The gender binary is so 2015.
In a release statement calling for the "most comprehensive law in the nation," Supervisor David Campos is leading the charge to "increase bathroom access for transgender people, women, frail seniors, and people with disabilities," by declaring that all single-person restrooms in San Francisco businesses and city buildings be designated as "All Gender."
The move represents contemporary thinking on gender pluralism and inclusivity, and with plenty of support, it might not be long before we're all using all gender bathrooms.
“My reaction when I first learned about this issue," Campos tells the Chronicle, "was '‘Why aren’t we doing this already?'” Even City Hall is dotted with single-person single-gender restrooms, and that would change, though multi-stall restrooms would still carry gender designations.
Washington, DC has had such a law since 2006, and now Berkeley, West Hollywood, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Austin have followed suit. As a mechanism for ensuring that businesses are in compliance, the public would be encouraged to notify the Human Rights Commission of violations with the Department of Building Inspection able to levy fines.
The preferred terminology "All Gender" as opposed to the popular "Gender Neutral" distinction "recognizes the diversity of gender rather than to neutralize[s] it" according to Sasha Buchert, a staff attorney at the Transgender Law Center.
The Golden Gate Restaurant Association is in support, it says. “A lot of restaurants are going the route of unisex restrooms,” according to executive director Gwyneth Borden. “It’s actually a lot easier. How many times have you seen a line at the ladies’ room and not the men’s room?”
“For too long in K through 12, we have asked every single student to conform to one or the other binary,” Samuel Bass, the principal of San Francisco's Miraloma Elementary School, told the New York Times of the school's move to All Gender bathrooms. “We had several students on the gender spectrum, and decided it was the right thing to do. It doesn’t affect other students. Children don’t know gender norms until we as adults teach them. With any change, parents have questions. When they realize that it’s just like it is at home, it’s not a big deal.”
Supervisor Mark Farrell, a co-sponsor of the legislation, adds that “Equal rights and equal access should apply to restrooms just like everywhere else.”