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Vancouver Park Board Looking at Gender Neutral Washrooms


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From The Province:

Public feedback is being sought on changes suggested for Vancouver park facilities including universal change rooms and new gender-neutral signage.

Those are among of the highlights from a draft report released this week by the city’s Trans* and Gender Variant Working Group.

The group, along with the Vancouver Parks Board, is asking the general public to weigh in on the report’s 80 recommendations at a community meeting April 1 at 7 p.m. at Coal Harbour Community Centre.

The report follows a number of community meetings, workshops, and focus groups that have taken place since the group was created last spring, with the goal of increasing gender inclusivity in Vancouver’s park facilities and programs.

“This report intended to inspire people about the issues and possibilities for change on a municipal level to improve the lives of trans* and gender variant people,” says the draft report’s introduction.

Recommendations in the draft report cover public spaces, signage and literature, human resources, programming, and community partnerships.

Among the suggested changes are larger universal change rooms in addition to the current ones for men and women, and the addition of single stalls or private booths inside current gendered washrooms to provide more privacy.

Signage would also be reconfigured to more function-based images, such as a shower, hanger or toilet symbol to represent the facility’s purpose, instead of traditional washroom icons that indicate gender.

Public education and staff training on gender inclusivity would also be implemented, while print and online materials would be reviewed to ensure inclusive language and imagery.

The draft report can be viewed online at http://transgendervariant.wordpress.com

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Stupid idea and taking gender issues way to far. This assumes it's acceptable that a man who identifies and dresses as a woman is allowed to use the women's washroom, and vice versa.

Tell me about it. I understand the gender equality issue, but its very awkward to go in these washrooms. Uvic has these types of washrooms in the student union building. I remember when I first went into one these and I thought I was in a girls washroom...

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