Pitt to Trans Students: Birth Certificate or Bust
Pitt to Transgender Students: Birth Certificate or Bust
PITTSBURGH– The Pennsylvania Student Equality Coalition (PSEC) is deeply disappointed by the University of Pittsburgh’s unfortunate decision on March 20th to go against the Anti-Discriminatory Policies Committee’s (ADPC) thoughtful recommendation allowing students to occupy bathrooms based on their gender identity.
The decision comes as a shock to ADPC committee members, and draws forth profound discouragement among students who are now forced to use gender-specific bathrooms matching the gender listed on their birth certificates. As a result, students are now exposed to the threat of unwelcoming environments in an area that should be private and free from danger.
The university’s careless stance and lack of public response to these new policies sets a dangerous precedent and leaves PSEC confounded by the allowance of bullying and discrimination to persevere in school environments. Discrimination on the basis of gender identity or expression is currently illegal under Pittsburgh City and Allegheny County laws.
“The university is ignoring their equal access statement by actively discriminating against and creating a hostile environment for transgender students,” PSEC Deputy Director and Pitt student Joy Horner said. “We call on the University to redact this medieval policy – to force transgender students to provide a birth certificate to use the bathroom. We must work on improving the campus for transgender students by adding trans-inclusive policies and providing gender-neutral bathrooms and housing.”
“This policy is highly discriminatory; it doesn’t take into account any of the issues that transgendered people face,” said Jake Tolan, PSEC Coordinating Committee member and student at the University of Pennsylvania. “It’s really backwards – it’s foolish of them to say something like that.”
The University of Pennsylvania set the boldest example for Pennsylvania universities yet on this issue by increasing the campus’ number of gender neutral bathrooms last November and has long allowed transgender students to use bathroom and locker room facilities of their identity. PSEC hopes that the University of Pittsburgh will not only change its stance on this issue, but follow the University of Pennsylvania’s example by considering the needs of its transgender students.
PSEC would like to note the situation which was the impetus for this policy review is not isolated as Pitt has a track record of discriminating against its transgender students on various campuses in this way.
PSEC has been closely monitoring the situation over the past month and applauds the support which has been expressed for transgender students, faculty, and staff through campus forums, programs, and passionate articles in the Pitt News. PSEC will continue to back the efforts of Pitt students to make their campus more accessible and affirming for transgender members of the community.
The Pennsylvania Student Equality Coalition (PSEC) is PA’s statewide lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth organization working towards safe schools and communities for all.
List of articles about Pitt’s new bathroom policy
Mar 19, 2012: Pitt lacks written policy on transgender showers - The Pitt News (University of Pittsburgh)
Mar 21, 2012: University defines gendered facilities policy – The Pitt News (University of Pittsburgh)
Mar 22, 2012: Pitt’s transgender students stalled - The Duquense Duke (Duquense University)
Mar 22, 2012: Campus Roundtable on Pitt’s Policy Toward Transgender Students - WPTS (The University of Pittsburgh)
Mar 23, 2012: Rainbow Alliance to fight bathroom policy - The Pitt News (University of Pittsburgh)
Mar 26, 2012: Kozlowski: Pitt’s transgender policy necessary - The Pitt News (University of Pittsburgh)
Mar 27, 2012: Through transgender policy, Pitt disregards student opinion - The Pitt News (University of Pittsburgh)
Mar 29, 2012: Letters to the Editor 3/29 - The Pitt News (University of Pittsburgh)
Apr 1, 2012: April Fools: Transgender bathroom policy works - The Pitt News (University of Pittsburgh)
Apr 2, 2012: Pitt’s transgender policy conflicts with city, county policies - The Pitt News (University of Pittsburgh)
Apr 4, 2012: Pitt bathroom policy surprises, outrages transgender faculty, students – The Pittsburgh City Paper
Apr 5, 2012: Transgender Athletes Face a Different Set of Rules – The Pitt News (University of Pittsburgh)
Apr 6, 2012: University Of Pittsburgh Imposes Anti-Trans Bathroom Policy – Think Progress
Apr 6, 2012: U Of Pitt Flushes Plan To Allow Trans Students To Use Bathroom Of Choice - Queerty