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‘Biological males’ should not enter the women’s room, says sign at National Taiwan University

‘Biological males’ should not enter the women’s room, says sign at National Taiwan University

Taiwan’s leading university has stirred up anger by approving at least two signs that ask people to use restrooms in accordance with their biological gender.  

The stamped notices were first discovered Wednesday (Apr 23) at two restrooms of a student activity center, says Lisa, a National Taiwan University student, to Gay Star News.

Both the signs start with a slogan: ‘Equal rights for both sexes, mutual respect for each other’

With big fonts in a colored box, one then goes: ‘Biological males please do not enter the women’s room’ and the other reads vice versa. Each then spells out where the ‘correct’ washroom should be.

Lisa hits out at the NTU for failing to understand what ‘gender equality’ really means.

‘Using the biological gender to rigidly divide the space for restrooms is indeed very unfriendly to gender variants and transgender individuals,’ Lisa said.

The NTU has already taken down the signs as of today, after complaints from students and LGBTI activists flooded in.

Jiyi Ng, founder and executive adviser of the Intersex, Transgender and Transsexual People Care Association, says binary division among restrooms alone has brought enough stress for transgender and intersex people faced with repressive Chinese cultures and traditions.

‘There has already been a case where a trans person, who chronically held back urination while outside, died from uremia,’ she told GSN.

The current exclusivity to ‘biological males/females’ has simply worsened the psychological trauma trans people is suffering, Ng notes, adding such a practice has violated various local and international decrees and laws.

The student activity center put up the signs after receiving complaints about female students using the men’s room, especially when different clubs organize evening events, according to a post by NTU’s gender equality panel.

When contacted, people in charge of the center claim to have taken into account slogans by unidentified ‘outside organizations’ and ‘seem altogether unwilling to address the core issues,’ the panel post adds.

Shih Hsin University, a private institute close to the NTU, introduced two gender-neutral restrooms as early as 2011, while the Taipei government followed suit late last year, bringing the first public restroom of its kind to Taiwan.

The NTU  currently has no unisex restrooms.

Photos courtesy of Lisa: