A Conversation on IBW’s Gender Neutral Bathrooms

Anna Stiffler (they/them), Staff Writer

Dear Students of Ida B Wells High School,

Our school has three gender neutral bathrooms open to students. While this is notable, it is a rare occasion that all three are left unlocked. Gender neutral bathrooms’ presence in society [and at our school] is extremely important to transgender, genderqueer, and gender non-comforming individuals— although they can be used by anyone. For individuals whose gender identity falls outside of the “binary,”  these bathrooms provide a sense of safety and belonging. For both cisgender and non-cisgendered students alike please remember that the gender neutral bathrooms are not a place to hang out with friends, eat lunch, or skip class—they are a place to use the restroom. Misuse of gender neutral bathrooms often results in them being locked— forcing the individuals who use these restrooms to search for a place to comfortably use the restroom. “I shouldn’t have to wait 15 minutes to pee just because you want to skip class,” said a student in a GSA pamphlet on the gender neutral bathrooms at our school. So instead of using one of the gender neutral restrooms for anything other than using the bathroom please consider one of the following options:

  • The food carts
  • “Gender traditional bathrooms”
  • Any of the stairwells
  • Any of the fields
  • The park behind the library
  • Your classroom
  • Supporting a hillsdale business