ADVENTURES OF A
The University of Miami has 17,000 students and 15,000 faculty and staff, mostly based on its Coral Gables campus. There are exactly zero locker rooms/showers on the Gables campus that are not explicitly gendered as male or female. I understand that there aren’t a lot of trans students/staff/faculty, but there are some. I personally know at least 10 trans students/staff and I honestly don’t know very many people.
There are 16 gender neutral restrooms on the Gables campus. On the one hand, 16 is a lot. On the other hand, 16 restrooms spread across 239 acres and servicing a total of about 30,000 people is nothing. I don’t use the gender neutral restrooms very often because they are hard to find (9 out of 16 are not on the first floor), sometimes closed for events (why is this a thing???), and frequently occupied. I’ll use them when I happen to be near one, if it is not occupied.
As a graduate student, I have to pay fees that go towards things like my access to the campus pool. And since I love swimming and I’m obligated to pay the fee, I am going to use the pool. But, there is nowhere for me to shower and change. I used to change in the women’s locker room until I was asked to show my ID to “prove” I was a woman. The men’s locker room doesn’t work well since I am very clearly not a man once my pants come off. Recently I have been wearing my swim trunks around campus, paired with a nice shirt and sometimes with dress shoes, and I change back into “real pants” in my car before heading to my evening tutoring. While it’s not awful, it doesn’t seem right that I feel more comfortable getting naked in my car, in a busy parking lot with untinted windows than in any locker room.
My primary campus is on Virginia Key, where we do 2 gender neutral restrooms/showers for a few hundred students/staff/faculty. I only use them if I’m showering, because they are all in a single building which is not the one my office is in. But I do appreciate their existence, and use them when I bike to campus, and I think it’s a somewhat appropriate number based on campus size and population.
Mostly, I just want to be able to pee and to shower when I’m on campus. Recently there was a survey about campus culture at UM, and how included we feel. It’s difficult to feel included when my best option is to walk around campus dripping wet and then change pants in the parking lot.
See Gables campus gender neutral restrooms map here.
Non binary fashion post swim