Beal leads London in accommodating all washroom users

Kate Dubinski
Original Article:

A London high school now has a washroom that all students — boys, girls and those who identify as neither, or somewhere in between — can use.

The all-gender washroom at Beal secondary school is also one of the first in the London-area public school board equipped with multiple stalls.

For many, a bathroom is just a bathroom.
But in high school, washrooms are often more than just a place to pee.
They’re also places to make sure you look good, change clothes, gossip with friends or lock yourself in a stall and have a good cry.

But for some students, the conventional school washroom is a symbol of exclusion and fear — a place that can identify you as different.

For Grade 10 student Alec Cook, Beal’s new loo will mean using the school washroom for the first time in a year-and-half.

“Many of us didn’t feel safe going to the washroom in school, so we just didn’t go,” said Cook, 15, who identifies as a transgendered man.

The new washroom “isn’t just for kids who are non-binary genders or trans. It’s for everyone.”

While many high schools and some elementary schools have gender-neutral washrooms, many are for use by one person at a time.

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