GENDER NEUTRALITY | LGBT toilets in campus? Go to Eastern Samar State University
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Borongan, Eastern Samar - What's up with Eastern Samar State University (ESSU) in Borongan Campus? Not much, except that it just recently launched a progressive project for its LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) community.
And what's that? Many probably won't be able to guess correctly, at first try.
It involves gender-neutral toilets.
Two toilets, in fact – labeled, respectively, TRANSGENDER MEN and TRANSGENDER WOMEN.
According to ESSU University President Edmundo Campoto, the project aims to address the concerns of the LGBT students when using the comfort rooms.
Dave Lampanizo, Editor-in-Chief of ESSU's student paper Catalyst and a member of the LGBT community, told InterAksyon the unisex comfort rooms, which were opened on Friday March 17, 2017 help provide relief from possible bullying from other students using conventional same-sex toilets. "It's a strong statement of empathy for LGBT."
Dave Lampanizo in front of ESSU's gender-neutral toilets. Note the rainbow hued signage. Photographed by Lottie Salarda, InterAksyon
The aim, proponents explained, is to prevent any intimidating experience for the LGBT sector at ESSU.
The two comfort rooms are situated at the College of Arts and Sciences wing.
The launch of these two toilets naturally earned raves and support from the LGBT community in the campus, from supportive teaching and non-teaching staff, as well as non-governmental organizations and visitors from outside the City.
"Ang nag initiate nito ay ang Dean ng CAS, si Jovito Madeja, PhD, na inaprubahan ng aming University President na si Edmundo Campoto. Some of the LGBT community members have been hesitant to use the conventional male and female toilets, so Dean Madeja suggested the gender-neutral comfort rooms. Not a few were elated, even the so-called straight persons who thought the LGBT community members really deserve to have their own space," said Lampanizo.
"A University is not about your gender, it is about excellence and performance. So, no matter sexual orientation you have, it doesn't really matter to me. We ALL have equal chances and opportunities for everyone, no matter what background you have," Campoto said.