Earlier this month I was blessed with the chance to attend a leadership and activist training as well as participate in a day of advocacy at a state level, this was my second year attending this summit and, to be honest, one of my main reasons for returning had nothing to do with the change I could make. I wanted to go so I could spend a weekend surrounded by people who asked for my P.G.P. (Preferred Gender Pronoun), in a place where ALL the bathrooms were gender neutral and where I knew I’d be accepted as I am. When I left I realized just how important having a gender neutral bathroom was, and how often I risked my own health to avoid choosing one or the other, I realized that if I know I’ll be able to make it to a gender neutral bathroom I’ll simply hold it even if I get an infection because of it. I realized how uncomfortable I always am when I have to choose based on biology and I realized that if I feel this way then I can’t be alone.
If someone as self assured as myself is afraid to choose a bathroom based on comfort then how can we expect others to do the same? If someone as confident in their gender as I feels diminished and trapped by the bathroom choice then how must it make those just coming out to themselves feel? And what can we do about it?
I can’t answer about the feelings of others, but I can tell you what you can do; If you find a place with gender neutral bathrooms you can let them know how much it means to people, if you find a business that has gender neutral bathrooms you should choose them over their competitors and if you have a place you feel safe enough suggesting gender neutral bathrooms then you should do it.
Yours in Queerness,