Tag Archives: fuck the gender binary

“Complete Bullshit”: An Update on the Trans* De-Gendering Bathrooms Situation

1115131718

NOTE FROM BZOD: About a month ago, a group called the Pissed Off Trans* People pulled down a number of gendered bathroom signs around campus, replacing them with paper all gender bathroom signs and a manifesto entitled “All Gender Bathrooms Now.” Two days ago, an anonymous poster published the following article on tumblr under the title “Complete Bullshit: An Update on the Trans* De-Gendering Bathroom Situation.” I was contacted by the author of the post and the students being SJB’d and confirmed the story. The complete text of that tumblr post is reproduced below.

So, a few weeks back, there was an outpouring of trans* activism. I mean that like when you put a lot of pressure on a water balloon and then the water bursts out of a hole. Yeah, the water made the hole and hurt the balloon. But the water only gushed out because of all the fucking pressure being put on the damn balloon. (and why was this water being trapped in a balloon in the first place?)

My point being, yes, fed up trans* students and angry cis allies took down and broke the single-gender bathroom signs around campus. They did this because they were sick of the system that marginalizes and endangers trans* folk. This move was pretty controversial on campus. But that’s not what I want to write about today.

Today, the issue at stake is the University’s response. Now, students taking part in this action knew they were doing something illegal/against the rules/risky. As such they have remained anonymous when participating in media coverage and the action was instigated under the anonymous Facebook account PissedOff Trans* People. They provided materials on Facebook for marking bathrooms as all-gendered. These materials have been downloaded 200 times, which gives you an idea of the scale of interest and possibly participation in this action. 

“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.