Letter: Kozak misinformed

By The Daily Illini

Chris Kozak’s column “Royal Nuisances” makes several glaring assumptions about the suggested need for single-use, gender-neutral bathrooms at the University of Illinois. The foremost of these is the implication that the facilities cater specifically to transgendered people. While the restrooms do indeed offer a safe, comfortable alternative for transgendered people, Kozak neglects to mention the many benefits that these gender-neutral bathrooms would offer to people outside the transgendered community.

To cite a couple examples, these facilities would benefit handicapped people who require extra space and privacy while using the restroom, and parents could comfortably accompany their opposite-sex children to the restroom without the need to cross the gendered boundaries of the regular facilities.

Kozak’s implication that these restrooms are “catering to the wants of a handful of people unsure of why they were born with penises or vaginas,” is simplistic, insulting and misinformed. With these vastly different purposes for single-use restrooms in mind, the question becomes, then, why does Mr. Kozak single transgendered people out as the reason these facilities should not exist? The answer is simple and one that may implicate many: ignorance and fear of a minority people he does not understand.

Transgendered concerns are far more complex than Kozak’s reduction of the issue to a simple matter of genitalia or masculine/feminine actions. Gender is, by definition, fluid, undefined and totally independent of biological sex. Kozak throws around words with little care for their true definitions and connotations. Mr. Kozak, a transgendered person, a transvestite and a drag queen are three very different things, and while I unfortunately do not have the space here for Transgender 101, that may be precisely what you, and many people on this campus for that matter, need.

Jacob Hustedt

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sophomore in LAS