Saturday, July 16, 2016

What is the Message?

South Burlington, VT

I previously posted this picture from BTV.  They changed the sign from "Family Restroom" to "Gender Neutral".  It is a third choice after Men and Women.  It also seems to retract the multiple occupancy implied by the former FAMILY sign.

Now, here is a second and worse example from Perkins Pier in Burlington.  They added this decal sign below the MENs room sign.  But the second photo shows that the WOMENs room is still reserved for women only.   How is that different from North Carolina?  Will Burlington have an ID officer with rubber gloves ready to certify the gender of people wanting to use the women's room?

Ridiculous.  Worse, by making transgenders choose a third kind of room, that singles them out.  It is like wearing a scarlet letter. The only truly neutral choice for labeling all restrooms is the simple sign RESTROOM.

Also ridiculous is the almost total absence in the press accounts about the more difficult part of that infamous North Carolina law; locker rooms and showers.   Why?  Because I believe that almost all of us can agree that there is nothing wrong with unisex rest rooms, but when it comes to changing rooms and showers, the majority holds the opposite view.   When will we allow high school boys to shower with the girls if they want to do so?  Answer: not in my lifetime.

So where do transgenders change and shower?  That question has no simple answer, no discrimination intended.  If we push that question to the limit, the only possible universal solution is to remodel our buildings to make private single occupant unisex changing/shower rooms.  Then the signs on the door can say simply SHOWER.

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