This is an amazing initiative. At Bishop’s, it took nearly two years to have all single stall bathrooms designated as gender neutral.
I believe that I am going to participate in this challenge, or attempt to do so as much as I can. Thankfully, at work and at my internship there are gender neutral washrooms. At the Centre for Creative Communications, I suppose I would have to use the wheelchair accessible washroom on the first floor but I will only be on-campus until Friday.
Just in thinking where I can find gender neutral washrooms at restaurants and bars becomes difficult. It would be a challenge for a month but decidedly worth it if it raises just a small piece of awareness or increases my compassion and understanding.
Join the Facebook event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/209510742488108/
The challenge: Don’t use any gendered bathrooms or change rooms for the month of April. (click on the link to read more/join the event!)
What are “gendered bathrooms”? Gendered bathrooms are designated for “men” or “women” by a sign. This challenge includes ALL multi-stall and single-stall washrooms, and the bathrooms at work, schools, libraries, bars/restaurants, and everywhere, really.
There are multiple purposes for this challenge:
1) To give people who don’t find going to gendered bathrooms a difficult/unsafe experience a small idea of what it is like for trans and gender variant people to navigate this world. Hopefully, with some real life experience, you will have a broader understanding of how gendered this world really is. But,
DOING THIS DOES NOT GIVE YOU AUTHORITY TO SAY WHAT IT IS LIKE TO BE TRANS OR GENDER VARIANT.
2) To inspire people to fight for more gender neutral bathrooms.
- Don’t drink a lot of liquid if you are leaving the house for long periods of time
- Try to figure out where some gender neutral bathrooms are in your town/city, and plan your day around using a gender neutral bathroom.
- Remember, you can use gendered bathrooms again in May. Some people can’t.
And, even if you really have to go to the bathroom, try to not see gendered bathrooms as a possible place to go.
If you are interested, feel free to write your experiences down and send them to gnbchallenge (at) gmail (.com). With your permission, they will be included in a zine on the topic of gendered bathrooms.
We also recommend fighting for gender neutral bathrooms in one (or more) public space(s). Often the fight for this aspect of bathroom accessibility is only fought for by trans and gender variant people; It would be nice if other people fought for it too.
Spread the word yall + participate. I pretty much only use gender neutral washrooms now, and it’s really shitty sometimes since they can be hard to find. I would love more solidarity on this issue and understanding and support when I feel scared or need a buddy when using gendered washrooms.