Dear Business Owners, Schools, and Public,
Imagine that you’re walking into your favorite restaurant. You are seated, you place your order and you go to use the bathroom and wash your hands before the meal. There are only two restrooms, one male and one female. You stand there for a moment, considering. There’s no in-between. Where do you fit in?
Living in Madison I have noticed that a lot of places(stores, restaurants, etc) do not have gender-neutral bathrooms. It is important to change this because some people do not identify as either male or female and they don’t feel comfortable going to the bathroom of their assigned gender.
This doesn’t only apply to non-binary people. It also applies to transgendered people who, I imagine, sometimes feel insecure being the only person in the bathrooms who looks or dresses differently from so-called ‘gender standards’.
At my school, which doesn’t have a gender-neutral bathroom on at least the 6th-grade floor, one might have to either choose one or go down to the other floors, where I’m not positive they have one either.
My Elementary school, Marquette, changed the Faculty-Only restroom to a Gender-Neutral bathroom a couple of years ago. Even small things like this can make someone feel accepted.
A study shows that about 1 in 250 documented adults are transgender. That means that out of about 255,000 documented adults in Madison, up to 1020 of those are transgender. According to the 2015 Transgender Survey, 35% of the nearly 28,000 trans respondents identify as non-binary. That’s 9800 documented adults as of 2015. Now that number is almost up to 1.2 million. As the numbers grow, so does the need for change.
Zuri P. Taylor