Nayland College is a very progressive school with many transgender students with varying gender identities and expressions. However, with these different identities, the college must be accommodating of the different needs of the students, such as facilities like toilets and changing areas.
Nayland has one main complex of toilets called the Superloo, one side being for boys and the other for girls. Along with this they have a few unisex toilets located in areas such as the PAC, library, admin and student centre.
For many transgender students going to the toilet or getting changed for PE can be an uncomfortable experience. This comes from having to use facilities that don’t match their identity or being questioned when using the facilities they’d prefer. “I don’t feel comfortable using the girls’ toilets and I wouldn’t feel comfortable switching to the boys’ because it would only make people ask questions and give them a reason to be offensive. In a unisex toilet nobody has a reason to ask questions,” a year 10 gender-fluid student said.
The school actively tries to make unisex toilets as accessible and as visible as possible. The cottage counsellors at Nayland all have a full list and map of the different unisex toilets that can be shown and given to students. Along with this, the school plans on putting stalls on all showers in the male and female PE changing rooms, as well as creating a gender-neutral space downstairs in the gym.
The aforementioned gender-fluid student was asked how their experience at Nayland would be improved if there were more unisex toilets and changing areas. “I wouldn’t feel stressed out about having to explain why I choose not to use the upstairs changing rooms sometimes or the Superloo toilets.”
However, for the school to upgrade the Superloo complex and change them to unisex toilets, it would cost tens of thousands of dollars. “As we move forward we have plans to add more gender neutral toilets as we upgrade facilities. When block one is revamped in the next year there will be more gender neutral toilets added. If the Superloo was built today I think it would be very different,” Nayland principal Mr. Wilson said.
Year 10 student Kenya Malone was asked for her opinion as a cis-gendered student (a person who identifies with their birth gender) on having unisex toilets at Nayland. “I think it would be unusual at first but I feel like by doing so everyone would be more accepting of each other.”
By Year 10 English student Jakob Jones