Change takes time!

You’re probably reading Singular They because you are trying to get ideas on how to create a more gender expansive space and that is excellent. But let me remind you, it takes time! This can be extremely frustrating because when we know things aren’t right and we know specific changes that would help us correct them, we want to implement them straight away! However, with childcares, schools and other educational institutions there are a lot of other people involved. They don’t necessarily understand yet why things aren’t right and how important the changes you want to make are. One conversation will never be enough. As annoying as it might be, you have to take them on a journey and that takes time.

The good news is that change does happen and you need to continue championing gender expansion in your space; be patient yet persistent. Here’s a happy result story to fuel your fire!

Blue Plastic All Gender Blue Braille Toilet Sign|Toilet signage|Toilet sign|Door  sign |Bathroom door sign

When my oldest child was in reception (prep, foundation, the year before grade 1) in June 2017, I started speaking to the school principal about having all gender toilets. At our first meeting I shared this TED talk by Ivan Coyote starting at the 5 and a half minute mark where they talk about the profound negative impact binary gendered toilets had on a young child’s experience of school. This was all very new to the principal, but he was extremely welcoming and luckily recognised this was a necessary change. Getting leadership support is key and often takes much more than just one meeting. However there were policy issues, financial issues, and resistance from the community. The following year, in 2018 I joined the school’s governing council and our conversations about all gender toilets continued. On and on it went slowly but persistently — until now. Yesterday, January 2022, almost 5 years from when we started, I got an email from the principal proudly sharing photos of the new all gender toilets ready for the start of my child’s grade 5 year.

Change happens, but it takes time. Keep at it champion!

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