Photo Credit To Michael Reaves

I think the idea of gender-neutral restrooms is an issue that only affects closed minded individuals. Gender-neutral restrooms shouldn’t be a problem because they don’t promote pedophile’s rather they promote equality among all individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation. One huge concern about gender-neutral restrooms is the “uncomfortable” feeling of being in a restroom with a person of the opposite sex. However, people fail to take into consideration that transgender individuals face harassment in restrooms based on their biological gender or the gender they associate with.

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Last year, Michael Hughes a transgender advocate from Minnesota made aware of these problems with his hash tag #WeJustNeedToPee. Hughes is a transgender man who took pictures of himself in women restrooms with his female friends. The pictures are influenced from North Carolina’s HB2 or “bathroom bill” that is against gender-neutral restrooms and are similar to Canadian trans woman Brae Carnes photos.The photos portray Hughes in women restrooms with his female friends looking disturbed and uncomfortable in seeing a “man” in a women facility. The point of the photos were to show the issue of forcing transgender individuals into restrooms of their biological sex when they don’t dress or associate themselves as that gender.

Photo Credit To Michael C. Hughes

Additionally, I find it astonishing that Donald Trump of all people believes that transgender people can use whatever bathroom they want.

Consequently, some adults are concerned with gender-neutral restrooms in schools and how that affects students. I remember when I was in elementary school, kindergarten restrooms were gender-neutral and once I was in 1st grade they were based on gender. I occasionally volunteer at my elementary school and see that the restroom system is still the same. As a child, I have no idea how I would have reacted in seeing boys in girl’s restrooms or vice versa because at that age children are concerned with having “coodies”.

Photo Credit To Liz Hafalia, The Chronicle

Interestingly enough, a school in San Francisco started having gender-neutral restrooms for their elementary students. Miraloma Elementary started removing the circles, triangles and stick-figure signs from restrooms at the start of this school year, in part to acknowledge six to eight students who don’t fit traditional gender norms — kids who range from tomboys to transgender, said Principal Sam Bass. Miraloma elementary school has done this for their kindergarten and 1st grade restrooms and in the future they hope to expand this notion of gender-neutral restrooms to their older students. I think adults are quick to discourage a child’s ability to understand and sympathize with “adult” problems.

However, I believe children aren’t hateful nor do they discriminate other individuals without adults implanting negative ideas in their minds. I think that gender-neutral restrooms are a problem to those that are close mined because they fail to recognize that gender identity and sexuality isn’t something a person chooses to have. Just like a person doesn’t choose to have depression or cancer. Nevertheless, we can choose to have gender-neutral restrooms because it doesn’t discriminate anyone based on their sexual orientation. Politicians such as Ted Cruz disagree on gender-neutral restrooms because of possible pedophiles or molestation against women and young children. He states, “We shouldn’t be facilitating putting little girls alone in a bathroom w/ grown men. That’s just a bad, bad, bad idea[.]” I believe this isn’t true for the transgender community because if they associate themselves away from there biologically gender why would they be considered pedophiles? A pedophile is a person who is mentally ill and is sexually attracted to young children. That is another subject within its self that isn’t correlated with being a transgender. Overall, Hughes hash tag #WeJustNeedToPee sums up what the transgender and the LGBTQ community asks. All they ask for it to feel safe using a public restroom just like everybody else.

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