The University of Cincinnati expanded it’s Standards for the Built Environment to include at least one gender-neutral restroom in all new buildings added to UC’s campus. The new policy reads:
“The University of Cincinnati is dedicated to meeting the diverse needs and interests of its students, faculty, staff and visitors including those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex or are questioning their sexual orientation or gender identity (LGBTQ). In an effort to meet the diverse needs, all new buildings and buildings undergoing half-life renovations (a major renovation where the majority of a building’s systems is being replaced or upgraded) shall have a unisex/gender neutral restroom.”
Additionally, all gendered, single-user restrooms on campus will be changed to gender-neutral by fall 2010.
Often gender-variant people — especially transgender people who are not read as the gender they identify with — have difficulty choosing a gendered restroom to use and/or experience harassment or even violence for being in the seemingly incorrect restroom. Gender-neutral restrooms serve as an alternative, open for anyone to use.
For more on gender-neutral restrooms, check out the Transgender Law Center‘s “Peeing in Peace” and previous posts “Not about bathrooms but recognition” and “GenderF*ck causes bathroom confusion.” A list of UC’s gender-neutral restrooms can be found on GenderBloc’s website.