Currently, there are three unisex bathrooms on the Bellevue College campus. Two are located in the upstairs of the library and the other can be found in the basement of the R-building. Neither of them are easily accessible and are in hard to find places according to some. The other unisex bathrooms are reserved specifically for college staff and faculty.
As it is, most students here do not realize that there are bathrooms specifically allocated for gender-neutral usage. While people with disabilities and restricted mobility can get to the current bathrooms through the use of an elevator, it is still seen by many as an extra obstacle.
Max Vuvuzela, a student here at Bellevue, is organizing a petition and collecting signatures to create more gender-neutral restrooms across campus. Having more of these would be “an incredible asset for the school, offering safety and accessibility” for students here, he stated.
College officials and members of the LGBTQ Resource Center point out that there is a large gender-queer population that attend classes here at Bellevue College. Gender-queer refers to people who do not identify themselves as one of the “binary genders,” a term used to describe males and females.
“Many of my friends on campus are uncomfortable using bathrooms on campus that they feel don’t align with their gender,” Vuvuzela pointed out. Some of his friends said it is like feeling you have entered the wrong bathroom after you started making use of it.
The new facilities would offer large single-stall rooms that have extra space and privacy that could benefit the disabled as well as those who are uncomfortable using the current ones that are offered. Placing such a bathroom that is properly labeled on the ground floor would make it easily accessible and simple for people to find; thus, making for a more comfortable environment for many here at Bellevue College.
For those looking to sign the petitions or for more information on the petition for gender-neutral bathrooms and other gender issues, feel free to stop by the LGBTQ Resource Center located on the second floor of the C-building or call (425)564-6041.