When you need to use the restroom, what do you do? Is it something you even think about? This decision is not something that goes without thought for many many people and every single day, members of our campus community have to make the decision whether or not to use the facilities that match their gender identity. A decision that can impact not only their comfort but their safety.
I first became aware of the breadth of this issue when I was speaking to a friend of mine who identifies as transgender and non-binary. I had suggested that we go to the Grainger Engineering Library to study because it's open until 3 am and they said that they couldn't because Grainger doesn't have a gender-neutral restroom. If we were to go study there they would have to leave the building to find one of the few gender-neutral restrooms on campus in order to feel safe. This can not and will not stand.
Why is their need for a safe space on campus any less important than mine or any other cisgender individual's right to a safe place? If we are a university as accepting of LGBTQ+ folks as we claim to be then the administration needs to make the needs of their minority students a priority.
I would really really appreciate it if you took the time to sign my petition to ask the University of Illinois to put more gender-neutral/all gender restrooms in public spaces.
Thank you so so much,
Maya Novick (she/they)