Murray State Implements “Gender Neutral” Restrooms

By Richard Nelson

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July 24, 2014

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Murray State University can rest easy tonight knowing they have courageously stood on the right side of history with their….restrooms? Yes, apparently lavatories are now the artifacts of historic social progress. Murray State’s administration, following the recommendations from the Student Government Association, implemented three “gender neutral” restrooms on the campus. From the official Murray State news site:

Jody Cofer Randall, LGBT program coordinator, brought the issue to the attention of previous SGA president Jeremiah Johnson when a transgender student came to Cofer Randall after being out’ed in class. Cofer Randall said over the past several years he has discussed the need for a gender neutral or inclusive restrooms with individuals on campus. “These restrooms are of particular importance to transgender and gender non-conforming individuals, but it is important to point out that many people beyond those that identify with those two populations support the idea of gender neutral or inclusive restrooms,” Cofer Randall said.

You may remember the story about Atherton High school’s approval of restroom access for transgendered youth. What is interesting is that, whereas Atherton brazenly gave the go ahead for mixed-sex restrooms, Murray State is avoiding that scenario: Each of the three restrooms will be single person. Listen to Murray’s LGBT program coordinator explain why:

Cofer Randall said he’s had several students over the years approach him about gender neutral bathrooms. “Beyond the individual’s comfort using a particular restroom, the issue of safety must be considered,” he said. “Is it physically safe for a transgender person that biologically has male parts, but lives as a woman and presents as such to enter a ‘man’s’ restroom?”

No, it isn’t. How this absurdly basic concept escaped Atherton is beyond me. Randall should receive for at least acknowledging that biological realities do matter.

At the end of the day, how are “gender neutral,” single person restrooms substantially different than very common unisex single person rooms? I suppose the answer is the narrative around them: These rooms exist for the accommodation of LGBT and “gender non-conforming” students. That last group is an ambiguously titled set, paving the way for an endless future of new sexual expressions that must find accommodation within all levels of culture. Without the weighty reality of gender design and purpose, every single aspect of daily life, down to the restrooms, must be sexualized and conformed to sexual mores.

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