Here's what you need to know:
Having gender neutral rooms that can be used regardless of personal identity or gender expression is extremely important. More and more of these are coming all over the country, with New York and Illinois being the latest additions. What requirements did they implement recently? Let’s find out.
In the case of Illinois, they created a law where all the single occupancy public bathrooms have to be gender neutral. It’s called the Equitable Restrooms Act and it was initiated at the beginning of 2020. They are also stating that every single occupancy restroom stall needs to have exterior signage. This relates to any current or future public accommodation or buildings.
The single occupancy restroom found in a public place can be used either by a single person or a family at a time. Inspectors can check the location to ensure that it complies with a section. Public places can differ based on the Illinois Human Rights Act, but they normally include things like motels, inns, hotels, restaurants or bars, cinemas, stadiums, convention centers, laundromats, beauty shops, terminals, museums, parks, senior citizen centers, spas, golf courses and many others.
Simply put, every place where you can encounter other people and which is not privately owned needs to obey this rule. One thing to note here is the fact that transgender individuals aren’t really allowed to choose a public restroom for the gender that they identify with. They just have to use these gender neutral bathrooms.
In the case of New York, there’s a local law 79 from 2016 which mandates all the single occupant toilets to be accessible to all the gender identities and sexes. One thing to note here is that the single occupant toilet rooms are defined as a toiler room that has only a urinal and water closet.
The question is, which is the right sign according to this law? The proper sign here needs to show that the toilet is suitable for all the gender identities and sexes. It can include texts like Gender Neutral, Gender Inclusive or All Gender. The sign itself needs to be on the wall right near the toilet room at roughly 48 to 60”, according to the New York City Building Code.
In addition, the sign needs to have a pictogram. The thing to keep in mind is that the DOB doesn’t require a specific image that you can use. The one below seems to be widely accepted as the right option, but you can customize it as long as it includes all the information listed above.
Both Illinois and New York are focused on helping gender neutral people find the right restrooms to suit their needs and these requirements are incredibly helpful. That being said, it’s important to study and understand these signs, as they are the right way to showcase where gender neutral persons are able to find their restrooms. There are regulations regarding this topic, but it’s also great that the signs are clear and they offer all the information and assistance you need!