At the University of Pittsburgh, going to the bathroom is now a matter of such controversy that students need birth certificates to use the facilities.
Last month, the college decided that students and staff must use facilities that coincide with the gender on their birth certificates, rather than the gender with which they identify.
The new rule is problematic as well as insulting. The surgery that would allow birth certificate changes is expensive and not always desired by transgendered people. It’s equivalent to “forced castration,” one Pitt student told Think Progress, because “it results in sterility.”
Certainly Pitt could come up with a better solution. A Montco student proposes immediately converting at least two gender-specific bathrooms into gender-neutral and having all future construction include neutral facilities.
Whatever Pitt decides, its trans students and staff should have choice of facilites where they feel safe and comfortable, and Pitt should amend its anti-trans attitude.
We, the undersigned, find it hard to believe Piltt's claim of non-discrimination “on the basis of gender identity and expression.”
As well as discriminating, we find its new facilities policy humiliating to trans students and faculty, as well as unnecessary.
We believe the university can provide students and faculty with accessible and safe gender-neutral facilities without going to a lot of trouble, but whatever Pitt decides, its trans students and staff should have choice of facilites where they feel safe and comfortable, and Pitt should amends its anti-trans attitude.
Certainly leaders of an institution of higher learning can come up with any plan less insulting and less costly than what Pitt has proposed so far.
We request that you amend your anti-trans attitude and thank you for your attention to these concerns.