There have been many stories in the news recently about trans people having to fight for the right to use the restroom of their choosing. The choice seems simple… they should use the bathroom that fits in with their gender identity. But for others, the choice is not so certain. Many people have suggested a seemingly radical idea: to have unisex bathrooms that would not exclude anyone.
The upside to having unisex bathrooms would be that anyone could go in, and it wouldn’t cause any awkward run-ins or double-takes, or hateful and hurtful discrimination that can sometimes happen in this situation. It seems like an obvious solution, if trans people can’t just use the bathroom of their choosing. This is an especially good idea for people with a more fluid gender identity, who may not always identify as the same gender from day to day. To go a step further, trans advocates are promoting individual unisex bathrooms as an even greater safety measure.
Some opposition to this idea comes from people who wonder how these restrooms would be labelled. Would the sign have half a man and half a woman? The answer lies in many small businesses that only have one washroom: a simple sign that says “restroom” or a sign that depicts an image of a toilet. It’s a lame argument that some say is just masking transphobia.
Many public institutions such as schools, universities and hospitals already have a special bathroom for transgender people to use if they feel uncomfortable using regular facilities. Some schools give trans students a key to the unisex restroom, so only they have access to it, and know they can use it in peace! Other places leave it open to anyone who might want to use it. Using the restroom is a basic human need, and everyone should feel like they have a safe and peaceful place to relieve themselves.