Why we need gender-neutral bathrooms

Ivan Coyote|TEDxVancouver (ted.com)

There are a few things that we all need: fresh air, water, food, shelter, love … and a safe place to pee. For trans people who don’t fit neatly into the gender binary, public restrooms are a major source of anxiety and the place where they are most likely to be questioned or harassed. In this poetically rhythmic talk, Ivan Coyote grapples with complex and intensely personal issues of gender identity and highlights the need for gender-neutral bathrooms in all public places.

This talk was presented to a local audience at TEDxVancouver, an independent event. TED’s editors chose to feature it for you.

ABOUT THE SPEAKER Ivan Coyote · Writer, performerIvan Coyote believes that a good story can help inspire us to invent a better future.

ABOUT TEDX: TEDx was created in the spirit of TED’s mission, “ideas worth spreading.” It supports independent organizers who want to create a TED-like event in their own community.

One thought on “Why we need gender-neutral bathrooms”

  1. What a brave talk!

    Trader Joe’s has gender- neutral bathrooms, albeit one-person, closed spaces. I’m for the idea.

    I have the idea that when women go off together to powder their noses, they are going to a space where it’s safe to be women. and, not incidentally, a space without men. Just saying…

    For me, a public restroom is a kind of minimalist social space. The only people who seem to talk in Men’s Rooms are young kids. (I admit that I don’t go out much—I’m thinking of Costco, grocery stores, etc.)

    The question of how to ease the way for straight, binary folks to accept trans people on their own terms seems to have no easy answer, but we are seeing the difficulty of it play out in many areas. It’s going to take time—longer in the absence of bipartisan political leadership, i. e., a long time in today’s social climate.

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