3 Reasons Why Your Event Space Needs All-Gender Restrooms

Example of all-gender bathroom signage.
Example of all-gender bathroom signage.
Photo: WebstaurantStore

1. Every attendee of your event deserves to feel safe. Safety for transgender or gender-nonconforming people should be the highest priority when thinking about all-gendered restrooms for your events. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, transgender folks experience high rates of violence and victimization in their day-to-day. This risk can become even higher in gendered spaces like restrooms where, according to the largest survey taken of transgender people in the United States, “almost 60 percent of transgender Americans have avoided using public restrooms for fear of confrontation, saying they have been harassed and assaulted.” -New York Reuters (study conducted by National Center for Transgender Equality)

2. All-gender bathrooms are family-friendly! They not only foster equality for trans-identified people they also make care-taking easier, allowing parents to more easily take care of children that may be of a different gender. For individuals with disabilities, caretakers of a different gender would be able to more freely attend to their needs. These facilities promote greater equality for families and caretakers who aren't limited to gender-conforming roles while ensuring the safety of those who may be at risk.

3. Time efficiency. We've all been there. Scrambling out of a two-hour-long session or workshop to use the restroom only to find an unreasonably long line. A study of all-gender restrooms points to statistics showing the different average restroom visit times for men and women. The move to all-gender restrooms would essentially have minimal impact on men and decrease women's waiting time substantially. In regard to event spaces, the effects are dramatic—less congestion in event hallways, greater comfort for women-identifying attendees who have less of a wait in line, and greater access to restrooms.

On a logistical level, all-gender restrooms are also more time-efficient. Particularly in spaces where temporary restrooms are being added, such as outdoor festivals, one would no longer have to make available more restrooms than necessary. The time it would take to design two binary gender spaces is cut in half—and time is money.

According to California law AB 1732, every single-occupancy restroom (even the one in your own home) is an all-gender restroom. The safety and ease of your attendees could be dramatically increased with the introduction of all-gender restrooms.

Shift is a Los Angeles-based diversity and inclusion consulting firm and a sexual harassment prevention training company. It consults and trains on topics such as implicit bias, solidarity building, Gender 101, and corporate sexual harassment prevention. Contact us at shiftingculture.co.