‘A fundamental human rights issue’
A group of activists at the University of Utah recently conducted an audit of campus bathrooms there, cataloguing the setup of restrooms in order to identify “where you can go to pee without people harassing you.”
The “Bathroom Bonanza” is an effort to “map and audit restrooms where any individual, but particularly transgender students, may feel more comfortable and safe,” The Salt Lake Tribune reported.
“It’s surprising how often bathrooms are needlessly gendered,” The Tribune reports one student auditor as saying. “…There are more than two genders. To think we can capture it all in two bathrooms, that’s foolish.”
Another referred to single-stall bathroom usage as “a fundamental human rights issue.” A third said that single-sex restrooms are an “unnecessary barrier.”
From the report:
The U. has about 200 single-stall restrooms on campus. Even in those spaces, though, a lot of the signs still have a stick figure of a man or woman. Just a handful, like the one in the education building, say “UNISEX.”
The resource center has partnered with the U.’s Facilities Management to do the inventory and then, when it’s done, to perhaps update the signs to be uniform and gender neutral. If they’re installed, the new signs will just say “RESTROOM…”
The “Bathroom Bonanza” project launched in August after several individuals reported feeling frustrated over the lack of gender-inclusive restrooms at the LoveLoud Festival, an event created to raise awareness of at-risk LGBT youths, which was held at the U.’s Rice-Eccles Stadium this summer.
Volunteers “will continue cataloguing [the bathrooms] periodically” after the initial project is over, the paper reported.
IMAGE: TheGiantVerim / Flickr.com
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Author: Daniel Payne – Assistant Editor
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