Archive for Sunday, March 29, 2015

New ‘all gender’ restroom signs at KU rec center welcome all

March 29, 2015


If you are not a woman, and you are not a man — or at least don’t identify yourself as either — which public restroom do you go in?

At Kansas University’s Ambler Student Recreation Fitness Center you can avoid the conundrum by choosing one of the newly labeled “all gender” restrooms.

Graduate student Hugo Macías Jr. led an effort to put new signs — which are temporary for now, with permanent ones on the way, he said — outside three single-occupancy restrooms at the rec center.

One is an ADA-accessible changing room with a shower and toilet previously labeled simply as a changing room, he said. The other two are in the administrative area; one was labeled women and the other men.

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“If you ever have a guest or student looking for a gender-neutral restroom and they’re labeled as men and women ... well, that puts them in a curious situation,” Macías said. “They’re single-use, they’re private, why not change them to be labeled as gender neutral to be more inclusive?”

Macías said being more “intentional” about the wording would make the facility more inviting for people who identify as gender-neutral or ambiguous.

Macías, who describes himself as an ally trying to support gender-neutral students, is a second-year master’s student in higher education administration who currently has an internship at the rec center.

The rec center restrooms are the latest to join a campuswide list of more than 20 other similar single-occupancy, lockable restrooms identified as not gender-specific.

KU’s Center for Sexuality and Gender Diversity lists those restrooms — many of which are signed as family restrooms — on its website at

“We are particularly concerned in offering these restrooms to those individuals who are transgender or gender-queer, those with disabilities who have an attendant of a different sex/gender, and parents with young children of another sex/gender,” the website states.

The signs on the rec center restrooms picture a traditional restroom-sign male figure, female figure, wheelchair figure and a new figure — a combination of the male and female figures, with a skirt on just one side. Small print beneath them explains that anyone is welcome to use the restroom.

Macías said when the new signs at the rec center hit social media, they got a positive response.

“People are excited about this,” he said. “It’s the little things that count.”

None by Hugo Macias, Jr.


Fred Whitehead Jr. 3 years ago

And I thought I had seen it all? Geeeezzzzzz!

David Holroyd 3 years ago

Macias is correct. " it's the little thing that counts"!

Fred, how little does the thing have to be to count?

Andy Anderson 3 years ago

This is great news. I can hardly wait to use it.

Renee Patrick 3 years ago

In function, this isn't really that much different from the family restroom concept. Mixed gender, alternate gender, or single gender individual or individuals can enter those restrooms, and no one fusses much about those.

Rick Masters 3 years ago

They're out to get you, Fred. They're gonna stomp all over your rights. They're spraying us with the bad chemicals!

Leslie Swearingen 3 years ago

That's what I was thinking Fred, call it a restroom and call it good. I would think that more important would be a sign in Braile to guide sight impaired people. As long as it is a single user bathroom what could it possibly matter?

Chase Blackwood 3 years ago

Hey people, did the big bad mean $15 sign hurt your feeeelings?

Scott Quenette 3 years ago

Why is it so bad to make people feel included? Just because you have an easy time with your gender identity doesn't mean everyone does. We should take more steps to show that people don't need to feel like an outsider.

That said, expect the Kansas Legislature to fast track a law against this.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 3 years ago

Well, Leslie, yeah. What a non-issue! To determine your gender (it is a physical thing, anyone need look no further than "down"). Any of this "gender" stuff is just more fluff and flounce that some folks dream up to cause some discomfort, or disinformation or whatever. I don't know. I can easily tell the "gender" of my pet cats, who is my "little sweetheart" and who is my "good buddy". It is very easy.

However the university wants to treat this "non-issue" is just great with me. I have no trouble in finding an appropriate restroom to use. If others do, well I can offer no information other than what I have offered above. Vive la difference!!!!

Fred Whitehead Jr. 3 years ago

I just noticed the "half man-half woman" sign. NOW I have SEEN it all!!!!!!!

Bob Reinsch 3 years ago

Fred, you seem a little out of sorts this week... (walking running)

Marc Wilborn 3 years ago

The identification generation marches on.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 3 years ago

Yeah, I guess I am just too damned conventional now.

Nancy Hamilton 3 years ago

A sensible and easy solution. Kudos.

David Holroyd 3 years ago

So, does it have a urinal or a stool?

Brock Masters 3 years ago

And if it has a stool do I have to put the lid down?

Leslie Swearingen 3 years ago

Everyone should always put the lid down before they flush because otherwise you get fecal and urinary particulates in the air. I bet parents are going to have fun explaining this sign to their children. Yet another first world problem.

Chase Blackwood 3 years ago

If fumbling to explain a sign to your children is the height of your parenting concerns, I've got bad news for you.

Philipp Wannemaker 3 years ago

Based on posts, not sure Leslie has ever been a parent.

Richard Heckler 3 years ago

This might prevent some from wetting their pants as they wait outside for THEIR restroom to become available ---- very very smart.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 3 years ago

"If you are not a woman, and you are not a man — or at least don’t identify yourself as either — which public restroom do you go in?" This question, in and of itself identifies the obvious stupidity of this issue. You are man or woman. How you feel about this is your problem.

But as for the restroom dilemma, the issue that started this article and blog, the university has arrived at an expensive taxpayer provided solution. But the real solution exists all over town in businesses that provide a public restroom (one restroom) for their customers

At the car repair shop, the veterinary clinic, the tire shop all these small businesses there is a single public restroom with a door lock. There is a sign on the door that says............."Restroom"!!!!!! problem solved without all the expense of fabricating silly new goofy signs that there are some sort of third gender individuals around.

No indication of wringing of hands or knashing of teeth, no confusion to anyone that could possibly give any person unbearable embarrassment, uncertainty of gender, any sort of possible difficulty in finding an appropriate place to,......well............go. No goofy signs with the icons of a male, female and some sort of weird concoction icon using half of each gender specific icon. No expense in providing these laughable signs or time of university staff having to place these obnoxious placards.

Problem solved. But I doubt it.

Susan Chase 3 years ago

That 'silly little sign' would make a transgender individual feel welcome and safe. You either don't seem to be aware of gender identity issues or are simply discounting that gender dysphoria actually exists.

Joseph Jarvis 3 years ago

@Fred: Your comments are fairly disrespectful. If you had talked to a trans or genderqueer person for ten minutes, you'd understand the distinction between anatomical sex and gender identity.

That said, KU was doing backflips on this signage--how about an icon of a toilet?

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