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Langara campus is still short on gender-neutral bathrooms

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Reported by Emelie Peacock

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Langara College student and queer activist, Aiden Hebert, standing in front of one of Langara’s gender-neutral bathrooms. Photo: Emelie Peacock

Despite six new gender-neutral bathrooms installed on campus, queer activist Aiden Hebert says options for transgender students are still lacking.

Langara has installed gender-neutral signage on six single-stall bathrooms in the Science & Technology Building. There is one bathroom labeled ‘All Gender’ in the LSU. This leaves the library, Building A, Building C and Building B without gender-neutral bathrooms, making it difficult for transgender students to have proper access to the facilities they need.

Hebert said the lack of facilities forces transgender students to choose a bathroom that they don’t feel comfortable using.

“It’s uncomfortable to go to public washrooms like that, and it’s worse when you’re in school,” they said. “Because when we’re at school we’re there for most of the day.”

“It’s hard to navigate because even the looks […] they can cut just as badly.”

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Aiden Hebert is hoping for more gender-neutral bathrooms on Langara’s campus. Photo: Emelie Peacock

Hebert said the bathrooms are difficult to locate and far away from where many students take classes.

“If I want to go to a gender-neutral bathroom during class it’s going to take me ten minutes to get to it and ten minutes to go back, which loses me out on 20 minutes of my class time,” Hebert said.

Students at Langara will soon have more gender-neutral bathrooms to choose from

Patricia Baker, Associate Director, Facilities, said in an email that the department will be designating approximately 15 additional single stall bathrooms as gender-neutral in the next three months, yet did not specify which buildings these bathrooms would be in.

For Hebert, the solution is to make all bathrooms on campus accessible for people of all genders and needs.

“What they should be is an all-use bathroom,” Hebert said. “Another part of the gender-neutral bathroom movement which I like is that they’re not just appealing to us queer folks that don’t fit into the gender binary, but they’re also appealing to say, single fathers who have daughters.”

Transgender Awareness Week is Nov. 14 to 20. The Langara Pride Club will have a booth outside of the bookstore for students who want to drop by.

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