University of Houston-Downtown Will Soon Have Gender-Neutral Restrooms
During my visit to UHD, I was able to see the restroom progress. There was one toilet, and flooring was already in place. I thought it was huge and that there would be enough room for someone who is wheelchair-bound to maneuver freely. The countertops and tile will be installed next week and there will also be a baby-changing station. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to see the signage because the school is still trying to figure that out.
The facilities will also be open to parents and their children of the opposite sex, people with disabilities, or those who need attendants. Each restroom will have a sign and a safe-zone sticker indicating it is open to the public regardless of sexual orientation or gender. When there's a colorful "SAFE ZONE" sticker of red, green, yellow and blue, anyone who identifies as LGBTQ will know it's safe for that person to use that restroom, too.
All future buildings at UHD will have gender-neutral restrooms built into them from the beginning, according to Hudson. He believes this can increase enrollment by LGBTQ students, especially transgendered students. He says they pay attention to the type of facilities on campus when deciding whether they will feel welcomed and if their needs are being considered.
"Gender-neutral restrooms are important to everybody and should not be seen as a small, segmented thing for a small segment of the population; there's so many people that it would benefit," Weaver said.