DC On a Mission To Make All Single-Stall Public Bathrooms Gender Neutral

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Examples of gender neutral restroom labeling that comply to D.C.'s regulations. (photo credit: DC Office of Human Rights)

Examples of gender neutral restroom labeling that comply to D.C.’s regulations. (photo credit: DC Office of Human Rights)

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LANHAM, Md. (WNEW) — The D.C. Office of Human Rights wants city residents to participate in its effort to make all public single-stall restrooms in the District gender neutral.

Gender neutral bathrooms are already required by law in D.C. businesses, but apparently many are unaware of the issue, officials say.

The Office of Human Rights is asking anyone who spots a one-stall bathroom labeled for exclusive use men or women to tweet them (@DCHumanRights) with the business name and location or fill out a form on their website.

They say the initiative is important for several reasons.

“Bathrooms without a designated gender benefit a variety of individuals who are not comfortable or who face mistreatment when accessing gender-specific bathrooms,” according to a news release.

This includes transgender and gender non-conforming people, people with disabilities and people with children of the opposite sex.

“Transgender and gender non-conforming people often face stress, anxiety and mistreatment when accessing the gendered bathroom that is appropriate for them,” the department says. “Providing access to a private, non-gendered stall can reduce or even eliminate this burden.”

As for people with disabilities and parents, those with personal attendants or children of a different gender can encounter problems or misunderstanding when using gender-specific restrooms.

Even if a person does not fall into these categories, gender-neutral bathrooms can be useful for anyone.

“We’ve all waited outside an occupied bathroom while the bathroom for the gender we don’t identify with was empty,” the department’s release says. “Gender-neutral bathrooms are more efficient, allowing you to avoid that unnecessary wait.”

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