trans restroom rant 🚽
Many people misinterpret bathroom signs to indicate sex; signs on restroom doors more accurately describe accommodations based on gender. One pattern we observe with regard to gender is that people who use men’s restrooms tend to have stereotypically masculine characteristics (short hair, flat chests, lower pitched voice), and the majority of people who use the women’s restroom tend to have stereotypically feminine characteristics (long hair, developed chest, higher pitched voice). When communities move from a place of acknowledging patterns to enforcing patterns as rules, those who do not fit the pattern are excluded and become ostracized. What might this mean for the cis girl with short hair who loves to wear baggy basketball shorts and hats? And the non-binary teenage boy who wears a dress and wants to touch up his makeup? The point is that when someone reflects something different than the image/word depicted on the sign outside the restroom door, confusion about who belongs and who does not can surface. A clearer explanation that restroom signs exist to indicate a pattern that helps some people to determine the bathroom that most appropriately suits them is needed. Restroom signage should not be the rules, laws, or policies enforcing the separation of people based on their anatomy. It is time for building codes and discrimination policies to account for society’s broader understanding and expression of gender and to address the rights of everyone, regardless of whether or not they fit the pattern.