Five years ago a gender-neutral bathroom in Shaker was just an idea, now thanks to Mr. Murphy and Jordyn Bucci-Mooney (president of G.L.A.S.S. club; Grade 11) it is now a reality. As of September 18th, 2017 Shaker High school officially opened an all-inclusive bathroom. “It’s a big victory that’s been a long time coming. I had one large-scale goal to make the school more inclusive when I found out I would be taking over for Jack when he graduated, and I think a lot of kids benefit from this.”, said Jordyn Bucci-Mooney, Shaker High School Junior and president of G.L.A.S.S. Jack Einstein, the former president of G.L.A.S.S. club, was one of the first transgender students to negotiate with administration about using the bathroom he identified with along with former G.L.A.S.S. club member, Max Zanda. Since its opening, multiple students have used this bathroom and find it to be a good solution for girls, boys, and people who identify as gender nonconforming or gender fluid.
This will create an impact for many students in the school. Students also believe this is a safer, more comfortable solution to the bathroom situation. Skyler Heiser, a junior, is involved in G.L.A.S.S. club and regularly uses the gender-neutral bathroom due to having many classes in the art wing. She said she believes this bathroom will have a positive effect on students and creates a solution to bathroom confusion and negative feelings towards going to use the bathroom, such as having a student feel like the bathroom is a scary place instead of a comfortable space. One parent says that this change shows just how much Shaker is listening to students.
“When I started attending Shaker in 2012, no one knew what non-binary was,” says a Shaker alumni who graduated in 2015. Being a “more masculine” female, she reported that when using the women’s bathroom she tends to get dirty looks from other women. Her college has several gender-neutral bathrooms that she uses. She said they are nice for privacy and make her feel safer than if she were to use the women’s bathroom. Along those lines, several people say that this bathroom will solve issues such as bullying. A parent of a Shaker student said that the bathroom should be a place of acceptance and, while they said they support “whatever makes kids feel comfortable,” it is hard for the older generations and for some kids to understand gender identity and expression.
Meanwhile, Samme Mahmud, a junior at Shaker and a G.L.A.S.S. club member, doesn’t necessarily agree with the idea of gender-neutral bathrooms. Stating that they are “too special” and that a bathroom doesn’t have to be as big of a deal as people make it out to be because it’s just a place that you’re in for less than five minutes. She, along with two other interviewees, also thinks that the bathroom is in an inconvenient location. They feel that it is not as accessible to everyone due to it being in a wing that is out of the way from most halls.
They also feel that not many people know where it’s located or that it exists. As Skyler stated, not many people even understand what it is when they come across it, as she has experienced a group of boys peeking in the bathroom curiously.
A suggestion she made is to add a sign on the door of the bathroom explaining its use and why it was put there.
Another way to learn about this bathroom is to create conversation with friends. Ask them if they know about it or come to G.L.A.S.S. club on Mondays in K214, where they discuss LGBT topics and issues like this one.
Overall, most students view the gender-neutral bathroom as a positive and progressive
change for Shaker, and a show of support for the LGBT community. This bathroom is open to anyone who would like to use it. “Overall, it’s beneficial to Shaker to help spread acceptance. Just knowing we have an all gender bathroom and having it be visible is really important,” said G.L.A.S.S. President Jordyn Bucci-Mooney.