Since 2007, McGill has committed itself to creating a more inclusive campus by building gender-neutral washrooms. As part of this initiative, the current Redpath Library renovations will include the creation of a gender-neutral washroom. Although this is an important step forward, McGill is still far from establishing a gender-inclusive campus.
Gender-neutral washrooms are not explicitly labelled male or female, and therefore do not exclude trans people and those whose gender presentation does not align with the gender binary. In May 2007, the Joint Board-Senate Committee on Equity recommended that every newly constructed building on campus include a gender-neutral washroom. The Committee also recommended modifying single-stall washrooms into gender-neutral ones by changing signs and locks. Yet, many major buildings at McGill including Stewart Biology, James Administration, and the Law Library still don’t have gender-neutral washrooms.
The ability to use the washroom without a second thought, and without fear, discomfort, or the threat of violence, is taken for granted by many people. However, going to the washroom can be a daily struggle for those who are not cisgender or for those whose gender presentation does not conform to the gender binary…
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“Gender binary.” That’s a new one for me.