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Seattle, where ‘restrooms are available and safe for all’

Seattle’s LGBTQ task force convened to help fight hate crimes on Capitol Hill is approaching the problems of bias and inequality from all angles. In one of the first recommendations from the 30-member committee, Mayor Ed Murray’s office has proposed legislation that would require all single-occupancy restrooms in the city to be available as all-gender facilities.

“This legislation is a powerful and appropriate step in serving the needs of our time and place,” Marsha Botzer, founding member and secretary of Equal Rights Washington, former chair of the National LGBTQ Task Force, and founder of the Ingersoll Gender Center, said in the City Hall announcement.

The proposed legislation “would require all City-controlled and privately operated places of public accommodation to designate existing or future single-occupant restrooms as allgender facilities. All existing City-controlled single-occupant restrooms (across all City departments, from City Hall to Parks) will be re-signed to conform to this new standard.”

On Capitol Hill, the new proposed signage won’t likely require many changes at local businesses where most bathrooms — including a few of the multiple-occupancy variety — might already be considered fully in compliance.

“The transgender community deserves the dignity and respect that most people take for granted,” Murray said in the announcement. “That’s why Seattle is building upon our history of being one of the most welcoming cities in the world by ensuring restrooms are available and safe for all.”

Friday night, the third annual Seattle Trans* Pride rally and march takes place starting at Cal Anderson. Organizers estimated a few thousand people participated in the 2014 rally and march on Broadway.


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13 thoughts on “Seattle, where ‘restrooms are available and safe for all’

  1. It’s weird that anybody would have a problem with this. My god, just grow up. It seems like most dressing rooms in clothing stores aren’t gender segregated these days, so I don’t really see what the big deal is.

  2. I love it. I’m a man that used to cross dress regularly (note: not drag, just cross dressing) and some of the more awkward moments in my life involved using the men’s room and awkwardly waiting for a stall so I could pull down my skirt or whatever the case was. I always thought how much simpler it would be if I could just use the women’s room. I love this step. All-gender facilities are a super winning approach

  3. Gee, I guess I’m just old fashioned. I don’t want to share a bathroom with a men no matter how they’re dressed. It’s a girl thing. Don’t like it in the gym locker room either. People with babies use “family bathrooms”. They’re not complaining.

    • Well, since you apparently didn’t bother actually reading anything other than the headline, you missed the fact that it will only apply to single occupant bathrooms. So you won’t be sharing the bathroom with anyone.

  4. Great news and way overdue. This also helps with line management – I always feel very silly waiting for a single stall restroom for the proper gender if the other one is open. And also silly barging in to the restroom designated for the other gender.

    Big win for everyone.

    • Yeah, it’s never made sense to me that if the men’s bathroom is available and the women’s isn’t, I’d have to stand around and wait. Depending on the place, I’d use the men’s anyway.

  5. Not against this in principle, but one longstanding beef I have about single-gender facilities is that men often don’t lift the seat when going #1 and leave a wet, messy seat that has to be cleaned off before a woman can use it. (Gas stations are the absolute worst.) A lot of women complain when men don’t put the seat down after they’re done, but I’m not one of them. I’m just grateful when they put it up!

    • Starbucks already has single use genderless bathrooms. This is not a big deal. Why not just put a sign up that says toilet and leave the gender thing out of it. I’ve also seen some pretty sloppy toilet seats left by women who hover so don’t blame it all on guys.

  6. I’m all for equality but I don’t want to look at the hideousness that is a men’s urinal and deal with a dirty toilet seat left up as well as piss everywhere. Put the seat down gents!

  7. Seriously – Seattle is losing its mind. “A right to crap anywhere” is right at the top of the city government’s agenda with having our garbage inspected by the garbage men. (Oh, sorry, garbage “persons”.) Remember that story from the past several months?

    What about the frikin’ Bertha thing???? It got two feet and broke. What happens when it breaks down where it can’t be dug out? That thing is a debacle and is going to cost a zillion dollars. Who’s gonna pay for it?? A fraction of the cost of that ridiculousness could pay for public toilets on every street corner in the city!

    I’m being sarcastic obviously – but come on. This city has got more important things to spend money on. (Or not spend money on! :) )

  8. This will not solve that much of the problem:

    1) These are single-occupancy bathrooms. Meaning, only one person inside. Not much of a problem when only one person is allowed inside.

    2) The real problem lies when there are non-single occupancy bathrooms, labeled Male and Female. This will not be addressed by this ‘so called solution.’

    3) Not all females are going to like this. A men’s bathroom can get pretty dirty and some men are a little careless, especially with the toilet seat.

    So the question is, Mayor, instead of these ‘statements’ you are making, how about addressing the entire problem?