All-Gender Restrooms

Middlebury students, staff and faculty deserve safe access to restrooms. All-Gender Restrooms are welcome for anyone to use, regardless of gender identity or expression. These restrooms provide an opportunity for members of the Middlebury community to access a restroom that is inclusive of their identity, ability, and family status.

Definitions

These definitions are provided to create a common base of knowledge. Many people identify in different ways and use different terms. It is important not to force people to use language that isn’t comfortable for them.

All-Gender Restroom: A restroom that can be used by anyone of any sex, gender expression, or gender identity.

Gender-Specific or Gender-Segregated Bathroom: a bathroom intended for people who identify with a particular gender (for instance, a women’s room or a men’s room).

Multi-Stall Bathroom: a bathroom with multiple toilets and/or urinals.

Single-Stall Bathroom: a bathroom with only one urinal and/or toilet that is meant to be used by only one person at a time (unless that person is being accompanied by a parent, family member, and/or attendant).

Gender Expression: How a person represents or expresses one’s gender identity to others, often through behavior, clothing, hairstyles, voice or body characteristics.

Gender Identity: An individual’s internal sense of being a man, a woman, or something else. Since gender identity is internal, one’s gender identity is not necessarily visible to others.

Gender non-conforming: A term for individuals whose gender expression is different from societal expectations related to gender.

Genderqueer: A term used by some individuals who identify as neither entirely male nor entirely female.

Gender Policing: Scrutinizing, judging, or categorizing another person's gender.

Transgender, trans, TG: A broad umbrella term that can be used to describe people whose gender expression is non-conforming and/or whose gender identity is different from their sex assigned at birth. Transgender people may or may not choose to alter their bodies hormonally and/or surgically. People must self-identify as transgender in order for the term to be appropriately used to describe them.

Why are All-Gender Restrooms Necessary?

Transgender and gender non-conforming people face harassment, discrimination, and threats of injury and arrest each day as they look for safe places to use the restroom. Restrooms have long been a place where those with authority, power, or wealth deny access to other people.

Despite the Civil Rights Movement and the Americans with Disabilities Act, restrooms continue to be unsafe and inaccessble for some people. Everyone has the right to meet their basic needs in a safe environment, without feeling threatened or intimidated.

All-gender restrooms provide an opportunity for our community members to enter a restroom without being questioned or interrogated.

All-gender restrooms are helpful for families and those who are differently abled, who require the help of a friend or personal care attendant.

What Can I Do?
  • Educate yourself about this issue in order to be a better, more informed ally. Learn more about being an ally here
  • Show your support by using an all-gender restroom anytime you encounter one.
  • Refrain from "gender policing" while using a restroom.
  • Refrain from staring, questioning, making someone uncomfortable, or asking someone to leave the restroom.
  • Report any "gender policing" or harassment you witness while using an all-gender restroom.
  • If you have any questions about all-gender restrooms, please contact Jennifer Herrera jherrera@middlebury.edu.
Resources
Locations and Facts
  • There are 15 non-residential buildings that have all-gender restrooms.
    • Adirondack House-Center for Careers and Internships
      Armstrong Library
      Athletics Complex
      Axinn Center
      Carr Hall-Anderson Freeman Resource Center
      Centeno House-Parton Center for Health & Wellness
      Chellis House
      Davis Family Library
      Hathaway House-Scott Center
      Hillcrest-Franklin Environmental Center
      McCullough Student Center
      Old Chapel
      Service Building-Student Financial Services
      Sunderland Language Center
      Warner

  • 14 of these buildings have more than one all-gender restroom.
  • 2 of these buildings have multi-stall all-gender restrooms.
  • At least 7 of the 15 buildings have wheelchair accessible all-gender restrooms.

Thanks to the Transgender Law Center and ACPA Equity and Inclusion Gender Work Group for some of the content.