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.
What you don’t know
Is that all of the combined time
of us waiting for that one bathroom stall
Hours standing by that odd blue table
with the potted plant
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.