How do you effectively and cleverly raise awareness of the inequalities faced by people who identify as trans or gender nonconforming? Members of the Trans* Action and Advocacy Student Coalition at San Diego State University decided to stage a “SHIT-IN!” to protest for gender neutrality in on-campus restrooms. The coalition, whose shit-in took place last week, placed toilets outside of SDSU’s Hepner Hall in addition to pamphlets and information advocating for “accessible non gender segregated bathrooms,” as well as a petition to sign.
“For trans* and gender nonconforming individuals, gender segregated bathrooms can be spaces where they are met with intimidation, harassment, run-ins with security, and/or violence,” said the event’s Facebook page. “These occurrences happen when people using the restroom police the gender of others based on binary assumptions and expectations of who men and women are and what they look like. Gender neutral bathrooms are a way to create a safer campus environment for trans* and gender nonconforming students, staff, faculty and community members at SDSU.”
And at least some of the faculty seem to be receptive of the initiative’s aims. The SDSU released a statement listing locations for gender neutrals facilities, as well as an acknowledgement that further change is necessary to accommodate the needs of its student body. "It is important for SDSU to have gender neutral bathrooms because there are students on campus who do not associate with either male or female," said executive vice president for Associated Students Kevin Hancock. "These restrooms will provide a safe and necessary alternative for those students. I believe these restrooms are just the beginning of a much larger conversation pertaining to accessibility on campus for all students."
The protest encouraged supporters to spread the word by including with their social media posts the hashtag #SDSUShitIn. Take a look at some of the photos below.
Images: Instagram (6)