The Daily Eastern News

It’s so much more than bathrooms

Staff Report

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Among other hotly debated topics involving transgender people, gender-inclusive bathrooms have been something people have shown strong approval and disapproval of in recent years.

In Thursday’s edition of the Daily Eastern News, it was mentioned there is currently at least one gender-inclusive bathroom is in each residence hall, as well as one in the 24-hour lounge in the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union and the basement of the Student Services Building.

This is a good first step, but it is not enough. Some people would argue a step like this is already going too far. However, those with this mindset need to consider how it would feel to not be comfortable or safe in their own skin.

We may not have control of what is happening around us, but at the very least people, no matter what race, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation they are, should have the right to control their own bodies and represent themselves in a way that makes them feel comfortable.

It is exhausting wandering around feeling like there is no place on Earth where you are welcome and belong. No one should have to experience that feeling.

This world is big enough for all of us. We are all humans who struggle and have insecurities. However, instead of sticking together people begin to focus on labels and differences from a young age.

We allow this “us against them” mentality to develop because it makes us feel safe and powerful. It is important to remember that this mentality, when taken to the extreme, can also desensitize us as we destroy other people.

People who assert their power by tearing others apart are the real monsters, not some person who just wants to use a bathroom they feel safe in.

To those who use their power to make other’s lives miserable, answer this: What makes your lives more valuable than anyone else’s?

One thing is certain: this issue is not just about bathrooms.

It is about giving other human beings basic respect. It is about finding common ground.

Just because an idea might be different from your own beliefs, does not mean it is wrong. Disagreements do not have to lead to violence.

Even having to explain this is representative of a bigger problem with society. It is time we took a good hard look at ourselves and fix it.

According to Thursday’s edition of the Daily Eastern News, “Housing and Dining Services, the Council on University Planning and Budgeting and other faculty members have given support for the project.”

This is just one project in one small university in Illinois, but it is a step forward. Big or small, progress is better than remaining stagnant.

You do not have to be supportive of change. In fact, many are not. However, at the very least try to recognize that other people do face struggles that may be hard for you to understand since you have not had the same life experiences.

In cases where your understanding may be lacking, do research. Base your opinion in solid facts and be empathetic to the fact whether or not an issue affects you, it affects someone.

Also keep in mind that a person has just as much of a right to be here as you and deserves just as much respect.

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The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.
It’s so much more than bathrooms