All-Gender Bathrooms: Would You Be Comfortable Using One?

Gender Identity

More and more we've seen (and gotten used to) the male and female symbols disappearing from bathroom signs around the country. But many bathrooms that allow men, women and transgender people are single-occupant restrooms. What about gender-neutral multi-stall bathrooms? How would that make you feel?

On Friday, an all-gender bathroom sign at the Parsons School of Design made it on to Humans Of New York, a blog that gives glimpses into the lives of New Yorkers.  The sign, filled with different symbols, reads, "Anyone can use this restroom, regardless of your gender identity or expression."

Brandon, who runs HONY, said on the blog's Facebook page that he hesitated before using it and found it to be an awkward experience. It immediately launched a passionate debate.

From concerns about sexual assualt to the notion that this would create a safer environment for transgender people, an all-inclusive bathroom brings up important issues about gender.

And even smaller ones too — simple things society has grown to know about public restrooms would change forever. No more shorter lines for men, and sneaking away to gossip with your best friend during a double date wouldn't be the same.

Many HONY Facebook fans mentioned these types of bathrooms have been around Europe for a while. But are we ready for this here? Are we too used to gender separation in bathrooms to be OK with this — even if we accept all gender identities?

What do you think about gender-neutral bathrooms? Would you feel comfortable using one?

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