Lines may shorten at public restrooms in West Hollywood if the City Council on Monday approves a proposal by Abbe Land that would make “single stall” restrooms available to people of all genders.
In addition to benefitting women, who often wait in longer lines for a restroom than do men, gender-neutral restrooms would benefit transgender people and children accompanied by a parent of the opposite sex.
“Gender specific restrooms are unwelcoming and potentially unsafe for many people whose gender identity is outside of traditional gender norms,” Councilmember Land’s proposal says. “Specifically, for members of the transgender community public restrooms can be a highly stressful and potentially dangerous experience.”
Single stall restrooms are defined as those that are open to only one person at a time. Land’s proposal notes that it would be easy to implement, requiring only a change of signs on the restroom doors at city retailers, restaurants and bars.
A similar policy is in place in Washington D.C. In Philadelphia new buildings are required to include gender-neutral restrooms. If the Council approves the proposal the City Attorney would draft an ordinance and the city’s Economic Development staff would seek feedback from the business community before the Council actually enacts the measure.