Transgender students using the bathroom of their choice needs to be normalized

Moe Martin, Photo Editor

As a transgender student, bathrooms are a waking nightmare. It’s one of the major struggles of being a trans student at Loy Norrix, a school with no gender-neutral bathrooms accessible in the A, B or C wings. The addition of this third bathroom would provide many trans and nonbinary students with a comfortable place to do their business.

I usually hold it in, waiting until I get home to finally do my business. According to Medical News Today, holding it can lead to pain and urinary tract infection. I have not experienced any downsides of this, but I know later down the line I will definitely feel the consequences of holding it in all day.

There are only two gender-neutral bathrooms in LN, these bathrooms being in the library and main office. These locations are very far away from where most students are. This is a concern of mine, especially after hearing the bathroom in the library had broken down.

My first time going to the bathroom at school this year was scary. It was 5th period and I knew I couldn’t make it until I got home: I swallowed my pride and asked to go. 

When I entered, there were a few girls there. I felt queasy and sick the anxiety and guilt of being a boy in the girls’ bathroom overpowered every thought in my mind. It was the most terrible feeling I’ve experienced.

Regardless of how I felt in the girls’ bathroom, I didn’t dare go into the boys’ bathroom either. Despite LN having no policy against trans students using their preferred bathroom, I’ve met many trans people in this school who either refuse to use their preferred bathroom or don’t use the bathroom at all. They all have various reasons, spanning from “There’s not enough gender-neutral ones” to “I don’t wish to be assaulted or harassed.”

Taking in the opinions of other trans and nonbinary students in the school, I’ve come to the conclusion that more gender-neutral bathrooms will help these students feel more comfortable and safe within the school.

Thea Pipe, a junior, expresses the same concern. Pipe is a trans girl. “I don’t usually use the bathroom,” Pipe said, “but usually, if I do, it just feels uncomfortable.”

Pipe reports getting backward glances from the other girls in the bathroom, making her feel singled out.

This is my third year attending Norrix and as my identity has grown with this school, I’ve come to the realization that bathrooms are my main struggle. I don’t use the bathroom unless it’s an absolute emergency.

There’s many solutions I’ve come up with, but with the limited budget of the school, it might not be possible to make accommodations to trans and nonbinary students.

I’ve noticed in the K-Wing there is an extra bathroom downstairs for girls. This results in the K-Wing having 3 bathrooms, one for males and 2 for females. I believe this extra girls’ bathroom would be great if switched into a gender-neutral one, as well as having a gender-neutral bathroom in the main hallway and J wing. 

I would like to see double the number of bathrooms than the original 2 that are hard to reach for some students. Principal Christopher Aguinaga said it is very much possible to add more gender-neutral bathrooms.  All students should feel comfortable and happy while in school.