I was having a discussion about gender-neutral restrooms recently and several questions came up that I would like to answer, or attempt to. A question that many people asked was, “What would gender-neutral restrooms look like?” A valid question I suppose, but honestly, they already exist. There are over 160,000 businesses that have gender-neutral restrooms. Many public places offer single stall restrooms that any gender identity and any gender expression can use. So what about places with a high capacity of people? Well, there would still be stalls, with urinals inside the individual stalls, and they would have a gender neutral sign on them instead of a person with a dress or person without a dress. Think about it, this would be just like how when a person is at a festival or outdoor event and there is a row of portable toilets in a row, and a line with people of all genders and ages lined up. There is no difference, just you can stand in line inside rather than of outside.
“What would the sign even look like?” Um, maybe put a toilet on the sign? Why is this such a concern? There is a great gender-neutral sign that should be used more; it is simple and explanatory. An arbitrary symbol on a restroom sign should not be so difficult, it’s a place to use a toilet, a basic necessity. Slap a picture of a toilet on a sign and I guarantee people will figure it out.
Then a question came up that really struck me. “But I would feel so uncomfortable, like we would need an adjustment period, right?” First of all, how do you think trans people and non-binary people feel every time they need to use the restroom? Using the bathroom is a basic human function. Whether people want to face it or not, non-binary people will need to use the restroom at some point. Also, “I would feel so uncomfortable,” yes, just how trans people feel when they need to “go” in public? What makes your feelings and emotions more valued than a trans person? Almost 60% of trans people avoid public bathrooms because they have once been assaulted or harassed in them. Why wouldn’t we want all people to feel safe when they need to use the restroom? People are so afraid of ambiguity, afraid of feeling uncomfortable because they can’t put people into categories.
I hope that people reading this think twice when they only consider themselves during times of change, so what if you will feel “uncomfortable?” We are improving the human race, get used to it.