I’m writing to express my concern about the way the article “Not your parent’s dorm room” portrayed the people and the arguments in favor of a gender-neutral housing (GNH) option at Princeton. As one of the authors of — and an early and vocal advocate for — the new GNH policy, I have not encountered anyone who has portrayed GNH as an exclusively lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender issue. Those of us who have been working to establish a gender-neutral option for upperclass students living in Spelman always have framed GNH as something applicable to all students, whatever their sexual orientation or gender identity. Simply put, college juniors and seniors are adults, and therefore should be capable of choosing their own roommates, regardless of gender.
By using language like “LGBT advocates are driving the spread of gender-neutral, presenting it as a civil-rights campaign for the transgender,” Mr. Maynard is vastly distorting what is at stake where GNH is concerned. Of course, having a housing option that does not take gender into account is likely to be a good thing for LGBT students — but it’s also likely to be a good thing for everyone. GNH is not some sort of LGBT conspiracy; it’s simply further evidence of Princeton’s admirable ability to change with the times and to embrace what has already become common sense at many of its peer institutions.