The University of Limerick has received a formal complaint after the words ‘mental illness’ were carved into a sign of a gender-neutral bathroom on campus.
Gender-neutral bathrooms are public toilets that are not separated by gender and provide bathroom facilities to transgender and non-binary people.
“This transphobic graffiti is (vile),” one student wrote on Twitter.
“To all the trans community in UL, I am sorry, I hope you are ok and well. As a member of the UL community, I believe it is all our responsibility to stand up against hate crimes such as this and last week’s incidents of sexual harassment.”
UL installed 14 gender-neutral bathrooms across the campus in 2017 following a campaign led by ‘Out in Ul’, the university’s LGBT+ society.
UL was the first campus in Ireland to install gender-neutral bathrooms and this is the first incident of vandalism known to have happened at the university’s bathrooms.
— UL Student Life (@UL_StudentLife) September 18, 2018
UL Student Life released a statement which condemned the transphobic incident and reassured the University’s trans and non-binary students that they have the support of their University’s community.
“To our trans and non-binary students and staff, know that this incident does not reflect the view of our university community. It is horrible to see that the facilities that are intended to make your lives easier are being used against you.”, UL Student Life said on Twitter.
They also stated that an investigation to find the person involved is ongoing.
UL is taking steps to address the formal complaint received, a UL spokesperson said.
“The sign has been removed and will be repaired and replaced.”
“There is a huge commitment by UL management to ensure the university is a place of absolute inclusivity with many new measures taken over the past number of years to achieve this, including the establishment of the gender-neutral bathroom facilities.”
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