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Phoenix Goes Gender Neutral

December 17, 2015

It's been a long time coming and many of you waited patiently but the day has arrived. On the recommendation of our Diversity Committee, we went ahead and made one of our washrooms gender neutral this past August with a permanent sign (the temporary signs had a curiious habit of disappearing). Lois Gabitous, one of the Committee members, had drafted the document 'Why Gender Inclusive Washrooms Matter' and posted it beside the washrrom for information. The document declared why it was important to make our washrooms gender neutral and included additional links and resources. In her own words, 'unisex toilets are considered an equity and human rights issue for people who identify outside of the gender binary (male or female). Unisex toilets can eliminate discrimination and harassment as people cannot be considered to be in the "wrong" bathroom. They also provide privacy in the broadest sense; unisex toilets can eliminate barriers for all persons no matter their gender, age, religion, ability, health status. etc.'.  

The decision had been preceded by much conversation on both sides of the fence. Ultimately, the conversation was brought to the Phoenix Board of Directors and in their infinite wisdom, they declared that both washrooms should be designated gender neutral. As a result, on December 17, the final washroom sign was installed and a new era began. I would like to thanks the members of the Diversity Committee and the Phoenix Board for their patience and determination in helping all of us move forward on this important practice.