Poetry: Forever Waiting

Author’s Note:  This a piece that has been forming under a partial surface of the communal consciousness of gender aware and gender “deviant” people, seemingly for forever, but as a senior here at U32 I wanted to say something about it before I leave. It is my opinion that each person needs to use the facilities and programs that are best fitted to them, and in this case, that means to me that every cisgender and binary trans person should use the bathroom that goes with their gender identity.  It hurts me when I see binary people use the gender-neutral bathroom at school. It elongates the time I miss of class because I either have to choose to “hold it” and go back to class, or I have to stand there for 10 minutes, which is 10 minutes less of the lesson I probably needed. This is happening to more people than just me and to more people than who is in the photo, and the true number is larger than this whole school’s population. Next time you decide to use the gender-neutral bathroom because you are too “uncomfortable” with bodily functioning to use your regular bathroom, please rethink.

Forever Waiting

What you don’t know

Is that all of the combined time

of us waiting for that one bathroom stall

Exceeds hours.

Hours standing by that odd blue table

with the potted plant

miscellaneous utensils

forgotten papers.

While you have the privilege of safety in the gender assigned, multi-stalled bathroom.

It is a privilege to fit into the systems that have been built in this country.

What you don’t see is all the labor and energy that goes into fighting for the spaces we are safe to exist in while at school.

What you don’t realize about how it feels to wait around for this type of supposedly simple, natural, fundamental act

of using a public facility, is

that for some of us

it hurts so deep

to see our peers have access to a room full

of toilets and sinks.

The very same rooms that we intentionally go out of our way to avoid.

I’ll give you one thing, though:

I have no doubts that transgender, non-binary, gender-nonconforming, and all other people in the LGBTQ+ community can and do have similar nicotine habits in comparison to our heterosexual/cisgender counterparts,

but we certainly aren’t all waiting for the gender-neutral bathroom just so that we can juul in it.

One thought on “Poetry: Forever Waiting”

  1. While I really do understand the importance of having bathrooms for non cisgender people of all identities, I take a lot of issue with the way this article was written.

    First of all, it’s really the teachers who spend the most time in the gender neutral bathrooms. Although I have not actively been at the U32 campus during this school year, this was the case last year and multiple friends I’ve discussed this article with confirm that that is still the case. The way that this article is written assumes that it’s students who are the problem, but you need to be addressing the teachers. They’re also the reason that the bathroom in the middle school which was formerly gender neutral was converted into a “staff-only” bathroom. The problem you discuss is, for the most part, not caused by your fellow students, but rather by the staff and faculty.

    The biggest thing I take issue with in this article is where you say that “It hurts me when I see binary people use the gender-neutral bathroom at school”. When you assume that somebody is binary, you are assuming their gender, which is the very thing you ask the world not to do to you. Some of the people using the gender neutral bathroom who you assume fit a binary gender may not be out, or may be in the process of figuring out their gender identity, and they don’t owe it to you to explain themselves. Essentially, you’re arguing to gatekeep the gender neutral bathroom with this article and bar access to everybody who may be genderqueer but is not out or open about it. While this is not your goal and I know that, the wording of this line in particular implies the hope of the creation of an exclusionist space that essentially forces people to out themselves if they want to use the gender neutral bathroom without potentially putting themselves on bad terms with other queer students.

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