Who knew public restrooms were so controversial?
An Aug. 31 Raleigh News and Observer article titled “Students Rally for Gender-Neutral Johns” focused on the efforts of three N.C. State students who are pushing to have new gender-neutral bathrooms installed in campus buildings. Foregoing gender-specific restrooms, the students say, would make things more comfortable for transgender people. And adding the nonspecific facilities would reduce the long lines that tend to form outside of ladies’ rooms.
The article mentions a Web site, safe2pee.org, which was created by an unofficial group called the “Bathroom Liberation Front.” It lists, and plots, gender-neutral restrooms in 280 different cities, including directions, details and accessibility of the johns. Some entries even include comments (“They actually have 2 gender-neutral restrooms in this restaurant!” reads the rave review of the facilities at Rosetta’s Kitchen, the only Asheville listing.)
The University of Vermont and UNC-Chapel Hill are just two of at least 17 universities across the country that have committed to installing gender-neutral restrooms. The students at N.C. State are seeking to join them.
— Rebecca Bowe, contributing editor