Students and faculty staged a “shit-in” at Simon Fraser University Feb 18, occupying a men’s washroom in the Academic Quadrangle to raise awareness about transphobia on campus.
“Everyone deserves a safe place to go pee,” said Nathan Lyndsay, who identifies as trans-masculine.
The sexuality and women’s studies student helped spearhead a campaign last fall to allow transgender students to substitute their given name with a preferred name on student ID cards and official class lists.
Drawing on that success, he said he hopes to continue build on the momentum.
Besides occupying the washroom on Wednesday, the group replaced a number of traditional male and female door signs with transgender symbols.
“Folks who fit into either man or woman (categories), we’re hoping they’re going to have a moment of (discomfort) where they don’t know which one they belong in and to think about that,” he said.
“That’s something that trans and gender-variant folks have to deal with every single time that they have to go to the washroom.”
In a statement, the school’s associate vice-president of student affairs Tim Rahilly said SFU is committed to creating safe, supportive and respectful spaces. He said the university introduced its first gender-neutral facility in 2003.
SFU has 208 gender-neutral washrooms, according to a university spokeswoman, with 115 located within academic buildings and the remainder at the Burnaby campus residence.