Leaky Toilets, Missing Mirrors, and the Alienation of Queer Students at Breck


Breck’s four gender-neutral restrooms are in a constant state of disrepair. Up until halfway through last semester, one stall was closed off, and another toilet spewed water all over the floor whenever someone flushed it. The trashcans overflow, a stall’s lock is secured using the posts, and if you sit down in the smaller stall by the nurses’ office, your shoulder becomes flush with the wall. One student notes, “Leaky toilets and missing mirrors, some faucets only spit cold water, it’s like they’re discouraging you from using them.” Obstructing queer and trans students from using the bathrooms that affirm their gender identity or make them feel safer is not beneficial for a learning environment.

Finals are stressful for everyone, but there can be added trouble for trans and gender-non-conforming students. No gender-neutral bathroom option is offered while finals are in session, meaning students either have to hold it or cause themselves dysphoria. Dysphoria, as defined by the NHS, is a “sense of unease that a person may have because of a mismatch between their biological sex and their gender identity” Because of this unease and anxiety, students may perform worse on summative assessments. This creates an unfair obstacle for trans students.  

Overall, Breck still has a  way to go involving the inclusion of queer people in its community, but that’s not to discredit the actions taken over recent years. For instance, the middle school robotics team helped bring gender-neutral locker rooms to the school in early 2020, many teachers ask students for pronouns at the beginning of the year, and Breck continues to update its pronoun policy as times change. As long as Breck follows its path of progress and acceptance, hopefully, these issues will be soon resolved.