Good Practices: Inclusive Restrooms and Signage

Please see the resources page for information on where to find gender-neutral restrooms on campus.

As with good practices generally, any advice must be combined with a specific context and use of good judgement in order to determine what is appropriate to a specific situation. This page is part of the broader #TransTerps campaign, and on this site you can find out more about trainings, good practices, and resources and policies for supporting trans folks on campus.

Looking for the all-gender restrooms advocacy toolkit? Click here.

Our campus non-discrimination policy includes gender identity and expression as well as personal appearance. Thus, regardless of someone's appearances, the mere presence of someone in a restroom or facility who doesn't "look" like they belong is not a good rationale to question someone one you wouldn't otherwise question, and can never justify harassing someone for using the restroom. In the case of any concerns, behavior should be looked at, not someone's mere presence or appearance/expression. Our campus policies specifically prohibit requiring someone to show an ID or using data in campus records as a way to permit or deny access to a facility based on gender.

Every single-user locking restroom on campus should be labeled as an all gender restroom using a pictogram without reference to gender (e.g. no binary stick figures). If you see an old sign that needs updating, please contact Facilities Management or whomever control's your building's signage to request an update. Here is an example from Marie Mount Hall of how the signage should look:

Here is another example of a restroom in the Stamp Student Union for a multi-staff all gender restroom:

Additionally, restrooms can provide signage with information about where to find gender-neutral facilities and other important facilities that are nearby. Here is one example from the University Health Center where the signage on a men's restroom explains where to find gender-neutral restrooms in the building:

Even if your building does not currently provide such signage, you can request it, and/or you can write directions from your office or space to the nearest gender-inclusive restrooms. The Stamp Student Union includes extensive information about gender-neutral restrooms, family restroom, and lactation room at each restroom, such as in this example:

An additional issue, although not necessarily tied to trans inclusion directly, is that many people would desire greater privacy in restrooms. Thus, asking for restrooms to be constructed with greater levels of privacy (e.g. stalls that have better coverage and fewer gaps) may be of benefit to everyone.

The Stamp Student Union has had multi-user gender-neutral restrooms for a number of years, and we will need more such restrooms on campus to make major strides in increasing the inventory of gender-inclusive facilities on campus. In order to enhance privacy in the facility, they added some special strips that get rid of the gaps between stall doors and stall walls, and they put stalls around existing urinals, as in this example: