Gender Spectrum Continues to Grow
In today’s society, the spectrum for gender is as wide as it has ever been. People are no longer abiding by the rule of only two genders. Many now believe that though you are born a certain sex, you don’t have to live as that gender.
With people like Orange is The New Black’s Laverne Cox coming into the mainstream light as a transgender actress, the idea of trans people is becoming less and less taboo.
Playboy has even gone as far as to sign their first ever trans playmate in model Ines Rau. As transgender people become more of a normality in our culture, so are those who are further down the spectrum.
There are many out there who don’t identify as either binary gender–male or female. These individuals are referred to as gender non-conforming.
As a student on WCC’s main campus most will have noticed there are “gender neutral” bathrooms scattered across campus. These are specifically designed and labeled for gender fluid and gender non-conforming students.
Students such as Tommy Green for example. If you are unfamiliar with how to refer to someone that is gender non-conforming then you may have trouble with pronouns. Non-conforming individuals often prefer a variety of pronouns.
“I prefer they and them pronouns, but he and she are fine with me,” said Green.
WCC has made as many attempts as possible to accommodate students like Green. According Tiago Machado, Interim Director of Student Involvement, the faculty and staff on this campus are committed to making as many students feel as comfortable as they can.
“I feel very comfortable here. There are gender neutral bathrooms and I can always find one wherever I’m at,” Green continued. “They now have [the opportunity to] give teachers your chosen name rather than your given name.”
Machado is the main person on campus spearheading these initiatives on an administrative level. Aside from Machado’s duties with student involvement, Machado is also the head of WCC’s glow, the college’s safe haven for its LGBTQ+ students.
“There are several projects in the works, first was relabeling the single stall bathrooms,” said Machado. “We are also working with I.T. to develop a prefered name process for students, so their faculty members will only get their prefered name their rosters.”
Around campus, bathrooms were certainly a start for more gender inclusiveness. However, the gym remains a place not yet modified, but this does not mean it isn’t on the radar.
“The last one that we are working on is assessing the space in the gym to see where we could potentially put in some sort of inclusive changing facility that still has showers,” said Machado.
More and more students are defying gender and social norms and more individuals are feeling comfortable in their own skin after feeling ostracized for so long.
According to Green, they would like to see “just more of a push to educate that there are people like [them] who exist.”