Traditional male and female toilets as we know them could soon be a thing of the past.
Where we go to the toilet has become a bit political and some people are confused. Work places, bars and schools around the world are starting to introduce non-binary bathrooms. As with most things, this has caused mixed emotions.
The potential take-over of mixed bathrooms could aid the common issue of transgender people being told they are using the ‘wrong’ toilet.
The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan has voiced his aims to increase the amount of gender-neutral toilets throughout the city. This is following the snowballing amount of cases of transgender people receiving both verbal and physical abuse down to their choice of bathroom.
The blueprint for London won’t only affect transgender people but also disabled people, older people and families with young children. The idea is bathrooms should be accessible for all users. Khan has voiced his fears that Londoners and people coming into the city aren’t being provided with the best facilities.
Here at Canterbury Christchurch University we actually have a ‘gender-neutral’ toilet. Although this is merely just a unisex toilet with little sign-posting and some may not actually be aware, this is a step in the right direction.
One of the most popular Canterbury nightclubs ‘Steinbeck and Shaw’ has also recently implemented a gender-neutral toilet following an incident that Resident Drag Host, Dean Heckley claimed they recently overlooked. Similar to many incidents up and down the country at the moment, a female transitioning to a male was questioned by other partygoers.
Heckley added, “Just by going down to Brighton and a few bars in London you now come across gender neutral toilets which I feel is a huge step forward in society.”
People online have understandably mixed opinions…
Dear transgender women,
I’ll always be comfortable sharing a bathroom with you, & I’ll pass toilet paper under the stall if you need it.
— Megan Peterson 📖 (@MeganNCPeterson) February 24, 2017
Male and female toilet signs being changed cause they could offend transgender people. Sorry but you’re either a bloke or a bird either way
— ƬӨM (@MrTC16) January 6, 2017
Can you imagine being so unhappy, that you actually care what toilet a transgender human shits in
— kimmy flux (@kimmyflux) February 24, 2017
The risk of mixing separate gender toilets is that people are not currently used to sharing public toilets with people of the same gender, even though the majority of people will share their home bathrooms with members of family of different sexes.
People often need time to get used to things before they become the ‘norm’. I believe the need to become gender neutral could completely change the way we use public toilets.