bathroom for fear of abuse or censure if someone thinks they’re in the “wrong bathroom”, even if the single use bathroom is more triggering for them.

          My point is that we cannot generalize and make assumptions about the experiences and needs of sexual assault survivors, many of whom are in fact trans*. Sexual assault can happen to anywhere, to anyone. We can assume the need of trans* people not to have their gender policed every time they want to pee.

  • yeesus

    this can only happen in wesleyan…

    • Yeezus*

      get my name right or hop off

  • abbynormal

    I want equality for all, but truth is, it’s uncomfortable for me to use the same bathroom as someone of the opposite sex. Being honest.

    • cisnotnormal

      then perhaps you should have to go out of your way a bit to find a single-use bathroom. no one is saying that the option shouldn’t be available, but as it is trans*/nonbinary/genderqueer students are being put in a far more harmful and “uncomfortable” position. they currently have to go out of their way to find a bathroom they can use – why shouldn’t others sometimes have to do the same?

      • big sean

        Because that’s just exchanging the marginalization of one group for another. Making others feel the same kind of alienation and anxiety that trans* students experience on a daily basis isn’t any kind of a solution. There’s a huge spectrum of reasons for why people feel uncomfortable with non-gender segregated bathrooms, some of which are more legitimate than others. There’s certainly an element of not wanting your cisgendered privilege threatened, not wanting to have your cisgendered space intruded upon. But in the case of, say, individuals who’ve experienced sexual assault–or other examples that I can’t think of because I am privileged enough to never have to think about these things–you risk getting into the whole oppression one-upmanship debate, where the implicit question is about whose lived experiences of marginalization are more “valid,” which ones deserve greater institutional recognition.

        The real question here is how the wesleyan community can explore possibilities that are not the status quo–which clearly isn’t suitable–in a manner than doesn’t marginalize the views and experiences of non-trans* or non-gender nonconforming students but who, for whatever reason, have a similarly legitimate stake in the bathroom debate.

      • meh

        Perhaps you should be open to doing the same. You are upset by the idea of going out of your way for that comfort, why force another?

  • anonamouse

    It’s amazing to me that students at Wesleyan have an issue with gender neutral bathrooms. EVERY SINGLE PERSON on campus has a right to access bathrooms that they feel comfortable in. Including gender neutral bathrooms. Including single-person bathrooms. To be honest, I expect better of Wesleyan students. I would like to remind cispeople who may be confused about this issue that it is NOT the responsibility of an oppressed group to explain their oppression to you. There are resources out there (like here: http://transwhat.org/allyship/ !) for you to educate yourself.

    Let’s work in solidarity with trans* members of our community and make Wesleyan a safer place (to pee and live).

  • student

    “We invite further discussion about this issue” — i suggest students organize a discussion / forum among students about this. no need to involve administrators in some appeasement to bureaucracy, but a public discourse about this issue is i believe absolutely necessary.

    pissed off trans* people, would you guys be down to organize this? as you humans are the ones doing this awesome direct action?

    • Batte_A

      If they’re the ones doing the direct action, that means they’ve got plenty on their plate already. Why don’t you spearheading it, or reach out with an offer to help? (Before you throw that back at me, I’m an off-campus alum and can’t book a room or anything, but I would obviously be happy to spread the word.)

      • student

        right, i happen to be too busy, being involved in other activism at campus. i would personally have the time to attend this sort of thing but not plan it. i suggest it because i really think a formalized public discourse about this issue is really essential to its success

        • BZOD

          I believe that WesDEFs are talking about organizing something like this.

  • Uh…

    “We invite further discussion about this issue, but are currently not aware of any studies suggesting women are more likely to experience harassment or harm in all-gender bathrooms.”

    Have we already forgotten this? http://wesleying.org/2012/09/11/a-friendly-reminder-not-to-photograph-your-hallmates-in-the-shower/#more-77121

    • tony u

      Incidents of sexual violence occur in both gender segregated and non-gender segregated spaces, as explained in the study. Multiple incidents of voyeurism occurred on the Wesleyan campus in private and gender-segregated bathrooms last year as well. Additionally, inherent to the logic of the previous post is a heterosexist model that erases same-sex sexual violence as a legitimate concern.

      • Survivor

        A single study from 1995, hardly an authoritative source. Also, we seem to be ignoring the inherent power dynamics between cis-gendered men and everyone else.

  • get real

    What a joke. Way to make a fool of yourselves. Sorry the school won’t cater to the micronority in every building around campus.

    • anonamouse

      You are hateful and oppressive. It saddens me that you feel the need to discredit the experiences of your peers.

      • who cares

        It saddens the rest of us that one tiny group feels the need to accuse the entire school of oppression when the issue is as minor as feeling slightly uncomfortable in one of the 2 globally preordained bathroom options.

        • RL

          Actually, there are many cultures that recognize more than two genders, and it’s not something new.

          For example:

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muxe

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fa%27afafine

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third_gender#Modern_societies

          • imonahorse

            “almost”

            Take a plane to any country in the world and tell me what types of public bathrooms you are likely to see

        • RL

          So gender isn’t “globally preordained” at all.

          • uncomfortable

            No one is saying gender is preordained, simply the two types of rooms which (almost) the entire world chooses to urinate in. And it’s not even the importance of male and female bathrooms. They could both be male and trans and female and trans for all I care, but many of us like there to be some guidelines purely for comfort’s sake.

      • derp

        And YOU are far too sensitive.