Warwick University has confirmed plans to implement gender neutral toilets across campus in 2017.
It is part of the University’s policy to implement gender neutral toilets in all new buildings, and, according to the University, sites have been confirmed for the conversion of single occupancy toilets into gender neutral ones.
The issue has been as the heart of much campaign work by liberation societies, such as Warwick Pride who last year set up a petition for the cause which got over 600 signatures.
One of the main reasons for the demand of gender neutral toilets is for acknowledgement of trans and non-binary students, and for purposes of inclusivity.
It is widely known and reported that trans and non-binary individuals often face harassment and extreme anxiety in gendered spaces, such as public toilets, and thus these facilities serve to combat this issue.
Many universities already have non-gendered toilets facilities in place, such as the University of Nottingham and Lancaster University, the latter having gender neutral toilets in their library and Students’ Union nightclub.
Ryan Girard, Warwick Anti-Sexism’s Transgender Representative, commented: “Having gender neutral bathrooms on campus makes me feel safe, validated and really happy. It helps a lot on a mental health perspective not to have to feel invalidated whenever I go to the bathroom.”
Sara Boiten, Co-President of Warwick Pride and current Chair of the Welfare Exec, said: “Gender neutral toilets have been a key campaign priority for LGBTUA+ welfare campaigners for years, and it’s great to have the support of the University now.”
She added: “This will be a huge step for the safety of trans and non-binary students, who often have to choose between dangerous situations and the emotional harm of being forced to misgender themselves.”
Tom Frew, the University’s Senior Press and Media Relations Manager, commented: ‘“Following consultations with students, all new University buildings will include gender neutral toilets as part of the choice of facilities available with all current single occupancy toilets due to be adapted to become gender neutral across 2017.
“There have also been a number of sites identified that will require greater choice, which the University is currently investigating with the aim of providing gender neutral toilets throughout the campus.”