Resources on Promoting Washroom Safety
Arts and Culture About Washroom Safety
Toilet Training is a documentary video and collaboration between transgender videomaker Tara Mateik and the Sylvia Rivera Law Project, an organization dedicated to ending poverty and gender identity discrimination. The video addresses the persistent discrimination, harassment, and violence that people who transgress gender norms face in gender segregated bathrooms. For ordering info see http://srlp.org/films/toilettraining.
It Gets Messy in Here challenges gender assumptions and gender identities of all kinds by delving into the bathroom experiences of masculine identified queer women and transgendered men of color, featuring performance artist D’Lo, Alice Y. Hom, Prentis Hemphil, Megan Benton, Dr. C. RIley Snorton, Jun-Fung Chueh-Mejia, jay-Marie Hill, and Che.
The Queer Bathroom Monologues is a verbatim play about lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans- experiences in Toronto’s public facilities. The stories open our eyes to the secret sex life of the bathroom and to the history of the gendered rooms. You will never look at the toilet the same way after witnessing the tragic and passionate reenactments of life in the water-closet.
Other Schools and What They’re Doing
Oberlin College has developed a policy requiring that all residence halls have a designated number of “E-system” (all-gender) washrooms that is proportionate to the number of washrooms in the building. Every year, students then vote on how to designate the rest of the washrooms. Read the policy here.
McGill University has a student committee that works to advocate for “barrier-free” washrooms, identifying “barrier-free” as referring to “a facility that is wheelchair accessible, single occupancy and fulfills a need instead of a gender designation”. Their student union designed a single-occupancy washroom that read “toilette” on the door, instead of typical “male” and “female” symbols.
New York University’s LGBTQ Student Centre has developed an easy-to-read guide to gender-neutral washrooms on their campus. Check out the guide here.
The University of Arizona has written a policy affirming all students’ right to use the washroom designed for people of their identified gender. While this does not address the fact that many people do not identify within the gender binary, it takes an important step in acknowledging that many barriers to safety are not about architecture and signage, but about attitudes and norms.
The University of Toronto’s Sexual and Gender Diversity Studies Office has compiled a list of single-user washrooms across their campuses.
The University of Western Ontario has officially designated many of their washrooms as gender-neutral, marking them with simple purple signs that read “washroom”.
Has your school been doing work around washroom safety for trans & genderqueer people, and people who don’t fit gender stereotypes? Let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll add it to the list!