gendered bathrooms are obsolete


Beck Iannucci

TW: suicide, self harm, assault, transphobia

As you may know, laws are in place that requires establishments to have one stall gender-neutral bathrooms. So what does this mean and why should you care?

To start off, you should know that trans people and which bathrooms they use is a debate that has been going on for decades. Many claim that despite not seeing the other person in the stall, they will feel unsafe if that person is trans. There is no way for these people to know if the person is trans. Unless they have pride jewelry or some kind of button, you wouldn´t know. Even if you did, someone else needing to pee has no effect on you.

So now you have cis people that don’t feel safe and trans people that don´t feel safe because they´re being asked to leave or being threatened. This only covers trans men and trans woman. Nonbinary or gender-nonconforming people still need a bathroom. The Trevor Project, a suicide hotline for queer people, found that in 2020, 61% of trans and nonbinary people weren´t able to use the bathroom. More than half of these people falling under the trans umbrella weren´t able to use the restroom along with over 60% of trans and nonbinary youth committing self-harm in the past year. These two statistics are directly related. Hate and opposition have a huge effect on mental health. Having a gender-neutral bathroom doesn’t just save trans people from physical assault, it also helps our mental wellbeing. Taking this step would help to guarantee the safety of customers, students, and workers.

Some cis people worry that they would be targeted by someone pretending to be trans in a bathroom. The thing is, a cis person that tells you they are cis is just as dangerous. You can still be harmed as a cis person in a bathroom by another cis person. Having one-stall restrooms would stop assault against cis people too and stop trans people from being the scapegoat for cis crimes.

It also means fewer costs for the establishment. Fewer bathrooms mean less to clean and maintain. Accompanying this, there is often a debate on which restrooms should have tampons and pads. By having a neutral bathroom we can get rid of the conflict altogether. It would also mean that trans men are not targeted when they require these resources.

In conclusion, having a genderneutral bathroom stops arguments about products, and making it one stall stops a good chunk of violence.