Genderless toilets: more benefits for the entire population
More and more institutions are committed to eliminating gender segregation in public toilets. Girona has announced that municipal toilets will not be segregated by gender and more inclusive with the LGTBI community, especially with trans people. They have already begun to change the signs with pictograms in some public toilets.
It is not the first city to carry out such an initiative. For example, in 2018, the City Council of Madrid installed unisex and usable public restrooms for people with physical disabilities. Similar is the case of Castellón, which in 2021 expanded the network of public toilets, also mixed and adapted for people with reduced mobility. Or the Inesperadxs project in Zaragoza. In HuelvaIn 2016, the Consistory rehabilitated the toilets in Parque de Las Palomas, eliminating gender segregation.
The bathroom as a hostile space
«The male-female bathroom is one of the places where trans and non-binary people face constant discrimination. It is a space in which what usually happens is that people do not believe that their lives are possible and question what they are”, summarizes the trans sociologist Luke Platero, who admits having lived through situations like this.
Exclusionary comments are frequent and add to myanger of surprise or rejection, to arm grabs or the impossibility of passing because the person stands in front. Situations that usually happen to people who do not fit into the male-female binary, who are transiting and their features are visible or whose aesthetic does not respond to what is traditionally considered feminine or masculine.
Kathryn H Anthony, researcher and professor of Architecture at the University of Illinois, explains in newtral that "gender-separated toilets can be hostile spaces where trans people are at risk of sexual assault and assault”. And he adds that “historically they have been places where discrimination based on race, ethnicity, disability and sexual orientation has also occurred".
Safe and diverse restrooms
The solution is through redesign these spaces to be inclusive and safe for all people. Unisex restrooms make it easier for trans and other gender non-conforming people to access. They also have other benefits such as reducing waiting time, especially for those who use toilets designed for women.
Promoting that there is no distinction at the entrance to the toilet based on gender identity is a step forward to avoid discrimination, according to activists, transgender people. The ideal is that there is no type of gender signage, only that it is indicated that they are bathrooms and that safety is guaranteed for anyone.