VIDEO: West Seattle High School students celebrate all-gender restroom they made happen


“IT’S OPEN!” shouted the students who just dedicated a “new” restroom at West Seattle High School this afternoon. They pitched for an all-gender restroom – and now they have one. Its grand opening was marked with a tissue-cutting ceremony.


We talked with two of the students, who explained this has been in the works since last school year, and they plan to talk with the School Board about making this happen at other schools:

“This is a big deal,” said Brennon Ham, an advocate who works with the Gay Straight Alliance at WSHS, in the note sending us word of the event on the students’ behalf, lauding their work: “They researched, organized, and advocated for their school to have a gender-inclusive restroom available for students of all genders. They recently gave a presentation to their principal and to folks at Seattle Public Schools, garnering support for this special change in the West Seattle community. This is a big deal (and) especially important to highlight in the wake of the terrible things happening in North Carolina. It would be so special to show the world that the youth of West Seattle are doing it right and doing it with love.”


Also at the after-school celebration, WSHS principal Ruth Medsker, who is working to get the retrofitting that is expected to convert the previously unused three-stall restroom into two enclosed stalls.


It wouldn’t have been affected by the new city ordinance requiring that all public single-stall restrooms be labeled “all-gender,” but it’s certainly in the spirit.

26 Replies to "VIDEO: West Seattle High School students celebrate all-gender restroom they made happen"

  • Sami King April 20, 2016 (5:25 pm)

    yes!!!!!! Thank you West Seattle blog for coming out and supporting us! WSHS and our GSA really appreciated it. 

  • Oakley34 April 20, 2016 (5:37 pm)

    …and the kids shall lead the way…

  • Barb April 20, 2016 (6:09 pm)

    Way to go WS!! As a member of Class of 71′ I am proud of you. 

  • Alki Resident April 20, 2016 (6:22 pm)

    Whats next? All gender showers?

    • WSB April 20, 2016 (6:44 pm)

      Haven’t heard a push for that yet but in the meantime, showering is something that can be skipped if people aren’t comfortable. Using the restroom isn’t.

    • Be Respectful? April 20, 2016 (9:55 pm)

      A solution to gender-binary showers would be great! The idea that a person who does not feel comfortable using a gender-binary-centric restroom should be able to feel comfortable and SAFE when going pee isn’t ridiculous. To marginalize and mock a person’s right to feel safe and comfortable is toxic and disrespectful. I’m so proud of the members of WSHS’s GSA and I think it’s shocking that so few schools have taken part in this.

    • AGio April 24, 2016 (12:19 pm)

      Relax, don’t let your fear or hate breed more ignorance . 

      Perhap be proud of these young students showing compassion for their fellow classmates.

  • Are you kidding? April 20, 2016 (6:28 pm)

    I’m feeling flushed with pride for our West Seattle students!

  • jkpatman April 20, 2016 (6:34 pm)

    very proud of all of you for having this goal and working to get it a reality!

  • Batgirl April 20, 2016 (7:53 pm)

    Love this – well done WSHS students!

  • HappyOnAlki April 20, 2016 (8:22 pm)

    Good for the kids! Gives one hope for the future!

  • justme April 20, 2016 (9:35 pm)

    Awesome! Nice going. I love the advocacy skills and concern of this young generation!

  • Mr. F. April 20, 2016 (10:02 pm)

    I am proud of the WSHS  students  in establishing this, and of my former students (even if I was just a sub) Riley, Ally and Sammy for refuting the closed-mindedness of Ryan the troll on Twitter.

  • Gunner April 20, 2016 (10:23 pm)

    Thanks to these awesome students for expanding safety for all! 

  • Jane Stagg April 20, 2016 (10:50 pm)

    Dear Students of WSHS Gay Straight Alliance. You are an inspiration to us all. This is a perfect example of how to stand up for what you believe in with real action and not just words. There are no limits to what you are able to achieve with this kind of love and compassion. We should all be taking notes from these kids.  I am in awe. 

  • Ally F April 20, 2016 (11:04 pm)

    Thank you Mr. F! And thank you to all of you who have been so enthusiastic and supportive of this huge milestone. As our coordinator, Brennon, told the West Seattle Blog, we have been researching, organizing and advocating for this bathroom (for the last 2 years!) so after this long and drawn-out process, I am so estastic that there is an all-gender bathroom. We knew we would face ignorance for this choice, but it is for the students. Those who are transgender, non-binary, gender non-conforming, ANY of our students have the opportunity to use this bathroom to pee in peace. Using the bathroom while feeling comfortable and safe should not be a privilege, it should be guaranteed to all students. 

    I cannot wait to move forward and begin planning to present our all-gender bathroom idea (implementing at least one all-gender bathroom into each school) to the Seattle School Board. 

    Thank you all for your support and I hope you all will continue to support WSHS and any other schools that wish to follow suit. 

  • pam April 21, 2016 (7:37 am)

    So proud of you all!! Much love and gratitude for your hard work and pioneering efforts- inspirational!! If you would like a crowd to support you and this idea when you present to the school board, please let our community know. THANK YOU!!! 

  • Richard April 21, 2016 (7:41 am)

    That’s amazing. so proud of those kids for stepping up. I went to that school in the late 80’s and considering how homophobic bullying was RAMPANT during that time, this is amazing.

  • sc April 21, 2016 (8:25 am)

    “Never tell a young person that anything cannot be done. God may have been waiting centuries for someone ignorant enough of the impossible to do that very thing.”

    G. M. Trevelyan

  • Mr. vP April 21, 2016 (9:05 am)

    Well done WSHS! As others have said, you activism is an inspiration to us all and I hope your presentation to the school board is successful. I’d love to see something similar occur at Roosevelt High School. It would be nice if the change occurred without being district mandated, but either way, it would be a huge step forward.

  • Mom and Dad of a WSHS student April 21, 2016 (10:25 am)

    Thank you Principal Ruth Medsker, and the teachers, counselors, administrators, staff and GSA leaders at WSHS.  Families like ours are sincerely and deeply grateful for the many ways you support your LGBTQ students,  and for your advocacy on behalf of our children.  

  • Noelle April 21, 2016 (10:28 am)

    Way to go, Westside! As a 3rd generation WSHS graduate and mother of a transgender child, I’m thrilled to hear about this!

  • Michelle C April 21, 2016 (10:56 am)

    This is wonderful! Great job, WS students! And thanks for reporting this, WSB!

  • Katherine M. April 22, 2016 (2:45 pm)

    Single-stall restrooms are advantageous no matter what the situation. They’re helpful if someone has a mobility impairment/uses a wheelchair, has a small child to change and needs a sink in the bathroom, etc. More restrooms need the private combination of a toilet and sink in the same cubicle. And the space is just labelled “restroom/toilet” with no gender identification. More usable that way. Because a lot of what’s been labelled as “men/women” has been a space with a toilet and sink without any other defining features anyway.

  • Friend April 28, 2016 (10:27 pm)


  • Aubra April 29, 2016 (7:06 pm)

    Love this!  Great job everyone:)

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