A Buzz Feed article stated that a question that people should not ask a transgender person is which bathroom they use. Perhaps, however, rather than going around telling people that it is a question to avoid asking, it’s time to ask why people are asking that question.
The answer is simple: People still need to be educated about why queer and transgender people need unisex or gender neutral toilets. With gendered toilets in existence, or with the stereotypical teachings telling them that only people of certain genders (which people tend to associate with genitals) can enter those toilets, this question gives queer and transgender people a chance to explain.
Gendered toilets mean more than segregation based on genitalia. Toilets are a symbol of how queer and transgender people have needs that are not being met. Queer and transgender people, unlike those who associate themselves with binary gender identities, are seldom acknowledged or understood in so many cases. They need to go to a toilet they can feel comfortable in, just like every other person in society. If a gendered person can have gendered toilets, why can’t queer and transgender people have unisex or gender-neutral toilets?
I implore any person who is queer or transgender not to pass on a chance to educate people about what it’s like to go to a gendered toilet and not feel welcome or comfortable about it. People who are transgender know better than anyone who isn’t transgender about being transgender. They are the people who can educate non-transgender people about what it’s like to live as a transgender person.
Once information becomes more widespread and it becomes general knowledge, maybe people will never have to ask the question about toilets to another queer and transgender person again. Maybe people will begin to understand why queer and transgender people need unisex or gender-neutral toilets. We will be one step closer to our aim of being acknowledged and respected in society.
Want to educate? This is your chance. Write to us and tell us your story.