By Ralph Winfrey
Gender neutral restrooms debut at Radford University.
While researching the topic of gender-neutral restrooms, I came across a lot of surprising information and views. The first view being that some of the supporters of these restrooms see gender as a choice and not a binary or innate attribute. On the other side of this argument are people against the idea due to the scientific aspect of gender. “Biologically, there are only two options – male and female. To claim that sex is fluid is insanity,” posted anonymously on Debate.org.
A lot of the controversy around this topic is natural because people do not like change. But the citizens of New York City along with Philadelphia, Washington D.C., and Austin, Texas recently had similar legislation adopted to support these restrooms. This is not only happening in large metropolitan areas due to laws, it is also happening locally voluntarily. Radford University is an example, as two buildings on campus use gender-neutral restrooms. The Center for Humanities and Behavioral Sciences building (CHUBS) and library were the first on campus to incorporate them.
I interviewed a lady sitting down on a couch in the foyer of the McConnell Library regarding this topic.
Ralph Winfrey, Radford University Student: How do you feel about gender neutral restrooms?
Taylor Brock, Senior at Radford University: I think that it’s a good idea because people need to feel included. Personally, I wouldn’t be offended by it. I guess, it doesn’t really affect me so I haven’t really thought that much about it honestly.
Winfrey: If you had to vote for it right now, how would you vote?
Brock: If I had to vote for it, I wouldn’t put it down, because like I said I wouldn’t want to make someone feel like they had to choose between if they didn’t identify with a certain gender.
Winfrey: What long-term impact do you think gender-neutral facilities will have on the communities that use them.
Brock: It would definitely change the mindset of a lot of people. It would change the people’s perception of the facility. I think that it will make them feel more welcomed, when you think about it everyone has to go to the bathroom. When I was a kid, you know it was the girl sign with the triangle dress or the guy with pants you know? Whereas now it’s like, it will just be a family bathroom, that’s cool. It teaches the younger generation that it is ok not to have to decide.
Winfrey: Were you aware that we have gender-neutral facilities on campus?
Brock: Umm, I didn’t… we do?
Winfrey: Yes, we actually have some in the library and the building next door, the CHUBS building.
Brock: I knew that it has been talked about but I didn’t know that we actually had that.