I skip the water so I can skip the campus restroom

There are four gender-neutral restrooms on campus but none are in the central part of campus.

Hydrating is the bane of my existence.

Yes, it’s pretty important for my health and it supposedly clears my skin, but I can’t get past the frequent bathroom trips.

If I’m home, it’s no problem — I use the toilet and I’m done. When I’m at school though, it’s suddenly a problem.

The problem is that there are only four gender-neutral restroom locations on campus. They’re near the Horticulture building, Technology Center, Adams Avenue Parking Lot, and the Basil H. Peterson Gym.

Four isn’t very many. Also, none of these gender-neutral restrooms are conveniently placed — they all stand on the outskirts of campus.

Why there is a gender-neutral restroom by the gym but not in or around the Library truly baffles me.

As a non-binary person, every time my small bladder decides it needs to empty, I have to choose whether I want to make the trek to find the nearest gender-neutral restroom or choose the men’s or women’s restroom.

This semester, my schedule only allows for 10 minutes between each class. With this skimpy break, I barely have time to opt for the women’s restroom around the corner and make it back in time for class, let alone make the excursion to find a gender-neutral restroom.

I am not the only gender non-conforming person at OCC.

I am not the only person who waits to go home to pee.

I am not the only person who gets weird looks when entering the restroom.

I am not the only gender non-conforming person who intentionally drinks less water to avoid restroom use.

I know people who refuse to speak inside the restroom because they fear confrontation and violence.

As a student at Orange Coast College, and as a human being, I just want to feel safe and just want to pee in peace. We all want to pee in peace.

It doesn’t require money to make more folks on campus feel safe and even seen, just a little thought.

A toilet is a toilet no matter what the white person on the blue acrylic sign hanging on the door reads, and we all use the toilet.

You don’t need to build new restrooms — they are already there. All you have to do is remove a few blue signs.

(1) comment

Sharlan1

Hi Vanessa,

I love your article and applaud you as a great role model. You will be "relieved" to know that there are two gender neutral bathrooms on the 2nd floor of the library. (Yes. 2nd floor... but there's an elevator.) I'd like to see the GN bathrooms identified on the school maps, too. Stay positive and stay hydrated!

Sue Harlan

Canvas Support

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