Gender-neutral bathrooms a step forward for gender equality

Gender-neutral restrooms are the hot topic right now. Should anyone, regardless of gender, be allowed to use the restroom of their choice, no matter what anatomical figure is welded on the outside of the door?

Beginning in January 2016, some universities such as University of California, Davis have begun to phase out single-stall restrooms and replacing them with gender-neutral restrooms, they have also removed the door plates in favor of neutral ones. Gender Neutral, known also as gender inclusive, restrooms are simply unisex restrooms. They’re characterized as “single-stall, lockable restrooms that provide safe, private facilities for transgender, genderqueer, and gender nonconforming people, families with children, and those with disabilities who may need assistance,” according to Heartland Trans* Wellness Group, an organization dedicated to transgender advocacy.

Single-stall restrooms also more easily meet the accessibility regulations of the Americans with Disabilities Act, allowing for more use for everyone, according to the ADA.

So who will benefit from this change? The answer is simple- anyone that needs to. Gender-neutral restrooms are no less safe than other restrooms. In fact, they may increase privacy among their occupants. Right now many facilities have what are called “family restrooms” that are utilized for just that, families with small children, people with disabilities or people that would like privacy that multi-stall restrooms do not provide.

The cost to convert the single stall restrooms to gender-neutral restrooms is minute as well. It is as simple as exchanging the signs on the door to be non gendered.

There is no forced interaction between the people that use either restroom.

So when people say that they are uncomfortable with gender-neutral restrooms because they fear someone walking in on them or their children, it is most likely stemmed from lack of education and information.

Multi-stall restrooms will remain unchanged and designated to either male or female. It’s the single stall that will be changing.

Before passing judgement on which side that you are on, read up on the subject, even talk to someone from each side of the spectrum. I think you will come to realize that using gender neutral restrooms is more about a safely suggested way of inclusion rather than continued exclusion.