Going to the bathroom as a cisgender person, someone whose gender identity matches their sex assigned at birth, is just another everyday activity that too many folks take for granted. For trans* and genderqueer folks, using public bathrooms can be a harrowing experience with the potential for violence.
Refuge Restroom is a free open-source web app that lets folks search for gender-neutral and accessible washrooms based on whatever city they’re in. The creators are looking for other developers to help work on the app and for folks to add listings of accessible/trans-friendly washrooms, so spread the word!
The old grassroots website that was known for helping folks find accessible bathrooms was safe2pee. Although the site is now changing hands and is not as regularly updated, there are still awesome resources for activists in their archive.
Recently, the gendered bathroom divide has been popularized by the private member’s bill C-279 — the latest reincarnation of a legacy of bills trying to add gender identity into the Criminal Code and Human Rights Act since 2005. This would give trans* folks explicit protection against discrimination. This time, the bill has made it to the Senate and is past first reading.
Conservative MPs have taken issue with the bill, dubbing it the “Bathroom Bill.” Transphobic politicians and organizations continue to demonize trans* people as potential predators when in reality, trans* people are the ones who are more likely to be assaulted when they use public washrooms.
Access to safe washrooms isn’t a privilege — it is a basic human right that can create barriers for trans* folk from fully participating in public life. Use this guide to Peeing in Peace by the Transgender Law Centre to organize for more gender-neutral bathrooms in your workplace, schools and community centres.
When it comes down to it, we all just need to pee.
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