Transitioning in Weedsport

New Gender-Neutral Bathroom “Makes Things a Bit Easier” for Transgender Students


Lizzie Meyer, Staff Member

High school is when people really start to find themselves and figure out who they are. They have often been known as one thing for their whole lives – in a town like Weedsport, everyone knows everyone. This makes it much more difficult for kids when they suddenly tell people they are something completely different than what they’ve always been known as in their community. Coming out as transgender is hard enough as it is, but when the environment these people are in does not accommodate this change, it makes it even harder.

In the summer of 2018, Weedsport High School had major construction, which included the addition of a new gender-neutral bathroom across from Mrs. Izzo’s classroom. In the 2017-2018 Legislative Session, a bill was passed in New York which says that to protect transgender students, schools need to have at least one gender-neutral bathroom in the building. A current Weedsport student who has been figuring out their gender identity for the past few years has quite a lot to say about this new addition to our school, and about transitioning in general. Due to the sensitivity of this topic, this student has chosen to stay anonymous for this article.

This student thinks that the gender-neutral bathroom is a very good idea and makes students feel more accepted in the school, saying, “I feel that it makes things a bit easier for everyone in that realm to feel more comfortable than going into their biological bathroom and making them feel uncomfortable with themselves…”

The new gender-neutral bathroom at WHS.

The student went on to discuss what it’s like transitioning in a school setting and coming out to the whole school. They said that it’s weird because some people are going to say “it’s a phase,” and for some people, it really is, but not for everyone. They referred to it as a “you-thing,” going on to say, “…if you’re comfortable with yourself, then it makes it easier. You’ll get the people who don’t understand, the people that will run their mouths, and the people who support you. In my case, it wasn’t a good experience, but it also helped me find my true self.”

This student has a mixed review on how they have been treated by fellow classmates since they came out, some being positive and others negative. They said that not everyone treated them the best, but that they were still surrounded by people who loved and supported them, and it is still like that today, almost a year after coming out. They said that people told them they were “moving too fast” or that it “wasn’t the right time.” This student said that if you know who you are, then that’s great, and if you don’t, don’t let people decide for you. Ultimately, though, they said that most students were supportive and respectful towards them.

Finally, the student said that the process has been easier as time has passed. They said that there will always be people who still talk about and spread rumors that inevitably die quickly, but not everyone, it depends on who you talk to. This student ended the interview by saying, “It’s gotten better than it was. Nothing will ever really be the same for me, but that’s the price you pay.”