Auburn High School is a very diverse school in many ways, including in its students gender expression and identity so it’s no surprise that there are transgender and non-binary students here at Auburn High. There have always been transgender people and most will tell you one of the biggest challenges when first transitioning is using bathrooms. Bathrooms are a mine field for young transgender students when moving from their assigned gender to the gender they know themselves to be. Transgender rights are being recognized more in the media due to the increase in transgender visibility within social media and the entertainment industry. With this in mind, more adolescents and even pre-pubescents are feeling safe and secure enough to come out as transgender..
Many trans students don’t feel comfortable or safe enough to use the bathroom of their gender and either avoid using the bathrooms at school all together or use the bathroom of their assigned gender at birth which can be a damaging experience, emotionally, mentally and sometimes, physically. A solution to this debilitating dilemma faced by many trans students today would be the welcomed option of gender neutral bathrooms in public schools. By having a gender neutral bathroom here at Auburn High School, school would ultimately become a more comfortable and safe environment for transgender and non-binary students who don’t typically feel safe in standard boy-girl bathrooms. Students who don’t fall along the typical gender binary would have a place to use the restroom without compromising their gender identity or bodily safety and fear of judgment from other students. Without the anxiety bathrooms usually bring upon transgender students, school would become a much more appeasable place for students to attend every day.
Outside of the bathroom, there’s plenty instances of transphobia in a transgender student’s everyday life. Attending school and using a bathroom at that school shouldn’t be as big of a deal as it is to most transgender students who don’t pass well or are suffering from body dysphoria. Body dysphoria is rife among transgender teens since puberty is often a devastating time where a transgender teen’s body often takes the shape of their birth sex which heights their feelings of being born in the wrong body and possessing the wrong body parts. Using the restroom should be a small, mindless event that shouldn’t require a small pep talk and massive mental preparation. Students who don’t fit the typical gender binary should have another option available to them in the form of a gender neutral bathroom. A bathroom not exclusively for boys or girls would allow trans students a place of solace during school and a comfortable facility where a student’s body dysphoria wouldn’t be heightened and their fear of persecution from their peers would be gone. All cis gendered students have multiple bathrooms all over the school where they can use the use the restroom peacefully, without putting too much thought into it and without risk of damaging their mental state. Trans students should be offered this same option without it being a major deal.