By Josh Swan
Members of the Ryerson community are rallying for gender neutral washrooms on campus. On Nov. 24 RyePRIDE and the Women’s Centre held an event to raise awareness about the need for transgender washrooms with a movie screening and panel discussion.
RyePRIDE campaigned for gender-neutral washrooms last year and its education co-ordinator, Jessica Miller, a third-year arts and contemporary studies student, said it’s time to raise the issue again. “We just want to see (gender neutral washrooms) around campus.
We want more than one so people won’t be a target for violence,” Miller said. Gender-neutral washrooms would allow members of the Ryerson community who are transsexual to have the option of using washroom facilities that aren’t designated for only one gender.
Nora Loreto, RSU vice-president education, said having gender neutral washrooms on campus is a good idea. “It’s important that people feel safe in the most private area of the school,” she said. But David Rayside, a University of Toronto professor with the institution’s Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies said many people who identify as transsexual may not want to use these washrooms.
Rayside said transsexuals who have undergone sex reassignment surgery so their biological sex matches their gender identity may just want to use the mens’ or the ladies’ room.
But he added that having the facilities would help. Women’s Centre events co-ordinator and third-year arts and contemporary studies student Sarah Landau said she hopes to raise awareness about the issue on campus.
She said some students still think having gender neutral washrooms on campus is a “bit of a radical ideal.”