Creative Ways to Designate Single Stall Restrooms for All Genders

There are several states in the country, and several cities, which now require all single stall restrooms to be labeled as all gender restrooms. This is the case in NYC, Denver, Philadelphia, the state of California and a few other places. These new laws are designed to ensure that transgender and non-binary people feel comfortable using the restroom (and as a positive side effect, will also cut down waits for women who often have longer lines).

When I travel around to conferences trainings and other events, I love taking photos of the "all gender" restroom signs I encounter, as well as the signs that direct guests to use the restroom where they are most comfortable. Some companies, like Starbucks and Target, established these of their own volition, while others do so in response to changes in public policies. It’s really fun for me to see how different companies are approaching this. Here are some of the signs we've spotted recently.

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Which is your favorite? Have you made arrangements within your own company to create single stall all gender signs?

Why LGBTQ-Inclusive Corporate Policies Matter So Much

Mississippi has a new law which fully legalizes discrimination. Although this law is a bit redundant, since people who are LGBTQ already have zero protections in Mississippi, this "religious freedom" law is an example of the types of bills being written and laws being passed in other states as well. I’m sure you heard the controversy over North Carolina’s HB2 law requiring transgender guests to use the restroom based on the gender on their birth certificate. Although this law was repealed and replaced with a new, "improved" law HB12, the new law remains similarly discriminatory towards transgender people.

Folks who are transgender may or may not choose to transition. The process of transitioning from male to female or female to male is purely optional. It's also expensive, time consuming and there are many trans people who do not have the resources to medically transition. Some trans folks might identify as non-binary and have no intention of going on hormones or undergoing any other procedures for transition.

For these folks who are not planning to medically transition and legally update their gender marker, these discriminatory bills and laws may be particularly scary. Essentially, these laws require someone to use the restroom of the gender on their birth certificate, regardless of whether or not that is how they currently identify. With laws like this increasingly acceptable, it's important for companies to step up and provide protections for transgender employees and guests.

Does your company have an inclusive restroom policy? Has your company made arrangements to ensure that your transgender guests and associates can feel safe?

Workplace Gender Identity Guidelines

Out and Equal Workplace Advocates is an LGBTQ nonprofit committed to creating safe workplaces for LGBTQ employees to be out about their sexual and gender identities. This is not always an easy or safe proposition given that, in 29 states, anti-discrimination laws don't include protection on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. In essence, someone can be fired for being gay in 29 states. 

Fortunately, many major corporations have their own policies which protect their LGBTQ employees and provide them with equal treatment and opportunities. You can see a list of the U.S. companies (with 500+ employees) that are rated as "Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Employees" in the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index

Through the work of nonprofit organizations like Out and Equal and companies like The Equality Institute, workplaces are becoming safer for all employees. For example, Out and Equal created a guidebook on transgender issues full of suggested human resources policies and other considerations to ensure that trans employees feel safe. You can download that guidebook here.

One consideration for your transgender employees is restroom access. Adhering to these guidelines specifically on best practices in restroom access for transgender employees can ensure all employees are valued, leaving your entire team energized and inspired. Equal treatment is just good for business.