Multi-User All-Gender Restrooms In Schools Spreading

Multi-User All-Gender School Restrooms Spreading; North Kansas City Schools Follow Lead of GWU and “Father of Potty Parity”

WASHINGTON, D.C.  (August 15, 2018) –  Although most all-gender restrooms are designed, like those on airplanes, for only a single user, schools are beginning to experiment with all-gender restrooms which can be utilized by several males and females at the same time, notes public interest law professor John Banzhaf, pointing to two new elementary schools in North Kansas City High School which feature them.

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All-Gender Restrooms

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Having public restrooms that everyone can use addresses the concerns of transsexuals who object to being forced to use restrooms which are inconsistent with their gender identities, as well as of females who are often forced to wait on much longer lines than males to use restrooms, especially in theaters and sporting-event venues - a problem also being addressed by so-called potty parity laws and legal action.

Banzhaf has been called "The Father of Potty Parity" - also known as squatters' rights, restroom equity, and even porcelain proportionality where the proportion of outlets set aside for females in substantially greater than 50%.

For example, a legal complaint Banzhaf filed helped force the U.S. House of Representatives to finally construct the first female restroom adjacent to the House floor so that female members are no longer "forced to urinate in a coffee cup" (as one report put it).

Another Banzhaf potty parity legal complaint prompted the University of Michigan to provide additional restroom facilities for females when it renovated its Hill Auditorium.

Single-user restrooms, while they address the main restroom problem transgender people face, are more expensive and less efficient than traditional paired multi-user male and female restrooms, and retrofitting existing buildings with such single-seaters can be very expensive because it often involved running new water and waste water lines.

But there's a much simpler inexpensive method to protect the interests of transsexual users, who do not want to be forced to chose a restroom inconsistent with their gender identity, and at the same time to protect the interests of concerned female users, and it's being tested at Banzhaf's George Washington University Law School.

It satisfies the needs of transsexuals (as well as transvestites) - who dress in a manner inconsistent with their anatomical sex - to be able to have ready access to conveniently located restrooms without having to declare any particular gender preference or identity, while at the same time insuring that girls and women will not find anatomical males (transgender or otherwise) in their female restrooms.

It also avoids the need for schools and businesses to construct many more single-user all-gender restrooms (another popular solution) - which is expensive at best, and often near impossible in existing buildings - so it's a win, win, win situation.

What Banzhaf's GWU Law School has done is simply to re-designate what was formerly a typical men's restroom - with 3 urinals, 1 toilet in a stall, and 2 wash basins - as an all-gender restroom.

Since the percentage of students who are transsexual is very small, most of the time the room functions as any other male restroom would, with many men able to urinate in urinals at the same time.

However any person - including not only transsexuals, but also transvestites, men who are bashful, have shy bladder syndrome (paruresis), etc.  - can enter this restroom without exposing themselves to others or identifying with any particular gender, and relieve themselves in the privacy of the stall.

Because typical women could even use this stall toilet if time is short and the lines at the nearby women's room are too long, both F2M and M2F transsexual students can relieve themselves in the room's toilet without revealing anything about their anatomical gender or gender identity.

Since in most buildings large male and female restrooms are usually paired close together, this system would open up almost half of all restrooms to transgender students so they would no longer have to search for - and then travel far to - single-user all-gender restrooms which are often few and far between.

While GWU's system would occasionally expose typical male users to an anatomical female, most men seem unconcerned about any potential privacy invasion and, unlike the reverse situation, have little fear about suffering sexual assaults or even rape from anatomical females who are transgender males.

So this approach - converting all or most larger male restrooms into all-gender restrooms - would probably solve most of the problems many states are now facing, and do so without adversely affecting transsexuals, nor typical girls and women concerned about privacy and possible sexual assaults.

About the Author

JOHN F. BANZHAF III, B.S.E.E., J.D., Sc.D. Professor of Public Interest Law George Washington University Law School, FAMRI Dr. William Cahan Distinguished Professor, Fellow, World Technology Network, Founder, Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) 2000 H Street, NW, Wash, DC 20052, USA (202) 994-7229 // (703) 527-8418