Gender-Neutral Bathrooms on Campus


Why All-Gender Bathrooms Matter
By Jordan Rowan

Staff Writer

The new "all-gender" bathrooms throughout ARCC campus.
The new “all-gender” bathrooms throughout the Coon Rapids campus.

On Sept. 9, 2015, the process began to change the single stall bathrooms of ARCC to “all-gender.” During hir first day on the job as an Academic Advisor, Cat Hillyard asked if there were any all gender restrooms for hir to use. There wasn’t. Hillyard, along with Brian Wollum, developed a plan to change that.

Earlier in 2016, North Carolina passed the Bathroom Bill to much controversy stating that whichever single-sex, male or female, a person was at birth will be by law which bathroom they will use. Hillyard said of the bill, “You can’t prevent people from how they feel inside, but you can prevent people from peeing where they need to pee.”

These new bathrooms must be all single-stall, contain a place for menstruation products, transfer rails for accessibility and an all-gender sign outside of the door without any gender specific characteristics.

When asked why zie feels these new bathrooms are important, Hillyard said “It’s a feeling of not belonging.” “Everything gets gendered so much, such as ‘Ladies and gentlemen’, and the bathrooms are an extension of that. It’s a reminder of that you’re being forced into something you don’t really identify with.”

In 1993, the Minnesota Human Rights Act was enacted to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation. This was the nation’s first civil rights law to protect transgender individuals from discrimination. These bathrooms are in line with the spirit of that law.