Gender-Neutral Bathrooms Benefit Both Binary and Trans People

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Recently, a video posted by Jubilee of conservative teenagers debating with liberal parents went viral on Twitter.

Twitter users supported the liberal parent by simply asking “And who set that system up?” after a conservative teen brought up suicide statistics in men among other baseless accusations.

The young man’s remark is very biased as research has shown that although men are more likely to die by suicide, women are more likely to experience suicidal thoughts.

Toxic masculinity becomes a leading factor in the suicide rate in men while women are not afraid to seek for help.

In the Twitter discussion, a user uploaded a video of the teenager then suggesting that gender-neutral toilets might increase the likelihood of rape and assault.

“It’s interesting that men are only concerned about rape in the bathroom when we’re having a conversation about trans folks,” said the liberal parent.

The conservative teen then claimed that gender-neutral bathrooms stem from the idea of rape and assault.

“No, this idea that rape is suddenly going to go on the rise because of gender-neutral bathrooms stem from transphobia,” the parent concluded.

The Reality of Transphobia

In The United States of America, transphobia is said to have taken the life of 375 transgender persons in 2021.

The number increased from the previous year when 350 transgender people were killed.

What’s more gruesome is that 1 out of 4 of those murdered were killed in their own homes.

Violence in the trans community has become so severe that the American Medical Association (AMA) has declared it an epidemic.

“According to available tracking, fatal anti-transgender violence in the U.S. is on the rise and most victims were black transgender women,” said AMA Board Member S. Bobby Mukkamala, M.D.

“The number of victims could be even higher due to underreporting and better data collection by law enforcement is needed to create strategies that will prevent anti-transgender violence,” he said.

Malaysia doesn’t shy away from discrimination and violence against the trans community.

Nur Sajat, a famous personality and businesswoman, made headlines in 2021 when she had to flee for her safety as a transwoman.

In 2018, she was asked to appear in a sharia court on a blasphemy accusation for “posing like a woman” during a religious event at her beauty salon.

Nur Sajat

Realising that there was no way she would make it out alive, the entrepreneur then fleed and the Malaysian police went on a manhunt.

Fortunately, Nur Sajat was granted asylum and is now living happily abroad.

Nur Sajat’s story is only the tip of the iceberg for trans folks in this country.

In 2017, Sameera Krishnan, a floral store employee, was assaulted with a knife and suffered cut wounds to her hands, arm, head, and legs, as well as being shot up to three times.

Sameera Krishnan, a Malaysian transwoman who was murdered.

It doesn’t end there. In 2019, multiple transwomen were murdered brutally with one victim being violently thrown off a car.

When reported to the police, they shrugged it off and claimed that all of these incidents were not hate crimes.

Activists were sceptical of the claim, knowing that the police would always conceal the fact that trans people experience prejudice and violence in this country.

The fight for the safety of the trans community in Malaysia is still active in 2022.

The Importance of Gender-Neutral Bathrooms

While businesses are busy exploiting the LGBTQ community during Pride month to further solidify their income, allies should instead focus on how to make the lives of trans folks easier.

If you are friends with a trans person, you have likely heard them complain about using a public bathroom.

A person who doesn’t fit the binary will most likely face discrimination and sometimes even violence at public restrooms.

To avoid such violence happening at your premise, gender-neutral bathrooms are the easiest, most convenient and inclusive choice to have.

Gender-neutral restrooms are also a gift to those who identify as binary. Families with children would ultimately feel safer since parents may accompany other-sex children to the bathroom.

Such bathrooms also serve individuals with physical disabilities who have caretakers of a different gender.

Last but not least, gender-neutral bathrooms are cost-efficient. You’ll be able to conserve space in your company by having a single restroom for all of your employees to use.

How to Find a Gender-Neutral Bathroom

For the trans folk reading this article, there is an application that could help ease your day moving forward.

Meet Refuge Restrooms, an application that was founded by a transwoman to help her community.

How does this app work? Refuge indexes and maps safe restrooms for trans, intersex, and gender-nonconforming people.

Users may search for bathrooms near a certain place, post new restroom listings, and comment on and rate existing ones.

Currently, most Refuge app users are in the United States but fret not, you could jump in and use this application as well.

The database can only be as large as you make it. The app will eventually display more and more safe toilets as more trans individuals, non-binary people, and allies use and mark places for gender-neutral bathrooms.

The Refuge app is available on both Google Play Store and App Store.

Together, let’s help make the country a safer place for trans folks.

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