Thursday, 20 July 2017

Gender neutral bathrooms in Scottish schools could become a reality

Plans outlined by the Scottish Government could see the introduction of gender-neutral restrooms in schools.

The guidance sets out the minimum standards for school buildings and restrooms, and it could become a requisite to protect trans and non-binary students.

Existing regulations currently set out that half the toilets should be for boys, and the other half for girls, with no reference to trans or non-binary pupils.

The Consultation Document on updating School Premises states: "The regulations do not prescribe standards for accessible sanitary facilities for persons with a disability or refer to unisex toilets that could address gender issues".

The document goes on to say that the regulation needs to be updated to meet current expectations.

James Morton from the Scottish Trans Alliance told Gay Star News: "it's good for trans young people, as they could be challenged on what toilet they're going into. We've seen them not drink all day and getting to a point where they are dehydrated."

This statement is really shocking, and proves that trans people need to be recognised, to make sure people feel more able to come out and express themselves more freely.

Morton added: "It's a good thing more generally. We've seen in the past several years that schools with gender neutral toilets have consistent lower levels of bullying and graffiti".

Personally, I think it's about time all toilets were gender neutral, gender segregation just doesn't fit in with the modern World anymore.

People go into toilets to do their business, and that's it. I think the concerns raised by the transphobic lobby are baseless, and serve only to highlight their prejudice about trans people.

I think it's all well and good to deny rights to a certain section of society, but I dare bet they'd be making a fuss if their rights ever got infringed upon.

Furthermore if gender neutral toilets are in place in schools, it means trans and non-binary students will feel more welcome, and may educate other kids about the trans and non-binary communities, which can't be a bad thing!

Meanwhile trans activists have used the opportunity to call on the Scottish Government to commit to gender recognition reform.

It's hoped that the First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon will live up to a pledge she made to allow non-binary people to be legally recognised.

There have also been initial proposals outlined, to allow trans people to self-identify to be considered legally in their true gender.

So though nothing is set in stone, these proposals and related consultations prove that progress is being made.

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