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This photo of a gender neutral bathroom has gone viral since a user posted it on Reddit yesterday (May 12). As the Huffington Post explained, transgender people become targets for harassment in gendered bathrooms.
Alternative gender neutral bathroom signs have become a hot topic the world over. Gender-neutral bathrooms have already taken root in schools and workplaces across the US. Critics have even called similar attempts at gender neutral signs less than progressive for suggesting that gender is a binary concept, which millennials are overcoming.
The Williams Institute, UCLA Law School’s LGBT research center, published a report in 2013 (pdf) rounding up a number of surveys in the last decade or so that featured transgender people throughout the US reporting discrimination when they tried to use a single-gender bathroom. In one survey, “Respondents reported being physically abused, verbally harassed, fired, arrested, and made ill from avoiding restrooms altogether.”
The Williams Institute report homes in on a 2008 survey of 93 transgender and gender non-conforming people in Washington DC, revealing problems transgender people face when trying to use a single-gender bathroom. The problems are even worse for transgender people of color.