Misuse of the gender neutral bathrooms


Wet paper towels on the floor and a putrid smell in the air. Walking into the gender nuetral bathroom as a queer student should feel like entering a safe space. Instead you’re greeted with a mess, vandalism, or kids skipping class. Gender queer student such as myself would appreciate seeing the bathrooms be treated with more care and consideration.

     Poway High has two gender neutral bathrooms, one of which does not even have a lock. This makes it difficult for students who are uncomfortable using gendered bathrooms either because they feel like they do not  belong in either gendered bathroom or they fear harassment.

Our campus has many designated bathrooms for cisgendered students who identify with their gender assigned at birth, yet many of them still use the gender neutral bathrooms, but that is not the problem, it is how they are treating the space that is. I see kids on social media or hanging out with friends in the bathrooms rather than leaving them open for those who actually need it. 

Yes, they do have certain luxuries that the gendered bathrooms do not have, such as the privacy of only one stall and toilet covers. Of course, the privacy only goes so far when the door has no lock, letting people walk in at random. And as a gender queer person, I do hope you care more about an accepting environment for us than a thin sheet of tissue paper. 

Many students avoid using school bathrooms in general or just go into the bathroom that would lead to the least harassment or what would be “easiest.” No matter where they go, a cisgendered person has none of these worries because there will always be a bathroom to accommodate their gender identity. Those are luxuries another kid might not have, whether they’re trans, gender nonconforming, or just figuring it out.

If more students could treat the bathrooms with respect it would make a better campus for all of us. It is a good habit to leave places better than you found them. Queer kids appreciate having a small safe place in our school.