All-Gender Restroom Access

Restroom Access Policy

All Goucher students, faculty and staff shall have access to restroom and locker facilities consistent with their gender identity and/or to utilize restrooms that are designated All-Gender. 

Message to the Community

As an institution, Goucher College is committed to the community principles of respect, inclusion, and social justice- principles which motivate the community to better address LGBTQIA students access to services of support, advocacy, safety, and academic advancement. To truly create and maintain an equitable and accessible campus climate, we must work together to instate restroom options in which everyone can feel affirmed, comfortable, and above all safe.  Please explore the Frequently Asked Questions section below to learn more about All-Gender Restrooms on campus.

Find an All-Gender Restroom

All-Gender Restrooms on Campus (PDF)

 

FAQ's

What is an “All-Gender Restroom”?

An All-Gender Restroom, sometimes called a gender neutral restroom, is a restroom that anyone of any gender can use. All-Gender Restrooms are often single stall restrooms that can be locked and may or may not be accessible.  

Why is it important to have All-Gender Restrooms on campus?

All-Gender Restrooms are intentionally created so that everyone can feel safe and comfortable regardless of their gender identity and gender expression accessing a public restrooms.  For those of us who can use a public restroom freely and comfortably, we don’t often realize the struggles of those who can't. Restrooms have long been a place where those with authority, power, or wealth deny access to other people. Many transgender and gender non-binary people experience humiliation, harassment, denial of access and even physical violence in public restrooms. To remain safe, many transgender and gender non-binary people avoid using public restrooms, which may result in difficulty focusing and engaging in class, dehydration, urinary tract infections, and other kidney-related problems. To truly create and maintain an equitable and accessible campus climate, we must work together to instate restroom options in which everyone can feel affirmed, comfortable, and above all safe.

What if All-Gender Restrooms make me uncomfortable?

The notion of All-Gender Restrooms may be a new (and even uncomfortable) concept to some, but being uncomfortable is a huge part of growth. We encourage you to give yourself a bit of time to adjust and educate yourself.

There are many myths out there regarding the safety of All-Gender Restrooms that we would like to shine a light on. There is no evidence that traditional binary gender restrooms are a deterrent against sexual harassment or assault or are “safer” than All-Gender Restrooms. In addition, laws exist protecting people from criminal conduct in public restrooms. If we are truly concerned about the safety of all individuals in public restrooms, let us look to the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey.

  • In the past year, 12% of respondents reported being verbally harassed, 1% reported being physically attacked, and 1% reported being  sexually assaulted when accessing a restroom because of their gender identity and/or gender expression.
  • 8% reported having a urinary tract infection, kidney infection, or another kidney-related problem in the past year as a result of avoiding restrooms.
  • More than half (59%) of respondents avoided using a public restroom in the past year because they were afraid of confrontations or other problems they might experience because of their gender identity and/or gender expression.

Who can use an All-Gender Restroom?

Anyone who chooses to! These restrooms benefit many different people, including parents with children of a different gender, disabled people who may require the accompaniment of an attendant of a different gender, and transgender and non-binary people. As well, some people may just feel more comfortable using a single stall All-Gender restroom for additional privacy.

Who can use the traditionally binary gender restrooms on campus?

Goucher policy states that all Goucher students, faculty and staff shall have access to restroom and locker facilities consistent with their gender identity. Students and employees are not required to have undergone or to provide “proof” of any particular medical procedure (including gender affirming surgery) in order to have access to facilities designated for use by a particular gender.

Are there still traditionally gender restrooms on campus?

Yes, we have traditional binary restrooms in addition to All-Gender Restrooms located across campus.

Is Goucher planning to create more All-Gender Restrooms?

A number of new All- Gender Restrooms are continuing to be built as Goucher moves forward with new construction. Currently, there is effort made to convert many existing restrooms across campus to All-Gender. This is an ongoing project, that we, at Goucher, are dedicated to uphold.

I’m transgender, do I have to use an All-Gender Restroom?

Of course not! Transgender and gender non-binary students are welcome to use any restrooms they feel comfortable using as it relates to their gender identity.

What can I do if I have been harassed for using a restrooms of my choosing?

If you believe your safety is being threatened for/while using the restroom, please (if you feel safe and comfortable to do so) immediately notify Public Safety, 410-337-6112. If you have experienced a bias incident, you may report your experience here.

How can I support the Restroom Access Policy?

  • Educate yourself about this issue
  • Refrain from "gender policing" (i.e scrutinizing, judging, or categorizing another person’s gender identity and/or expression) while using a restroom.
  • Refrain from staring, questioning, making someone uncomfortable, or asking someone to leave the restroom.
  • Respect the privacy and identity of others.
  • If a friend is nervous about using a public restroom, both on and off campus, offer to go in with them or stand at the door.
  • Report any "gender policing" or harassment you witness while using an all-gender restroom.

Is there a place on campus I can go for more information on transgender and gender non-binary resources?

For resources and support, please contact Summer Rai Torres (She/Her/Hers), Assistant Director for LGBTQIA Students, The Center for Race, Equity, and Identity, ATH 422, 1st Office, (410) 337-6311, Summer.Torres@goucher.edu