Boarding Schools Designate New ‘All Gender’ Dorms

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Amber Randall Civil Rights Reporter
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Two elite boarding schools will create “all gender” dorms starting this fall in an effort to be more inclusive.

Phillips Exeter Academy plans to turn some of their single-sex dorms into gender neutral housing, NPR reported Wednesday. Usually boys and girls remain in separate dorms, but the new gender neutral housing will allow them to live together.

“Consistently, what came up as ‘what needs work’ was housing,” Alex Myers, a transgender English teacher, said of feedback from students on housing. “If you don’t understand yourself to be a girl or a boy, living in a space that’s designated just for boys or just for girls feels really uncomfortable.”

Each student in Exeter’s gender neutral housing will receive his or her own room, but the students will still share a bathroom together. Each dorm will also have a teacher living there to supervise things.

Phillip Andover Academy also plans to incorporate gender neutral housing on their campus.

“Our idea is to bring young people from all over the world, from all walks of life, from all backgrounds — and, frankly, from all gender and sexuality backgrounds” John Palfrey, the school’s head, told NPR. “So I see this as entirely in keeping with our long tradition.”

A Pennsylvania college recently made plans for “queer” housing in the fall. Haverford College will create “QHouse,” which is “queer designated housing” for gay and transgender students. (RELATED:Segregated ‘Queer’ Housing Coming For Haverford College)

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