Protest University Policies that Discriminate Against Transgender Students

Target: University of Pittsburgh administration

Goal: Change the school’s policy that requires students to use bathrooms that align with their birth sex

For people in the process of transitioning from one gender to the other, the question of which bathroom to use can quickly transform from an automatic decision to a politically-charged struggle. For students at the University of Pittsburgh, a new bathroom policy could mean the difference between mingling comfortably with the student population and being singled out for their gender identity. The policy states that all students must use the bathrooms that match the sex on their birth certificates–meaning that trans men and women must now use facilities that align with their natal sex, but clash with their actual gender.

Many people who transition between genders never get the opportunity to change the sex on their birth certificate. Some live in states where such documentation cannot be altered, or can only be changed with medical proof of sex reassignment surgery. The policy doesn’t just inconvenience transgender individuals. It could create situations where they find themselves in real danger. Forcing trans people to out themselves by using the improper bathroom could easily lead to situations of belittling, bullying and even violence.

Not only is this policy dangerous for gender-variant individuals, it also directly contradicts the city of Pittsburgh’s definition of gender. Elsewhere in the city, all individuals are welcome to use facilities that match their gender presentation–even if their presentation doesn’t match their birth sex. The city code states that “sex is the gender of a person, as perceived, presumed or assumed by others.”

The University of Pittsburgh needs to reevaluate its policies to create a safe campus for all of its students, regardless of gender identity. Defining gender by anatomy is an outdated mode of thinking that puts many individuals in danger.  Demand that the University allow students to use the bathrooms they feel comfortable using. Sign the petition below today.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear University of Pittsburgh administration,

Pittsburgh’s city code states that gender is defined by perception–not by anatomy. Yet the University of Pittsburgh’s recent policy on gendered facilities mandates that all students use bathrooms that coincide with their birth sex. Such a policy reflects an outdated definition of gender that cultivates an uncomfortable and dangerous environment for transgender students.

Gender is not the sum of its parts. Many transgender people will never change their birth certificate to match their gender expression. They still deserve to be recognized as the men or women that they know themselves to be. Forcing trans men to use the women’s bathroom and vice versa only generates extreme discomfort and tension among students.

All students should have the right to use the bathrooms in which they feel the most comfortable. I ask that you rewrite this antiquated and dangerous policy to eliminate discrimination against transgender individuals.

Sincerely,
[Your Name Here]

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Signatures

  • Jeanie Streit
  • Stefano Serpico
  • Teresa Ashley
  • Alan Haggard
  • Kaja Nowakowska
  • Jenny Dooley
  • Shane Cummings
  • Rose Earth
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