However, according to the Oklahoma Daily, the newspaper for the University of Oklahoma (for article click here), the campus is fighting for gender-neutral housing in the hope they can change the Conservative bent of their state and provide "a little step" in the right direction. For those unfamiliar with why gender-neutral housing is so important for the LGBT Community, here you go: it provides students who may possess one set of sex organs, but identify as a different gender, with a safe environment in which to live. Usually, gender-neutral residence halls permit anyone to live with each other regardless of gender—so men can live with women and vice versa. It also eliminates gender-separate bathrooms, which avoids the uncomfortable and intimidating choice as to which bathroom to use.As common sense as this type of housing is, many colleges are still uncomfortable offering this as an option. At a conference presentation I attended on this issue, the presenters cited the following reasons: colleges are nervous that alumni will object to this new style of housing and may stop donating; they are worried conservative parents will oppose unmarried men and women living together; and they are fearful of becoming a lightning rod for special interests who may target them for having this new form of housing.
Side note: it amazes me how the biggest issue with some parents is the possibility of unmarried men and women living together, yet they have not noticed that traditional housing permits same-sex couples to live together--unmarried.
Listen, first, just because a man and woman live together does not mean they are having wild orgies and key parties. And second, just because a man who identifies as a woman wants to use the restroom in a comfortable and dignified way does not mean they are indoctrinating other students into the “gay lifestyle”. Although I was not around when this happened, I am sure when residence halls went co-ed, there were lots of opposition out of concern that there would be a whole lotta sex going on. Hazarding a guess, there was probably plenty of sex happening before men and women lived in the same building. Humans are resourceful when it comes to hooking up.
Gender-neutral housing is the next best thing coming to residence halls across the nation, so we might as well accept it. Members of the LGBT Community have the right to live in a comfortable and nonthreatening environment where they can experience college without fear of being attacked or harassed. As the Oklahoma Daily states, LGBT Rights is the Civil Rights of our generation, and just like our parents (or grandparents), we need to encourage (or force) our campuses to make daring decisions that may make the Extreme Right unhappy. Permitting blacks and whites to study together in the same school and same classroom was once considered radical, but it happened. Why? Because a few stood up for the rights of the many and brought down segregation. Now it’s our turn.