Art by Joshua Miller
Art by Joshua Miller

Restrooms in most households are used by everyone who lives there and guests. Both genders use one facility. Take that idea of both genders using the same restrooms to the public and people find it controversial.
Starting the discussion with “both genders” is wrong. People use different ways to identify their gender or lack of gender identity.
Buildings on both campuses at LBCC have undergone much renovation and new construction over recent years and the restrooms and the issue of gender neutrality has been considered. Associate director of public relations and marketing for LBCC Stacey Toda said all new construction will have at least one gender-neutral restroom in each of the new buildings.
Part of the population have the luxury to find the restroom that is predominantly socially acceptable for them to use by the graphic of the stick man or woman on the door. Others who do not have that luxury grapple with which door to enter to take care of nature’s business several times a day.
Gender-neutral restrooms are not precisely the same as uni-sex restrooms. Uni-sex implies both sexes and gender-neutral allows for any gender. The issue is more than the names attached to the rooms. The name or graphic on the door signifies acceptance in the world. However, a uni-sex restroom being available is a start for a society moving toward being more inclusive.
Laws are changing alongside the societal shift of being more accepting of a wide variety of the people who live in the world. According to the California Legislative Information website California Democratic assemblyman from District 19, Phil Ting, introduced Assembly Bill 1732, which if passed would make all single-stall restrooms in California gender neutral.
Santee Education Complex located in the L.A. Unified School District opened an all-gender, multi-stall restroom, according to a Los Angeles Times article from April 16 by Sonali Kohli. The only change to the restroom, previously marked for women, is the sign on the door is an image of a toilet and the words “all-gender restroom.”
The laws contrast with a recent law passed in North Carolina, the House Bill 2 or HB2, which allows for hate against the LGBTQ community by dictating which restrooms they may use among exclusions.
Comedian Joel McHale protested the North Carolina government while performing at the Durham Performing Arts Center. Durham recently passed an anti-discrimination law, which McHale praised and donated his $2.4 million earnings for the performance to the LGBTQ Center of Durham, as reported at aplus.com.
Society is changing. Differences be damned.