By Genny Beemyn, Ph.D.
Are you working to increase the number of gender inclusive/all-gender restrooms on your campus? Have you thought about the use of language, signage, and privacy/safety? The following list is a quick rundown of “dos” and “don’ts” for creating the ideal gender inclusive restroom.
- Restrooms should be wheelchair accessible and have changing tables, and the signage should indicate these facts.
- Signage should be in Braille.
- Restroom signs should say “all-gender restroom” or just “restroom” and not “gender-neutral restroom” (the point is to be inclusive, not to “neutralize” gender), “unisex restroom” (which literally means “one sex”), or “family restroom” (these restrooms are not just for families).
- Restroom signs should not use the male and female stick figures (which leaves out non-binary people), the half-male/half-female stick figure (most trans people do not see themselves as between male and female), or the trans symbol (these restrooms are not just for trans people).
- If any symbol is used (beyond the wheelchair symbol for accessible restrooms), it should be a toilet symbol.
- All restrooms that have a single set of fixtures (a toilet or a toilet and urinal), should be made gender-inclusive by removing the urinal and changing the signage from “men’s room” or “women’s room” to “restroom” or “all-gender restroom.”
- Each stall should be floor to ceiling to ensure privacy (selfie sticks could be used otherwise), which means that each stall needs ventilation and a sprinkler.
- Each stall should include a toilet (not a urinal) and have some means to indicate that the stall is occupied or unoccupied.
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