Ashleigh Provoost (IV)
Over the summer, Pingry installed a gender neutral restroom in the athletics wing. This was a big step forward for Pingry and its continued advocacy for a more inclusive school community; this engagement has provided a bathroom that allows privacy for all who choose to use it. It ensures a safe space for people who may not feel comfortable using cisgender bathrooms and upholds Pingry’s values of acceptance and inclusion.
“The GSA was heavily involved in the planning process,” said Sarah Gagliardi (IV), one of the student leaders of GSA. “They talked to the Head of School and collaborated with [faculty and staff].” The GSA, or Gender Sexuality Alliance, is a club at Pingry that promotes acceptance of all people regardless of their identifiers. The goal of GSA is to create a welcoming community at Pingry in which members and allies of the LGBTQ+ community can feel safe. Members of GSA brainstormed ideas to make the community more inclusive, and having the new bathroom available for the entire community is a true testament to the commitment of past and present GSA members and leaders.
The new bathroom aligns both Pingry and GSA values. “By expanding the amount of inclusive bathrooms, it creates a safer and more welcoming environment for students and faculty, where they feel that they’re accepted,” noted Gagliardi (IV).
Prior to this school year, there were no bathrooms on campus specifically labelled as gender neutral. With the help of faculty and staff, GSA worked to make this bathroom a reality. Now, it is available to students who feel more comfortable using a bathroom facility that ensures privacy and security, as well as the entire community. Implementing the bathroom is an important step towards Pingry’s continued commitment to diversity and acceptance of all.
Gender neutral bathrooms are extremely important to the community at large, and Pingry’s accommodation of people of all identifiers allows for a safer environment that embraces all people.