View the All-Gender Bathroom Map.
What is the All-Gender Bathroom Initiative?
The All-Gender Bathrooms Initiative is a project to ensure that all students have a place where they feel safe using the bathroom. We are working to ensure that there is at least one accessible all-gender bathroom in each academic and administrative building. Currently, there are buildings on campus that have no all-gender bathroom option. The goal is not to turn every bathroom all-gender, but to make sure that everybody has a choice in each building.
Why do we need All-Gender Bathrooms?
There are many students (trans students, gender-nonconforming students, etc.) who feel safer and are better represented by all-gender bathrooms. In addition to psychological effects such as anxiety and fear of harassment, students who feel unsafe in single-gender bathrooms can risk UTIs and other medical problems. All students are at their best academically and socially when they can access safe spaces on campus, and increasing the number of gender-neutral bathrooms is a way to provide more safety. Further, Vassar’s non-discrimination policy includes gender identity and expression as a protected class, and all-gender bathrooms are one way we live up to that policy.
Common Myths about All-Gender Bathrooms:
Myth #1: There is no difference between an All-Gender Bathroom and a Co-Ed bathroom.
Fact: A Co-Ed bathroom acknowledges only male and female whereas an All-Gender Bathroom acknowledges the reality of multiple gender identities.
Myth #2: Assault and harassment are a more common occurrence in All-Gender Bathrooms.
Fact: Assaulters and harassers are not stopped by signs and will assault/harass regardless of whether or not a bathroom is gendered. Trans people actually risk MORE assault and harassment within gendered bathrooms than cisgender people.
Myth #3: Gendered bathrooms are being completely removed from the campus. I will not have a choice.
Fact: The point of this project is to provide everyone with a choice in academic and administrative buildings, and so that everyone has access to a bathroom where they can feel safe. Gender identity and expression are built into and protected under Vassar’s non-discrimination policy, yet currently, trans and gender-nonconforming students and employees are not provided a choice for bathroom safety and comfort in some academic and administrative buildings.
How can I get involved?
If you are interested in getting involved with the project, please contact the LGBTQ Center Director.