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News

West Hollywood's New Gender Neutral Bathrooms Are Progressive And Logical

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A gender neutral restroom at Bentcon in Burbank, designed by MyDoorSign (Photo by Juliet Bennett Rylah/LAist)
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West Hollywood is going gender neutral when it comes to all single-stall restrooms. Businesses and public places in WeHo have 60 days starting tomorrow to switch the signs on all existing single-stall restrooms to a gender neutral signs and all new single restrooms must also be gender neutral, WeHoville reports. The new ordinance will not affect bathrooms with multiple stalls.

The gender neutral designation aims to make using the restroom more comfortable for transgender people, those who don't identify as male or female, parents who have children of different genders and people with disabilities who may have attendants that help them in the restroom. It also just makes sense: most people can remember at least one time when they waited in line for a male or female restroom, while the other restroom wasn't in use at all.

Drian Juarez, a West Hollywood Transgender Advisory Board member, spoke at a WeHo council meeting discussing gender neutral restrooms back in June, L.A. Times reports. Juarez addressed safety issues, mentioning an 2010 incident at Cal State Long Beach where a transgender graduate student was attacked by another student in a restroom. The attacker pulled up the student's shirt and carved the word "it" into his chest.

While West Hollywood is the first city in California to pass this kind of ordinance, Washington D.C. passed a similar law in 2006. Philadelphia passed an ordinance in 2013 that requires all new or renovated buildings owned by the city to have a gender neutral bathroom.