I work in a library on a university campus in Northern California. It's a very liberal work environment- I am one of four circulation desk managers and three of us identify as queer. Our library was built in the 1960s and has gender-assigned multi-stall bathrooms in the basement with 6 toilets each, multi-stall gender-assigned bathrooms on the second floor with 2 toilets each, and two (previously) gender-assigned wheelchair accessible single-toilet bathrooms also on the second floor.
Last summer I began thinking a lot about accessibility and how it could be increased on campus and it occurred to me how easy it would be to switch out the gendered signs on our single-stall restrooms to create two new all-gender bathrooms. I proposed this idea to my co-workers, and they agreed. I wrote a short letter to the president of our library and asked my co-workers, the campus Pride club and the head of the Disability Services department to co-sign. Our library president thought it was a great idea, and immediately ordered us some all-gender signs. In my work place, it was that easy. It might be that easy in your workplace too, if you speak up and ask.
I wanted to post an edited version of the letter that I sent to my library's president, so that you could use it as a basic format if you decide to write to your own boss about this issue:
To [the person in authority, in my case the library president]
I am writing to you on behalf of the library staff and the Pride Club about the necessity of gender-neutral bathrooms in the library. We see this as an important and urgent issue, but also an easily solvable one. Without access to these types of restrooms on campus, some students may feel the need to either refrain from using one or to travel well out of their way to find the few that are available. This can both waste time and create extreme stress for the student, which could impact their academic performance. There are initiatives to add gender-neutral bathrooms into many of the dorms already underway, but I think we can accomplish this more quickly in the library than in some of the other public campus buildings. We already have two single-stall bathrooms with lockable doors on the second floor. These bathrooms are ideally placed and already equipped to serve as gender-neutral bathrooms. All we would need is new signs for the doors. With your permission, I'd like to request that Facilities switch the signs to all-gender or gender-neutral signs as soon as possible.
The percentage of people under the age of 25 who identify as trans, non-binary, genderqueer or a-gender is difficult to quantify but undoubtedly on the rise. No part of our current or future student body should ever feel that the basic necessity of a restroom is unavailable to them on campus. Gender-neutral bathrooms will provide a safe space for transgender and non-binary students to use the restroom. They already serve as a place for students who don't feel comfortable using a multi-stall public restroom. Let's make the campus more comfortable and supportive for everyone.
Signed, [as many names as you can get]If you are lucky enough to be your own boss, you can simply switch out the bathroom signs yourself! For a quick and cheap solution, you can buy all-gender stickers to place over the current signs on the Degenderette's website, as well as many other places online Once you’ve done this, log the bathrooms into the app Refugee Restrooms so that others can find it when in need!
Let me know if you are successful <3
at a school for adults I work for, they really annoyed me a few months back by doing quite the contrary: we had a double-stall restroom on each of the 2 floors: unmarked, no problem, nobody ever cared, as far as I know, no matter their genders. One day, apparently, a Muslim woman (no problem with this religion, only this woman claimed it was because of her religion that she was complaining... just setting the context) said that she couldn't go to the restroom if she thought a man could be in the next stall... so they decided that the 2nd floor would host a restroom for women and the 1st for men and put up signs... that really, really annoyed me on the principle... I wrote an e-mail to the person who had taken this decision telling them that: it wasn't healthy, quite the contrary; it had never been a problem for many years; if they really wanted to please everyone, they should create one-stall restrooms instead; besides, this splitting would be a nightmare if a student with a broken leg or a walking problem had to go to the restroom on the other floor...
Needless to say, I got a very brilliant answer like "it's like that, it's better and I don't want to listen"... but a few teachers, with me, absolutely make a point of going to the nearest restroom, no matter the gender...
and I bet it's difficult to enforce... I think many, many people just don't realize how much gender is a moving concept... A few months ago, I was really surprised by a Canadian scientific TV show (called "Code Chastenay"): they were saying that, in fact, scientists had discovered that less than 20% of the people on the planet were 100% male of female... and that a mix of hormones, genes and innate feelings combined for all the other people so that, in fact, 80% of us are more or less in-between...
Only the majority of people aren't much conscious of it... I really, really hope that, one day, our world will be completely gender-neutral... that would be so awesome!