OPINION: Gender neutral restrooms prompt positive change

By Melody Ortiz

There is no doubt that the addition of gender neutral restrooms on the East Los Angeles College campus was a good move.

ELAC has made it clear that it is a safe space for all students no matter what religion, gender, race, or sexual orientation they are.

The demand for equality and acceptance for everyone has been on the rise for years, and each year the more modern parts of the U.S., including Los Angeles does what it can to improve the lives of people in their community.

ELAC tries to stay up to date and accommodate  its student body. Things can’t be expected to change overnight.

Though adding these restrooms may seem like a small improvement to some, it is a big deal to those it has an immediate effect on.

Transgender students and others who may not wish to identify their gender can finally have a safe and comfortable place to do their business.

For transgenders, being allowed in one restroom, but judged and uncomfortable in the other, is too much to consider for such a small price.

No one should have to go through so much trouble to do a necessary, everyday activity like using the restroom.

ELAC student Joselyne Flores said she noticed the restrooms this year and thought the addition was “pretty cool.” She did not see a negative effect of having them on campus.

She, like many others, were confused upon first hearing of the restrooms, thinking they were like the others at ELAC.

She thought it was a big room with many stalls and sinks.

She also felt that some people may not be comfortable with both genders in one restroom.

For those who may still be confused about these restrooms , only one person can enter at a time. Their is one toilet, one sink and one door.

The world is not yet at the level of acceptance or trust for gender neutral restrooms with multiple stalls.

Even California, as thriving and diverse as it is, would have trouble keeping public restrooms  safe and a creep-free place for both genders of all ages.

For now, the new restrooms are signs of progress.

After visiting a few of the gender neutral restrooms on campus, I received a few surprised looks and double takes as I entered and exited.

Fortunately, no one made a scene or gave dirty looks, but the stares are still a weight on anyone’s shoulders.

Hopefully this subsides over a little bit of time.

These restrooms are there for a reason, people should get used to the fact that they will actually be used by some.

There also shouldn’t be any  negative assumptions of anyone using those who do use them.

They may be using these restrooms because they are shy in public restrooms, or they prefer a whole room to themselves, or because everywhere else is full.

Either way, no one should have to hold their bladders until they get home.

They should be able to use the restrooms on campus without feeling uncomfortable.

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