Tag Archives: Gender Neutral

LGBTQA+ diversity on campus

Radford University’s Campus has recently obtained gender neutral bathrooms in several of its academic buildings and in all of its dormitory buildings. This marks a significant positive change towards inclusion and acceptance of transgender and genderfluid individuals, something that is sorely needed during this year with its high political tensions and rise of discriminatory actions and organizations.

Radford’s LGBTQA+ organization, Spectrum, helped to make the inclusion of gender-neutral bathrooms possible on campus. The organization made a great effort to work with the university to make this happen. Spectrum is a group that works hard to provide a helpful and supportive community for LGBTQA+ individuals, and they raise awareness for issues involving them. Organizations like this are a great help to many people and they do a lot to create a better place for the people of their community.

spectrum
“Radford’s LGBTQA+ organization, Spectrum, helped to make the inclusion of gender-neutral bathrooms possible on campus.” Photo from: https://pbs.twimg.com

Because many groups and minorities have to worry about discrimination and fighting for their rights, they develop organizations like Spectrum or Black Lives Matter. Groups like these enable individuals to help each other and work towards equality, to a world where people are free to be themselves without fear of hate crimes and/or prejudice. The inclusion of gender-neutral bathrooms is a step in this direction. It lets transgender and genderfluid people know they are not alone and that people can and will support and fight for them. It shows that, contrary to the beliefs of some, they are not secondary citizens and that their rights and comforts are just as important as everyone else’s.

We need a greater inclusion and consideration of minorities and we are working towards that. People of the LGBTQA+ community (along with African Americans, Muslims, Latinos, and any minority or group subjected to prejudice and unfair treatment) are real, valuable, and important people. They deserve the same treatment and rights as anyone. They are human beings who deserve the same respect and decency that we all demand ourselves. It is not outlandish to show considerations for their needs; in fact, people should show consideration for others at the the bare minimum.

Breaking the stereotype

We live in a society where being different is frowned upon. Expressing who you truly want to be is unacceptable and can make you an outcast within friends, family, and professional environments.

People can be judged on every small detail starting from how you carry yourself to how you dress. Clothing companies strive on stereotypes created by a society built on fitting into a certain category, making it that much harder to tear down the walls and expand out of what is expected of us.

Don’t you wish we could define ourselves however we want to? Can you imagine a world where we are allowed to wear whatever we wanted to without being judged or ridiculed for not dressing how the world wants us to? The first place we need to start is retail stores.

boy and girl
“There are “girl” sections and “boy” sections that are separated in halves. If you are a girl, you shop in the “girl” section and vice versa. If you even think about heading to the other side of the store, eyes follow your every move, confusion and judgment covering their faces.”

Clothing stores are the definition of stereotypes. There are “girl” sections and “boy” sections that are separated in halves. If you are a girl, you shop in the “girl” section and vice versa. If you even think about heading to the other side of the store, eyes follow your every move, confusion and judgment covering their faces. It’s not their fault, really. Society has constructed those people into thinking that gender comes in only black or white, boy or girl, masculine or feminine, but that simply isn’t true.

People should be defined as just that, people. Some identify as a boy or as a girl, but some people don’t. It isn’t fair to expect someone to fit into a specific definition when it’s way more complicated than that.

I’m a girl who likes to wear “girly” clothing but I also love to wear “boy” clothing. When I head over to the “boy” section of a store, I want to feel comfortable and like I belong there, not as if I am confused or out of place. Clothing companies owe it to us to give us the opportunity to be our authentic selves, not to be forced to be the person we think we should be.

Designers need to catch up to the 21st century and start designing clothes that are gender neutral. I’ve been dying to see clothes that have always been made for boys being made for girls. Start creating masculine clothing that fits my small frame. One of the most frustrating experiences is finding a shirt or a pair of pants in the “boy’s” section that I love but having it be way too big for me.

If designers starting making “boy’s” clothes fit girls, it would allow for the inclusion of all genders as well as let everyone wear the clothes they want to and to feel comfortable in those clothes.

Of course, I know that beginning to make clothes gender neutral doesn’t create the end all of gender stereotypes nor the feeling of not fitting in; however, I believe we have to start somewhere and allowing for those who don’t fit into society’s ideal of gender were to be able to express themselves appropriately through clothes, it would be a good start.