Oregon School Creates Unisex Bathrooms for Trans Students

By Michelle Garcia

Originally published on Advocate.com March 26 2013 1:43 PM ET

A high school in Portland, Ore., has created unisex bathrooms to accommodate all students, but especially those who identify as transgender.  Gender non-conforming and transgender students at Grant High School will not be mandated to use the six bathrooms, but will have the option.

The unisex facilities were converted into two faculty bathrooms and four student bathrooms, with locks on the inside, according to ABC News. Previously, students who did not want to use the traditional restrooms had to request a key to a staff facilities.

According to student-run Grant Magazine, there are about 10 openly transgender students in the city's largest high school, with 1,600 students.

Scott Morrison, a male-identified senior, said he previously avoided drinking liquids throughout the day, just so he wouldn't have to go to the bathroom.

"If I had to drink something, I’d go into the women’s bathroom. I would rather feel kind of unpleasant (in there) than terrified in the men’s bathroom," he said in the report.

Vice Principal Kristyn Westphal led the initiative to convert the bathrooms, which she told ABC News only cost the school "a few hundred dollars," and took a matter of weeks to complete.