All genders allowed, but not all the time

During+lunch%2C+juniors+Matt+Matias+and+Isabelle+Boynton+instinctively+enter+the+previously+assigned+restrooms+of+their+gender+in+the+now+all-gender+restrooms.

Jill Albertson

During lunch, juniors Matt Matias and Isabelle Boynton instinctively enter the previously assigned restrooms of their gender in the now all-gender restrooms.

Jill Albertson, Staff Writer

It’s passing period.

Junior Spencer Stancil, a transgender man, walks past lower D-hall, and reluctantly enters what was formerly the girls restroom, wishing to embrace his true self.

The now all-gender restrooms, located in lower D-Hall, received much attention at Carlmont when they were first formally established on May 20 through collaboration between the Gender and Sexuality Alliance club (GSA) and the Carlmont Administration.

The purpose of these restrooms was to create an environment that welcomed all students, especially those questioning their gender. The restrooms also gave many students the ability to safely and comfortably use the restroom.

GSA Co-President junior Eli Melmon said, “The all-gender restrooms are very important, they give people who don’t conform to a gender a place to go to the bathroom without potentially being harassed or questioned. We’ve called these restrooms all-gender restrooms because that’s exactly what they are, there are no gender requirements to use them.”

Although that was the goal, many students still use the restroom that was previously assigned to their gender due to a fear of being judged.

Freshman Luke Hendriksen said, “I think the main reason people still go to their respective restrooms is because they’re afraid of judgement from other people. Like if a student who identifies as a guy walked into the left side of the bathrooms, the previously known girls [bathroom], the girls in there would freak out about how a guy was in the same bathroom as them. That’s not a very welcoming environment for somebody who just wants to use the restroom.”

For those who don’t identify as a specific gender, the all-gender restrooms have allowed a choice.

Stancil said,”I usually go into the side that was previously the girls bathroom, though when it’s empty I’ll use the old boys bathroom. It’s because¬†I still get nervous using the bathroom that I identify with, as a trans man. It’s easy to eliminate the labels and the gender binary of the bathrooms, but it’s difficult to eliminate the hate and the stigma of someone like me entering the boys bathroom.”

Some say these restrooms are a big step forward for Carlmont, while others say it has not affected the school at all. Those who think that there was no effect believe so because many students continue to use the restrooms as if they still have defined gender titles.

Senior Jason Kuhn said, “Even though I know I have the option to use either side, I still use the same side as I did before. It’s not that I have anything against the other side, it’s just what I’m used to, plus the urinals are in there which make it more convenient.”

By taking steps to initiate a higher level of acceptance, the Carlmont community hopes to create a more welcoming and supportive environment for years to come.

Stancil said, “To all students at Carlmont, don’t be scared to be yourself at school. GSA worked hard to make the all-gender restrooms so you could have a safe space, please don’t be afraid to use it. Break the stigma.”