Neuqua’s gender neutral bathrooms are helping students feel more comfortable in their gender identity


Neuqua Valley High School

These signs are up in every bathroom, introducing students to the gender neutral bathrooms and giving counselors’ information

Viraj Desai, Staff Writer

If you have ever felt uncomfortable in the body you were born with, you’re not alone. Almost 150,000 teenagers around the United States identify as not aligning with the sex they were born with. It is very common, especially in this more liberal time, to come out and define gender identity in a personal way. Neuqua is making it easier for people to feel more comfortable in their gender identity by providing gender neutral bathrooms for all students to use. 


For starters, how does one define gender identity? Basically, gender identity is an identification of what gender means personally to an individual. Many identify as male and female, but some identify as the opposite gender of their sex, meaning they are transgender. Many also identify as non-binary, gender fluid, etc. For most people, gender identity is the way they can be comfortable in their body without hiding their gender. 


Neuqua Valley High School Sophomore Thanh Ngyugen is gender fluid, and they say they are “slightly uncomfortable with people only using she/her.” Their experiences show that gender identity is real, and it matters so much to so many people. 


Ollie Shuminas, a transgender male from Metea Valley High School, also says, “Once I came in person I was given a lot of grief from both staff and my peers for identifying as transgender” and proceeded to talk about some extent of discomfort that he gets from his school for being transgender. He adds that teachers use wrong pronouns and use his deadname, which makes him super uncomfortable. 


This should not be the case, since everyone has a right to feel comfortable at school with their gender identity. Neuqua has given students access to gender neutral bathrooms to help them feel comfortable, even if everyone around them is being disrespectful . Shuminas says, “Having these [bathrooms] allows everyone to use the bathroom while still feeling validated in their gender identity.” Ngyugen also points out that the bathrooms are super clean, which is just good for the general cleanliness of the school. 


These bathrooms are located downstairs in the B and D hallways and are available for everyone in the school. Please contact your counselor to get your special key if you’re interested in getting access for these bathrooms. It is important to everyone to feel comfortable in their body, and Neuqua hopes that using the bathrooms you’re comfortable with will help you!