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KU center promoting one-person, gender-neutral restrooms this week


If you've stopped by a restroom at KU's Sabatini Multicultural Resource Center — or, at certain times, the Kansas Union — and seen a sign out front labeling it as a "single-use, gender-neutral restroom," you may have wondered what that was about.

What it means is that any individual may use it, regardless of gender. And the signs are there because of a campaign by the KU Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Resource Center to create more restrooms in that format across campus.

The promotion, which is running this week, coincides with Transgender Awareness Month. Michael Detmer, a grad student who serves as resource coordinator for the LGBT Resource Center, says traditional men's or women's public restrooms can create uncomfortable situations, or even lead to harassment, for transgendered people and others who don't fit precisely into the categories of male or female. These gender-neutral restrooms provide a "safe space" for them, he said.

The center has been working for a few years to convert single-person restrooms around campus to the gender-neutral format, which Detmer said would also allow them to be used as family restrooms for people with children. The effort is taking some time, he said, because there is effort and cost involved in identifying restrooms that will work and in changing signs.

For now, the group has turned all the restrooms in the Multicultural Resource Center gender-neutral through tomorrow. Restrooms on the fourth floor of the Union underwent the switch for two hours earlier this week during an LGBT Resource Center event, and it will happen again from noon to 1 p.m. tomorrow during a visit from Stephanie Mott of the Kansas Equality Coalition, an LGBT rights group.


toe 5 years, 3 months ago

Ultra high cost restroom. I suggest we just put outhouses around the building, door optional.

chootspa 5 years, 3 months ago

They were already single person restrooms. They just changed the signe to stop having a boy or girl on it.

Chris Paradies 5 years, 3 months ago

Actually in the SMRC they aren't single occupancy bathrooms.

DRsmith 5 years, 3 months ago

Oh boy, only in Lawrence...and maybe San Fran.

patkindle 5 years, 3 months ago

i suspect this is a nation wide plot by plumbers to increase sales

1029 5 years, 3 months ago

Nice! Bathrooms like this are an ideal, safe place to get high between classes.

Clovis Sangrail 5 years, 3 months ago

There is really no reason that single-person restrooms cannot be used by anyone.

As long as guys remember to lift the seat to give themselves a wider target, that is.

Someone is sure to chime in with "And put it back down when your done," but my thought on that is that I met them half way by lifting it in the first place.

I'll leave the debate about single-sex multiple occupant restrooms to others.

parrothead8 5 years, 3 months ago

I don't see why this is a big deal. The restrooms in most people's houses are gender-neutral. If you gotta go, you gotta go. America needs to stop being so Puritanical about normal bodily functions.

Eugehne Normandin 5 years, 3 months ago

Hoorah a mens bathroom with a bidet my hemmoroids will be in heaven

Liberty275 5 years, 3 months ago

They copied this from Home Depot.

They didn't have such a system at Dillons, so I used the ladies room. It's pretty dumb to wee yourself because the picture on the door has a dress and you don't.

Robert Rauktis 5 years, 3 months ago

Why do these people constantly require a stage if they're comfortable with their orientation? But if you're reduced to signs on bathrooms...hey...you need some real issues in your life.

LogicMan 5 years, 3 months ago

No need to rename them, especially with something verbose.

They're called unisex restrooms. They've been around for ages.

Just make sure there's a good lock on the door, and that you use the lock.

melott 5 years, 3 months ago

I have used multi-person gender neutral bathrooms. It was not a problem.

Betty Bartholomew 5 years, 3 months ago

I've never understood the gender distinction on single-user restrooms to start with. The only difference between the men's/women's rooms in those cases is usually that the men's has a urinal in addition to the toilet. Big whoop - as an adult woman, I think I can handle the sight of a urinal.

I do find it weird, though, that in stores with family restrooms, there is typically no urinal.

Blessed4x 5 years, 3 months ago

Do you have a urinal in your house? I know I don't. I have no problem not having access to a urinal.

Liam 5 years, 3 months ago

If I read this right, all they are proposing is changing the signs on the doors of existing single occupancy toilets from men or women (or something similar) to restroom. I don't see the controversy. Now if they were proposing making them exclusive LBGT restrooms or constructing new restrooms for that purpose I would definitely balk at the expense.

Liberty275 5 years, 3 months ago

All the restrooms in some bars were unisex in Tampa. You could walk past a line of women and use one of the empty urinals.

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