SPFHS’ SAGA advocates for gender neutral restrooms

SPFHS’ SAGA advocates for gender neutral restrooms

Sofia Casimiro

In recent years, Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School’s efforts to create an inclusive environment have grown, such as with the establishment of No Place for Hate and Students Demand Action. In this past month, SPFHS has even made a leap towards achieving the proper recognition of trans and nonbinary (people who don’t identify as strictly male or female) students, as members of SAGA advocate for gender-neutral restrooms in our school. 
Although our school is considered a welcoming environment by many members of the student body, SAGA collectively believes that SPFHS can help promote the inclusivity of those who don’t identify as a cis male or female. For non-cisgender students, having to use the restrooms of their gender assigned at birth may cause unnecessary dysphoria. This fraction of dysphoria (the distress one feels due to a mismatch between their gender identity and their sex assigned at birth) could be decreased or even avoided if there were to be gender-neutral bathrooms in our school. The restrooms would also be successful in combating the concept of cisnormativity, the notion that only cisgender people fit society’s “norm.”
“[I always] dread using the women’s restroom, but [am] too afraid to use the men’s. I shouldn’t have to be in a state of anxiety simply using the restroom.” Senior Kai Buro said. 
Like Kai, many other students feel that gender-neutral restrooms would help relieve them of their anxiety in school and make them feel that their gender identities are respected among our school community. At the moment, SAGA is holding a series of meetings to progress this plan and turn gender-neutral restrooms into a reality at SPFHS.