Why We Need Gender Neutral Bathrooms
On Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, there are 5 tiers of things a human needs. One of these tiers is security, and one of the places we feel most secure is in the bathroom. Or is it? For anybody a cisgendered man with no physical or psychological inhibitions, yes. For anyone else, this might become a challenge.
If you use the bathroom anywhere other than home, it is most likely at work or school. Bathrooms in public places such as these are scattered, with one to two per floor, segregated by sex, and contain multiple stalls. This can be a problem for people who don’t conform to the gender binary, along with many others. For many transgender people, they aren’t comfortable using the bathroom that matches their birth sex, but don’t feel safe using either of the two. According to a GLSEN survey of high school students in 2015, over a third of students avoided sex-segregated bathrooms because they felt unsafe or uncomfortable. Over half of trans students reported being forced to use the bathroom of their legal sex, which under Title IX, is illegal for school administrators to do. Students who are transgender are bullied endlessly for being different, and are not welcomed into either bathroom, risking verbal and physical harassment, making gender neutral bathrooms the safest options for these students.
Another group of people that would benefit from more gender neutral bathrooms are people with health conditions such as paruresis or parcopresis, where a person cannot urinate or defecate without a certain amount of privacy, which can vary. In the United States, 7% of people suffer from these conditions. These people, granted the privacy of a private, gender neutral bathroom, would be able to use the bathroom much more comfortab...