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Ateneo de Manila University sets up all-gender restrooms in Loyola Schools campus

The Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU) is the latest educational institution to show its pro-LGBTQI stance by announcing that it set up all-gender restrooms in different parts of its Loyola Schools campus.

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The Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU) is the latest educational institution to show its pro-LGBTQI stance by announcing that it set up all-gender restrooms in different parts of its Loyola Schools campus.

In a memorandum dated March 23, the Office of the Associate Dean for Student and Administrative Services announced the availability of all-gender restrooms within the Loyola Schools campus, a move that is said to be in line with the school’s effort “to create an environment of inclusivity.”

According to the memo, anyone may use the restrooms “regardless of gender identity or expression.” The same restrooms will be available for use of persons with disabilities.

Toilet access remains a contentious issue particularly among transgender people. While cisgender people may not see going to the toilet as a big issue, for many transgender people, using a toilet means choosing between using a facility that matches the gender assigned to them at birth or their gender identity. The act of using a toilet could, therefore, carry risks of discrimination, harassment and even assault.

The all-gender restrooms in 14 locations within the Loyola Schools campus will now be (re)labeled accordingly.

The Sanggunian ng mga Mag-Aaral ng mga Paaralang Loyola, Ateneo’s autonomous student government, posted the same memo on its Twitter account.

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The move in Manila comes almost two years since Ateneo de Davao designated all single comfort rooms (CR)/toilets in its Jacinto Campus as “all gender”.

In the Visayas, the Eastern Samar State University in Borongan City allocated LGBT-specific toilets for its students and staff in May 2017 as a “relevant move that recognized and appreciated that LGBT people are part of our (academic) community”.

Meanwhile, also in Manila, the Lyceum of the Philippines University (LPU) – Manila approved the school’s first gender-neutral toilets in March 2017.

With this, the move for LGBTQI non-discrimination is also being fought a toilet at a time.

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