As an attendee and presenter at the 2014 American Psychological Association conference held in Washington, D.C. in mid-August, I was struck by the presence of several “gender neutral ” restrooms. Being of a certain age my first thought was that this was a nod to women’s rights. Turns out my antediluvian mindset completely missed the point.
The restrooms were brought to the APA Conference by the Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Concerns to bring attention to the issue of transgender rights.
The August 18th issue of the National Standard reported:
“…the average American thinks that 24 percent of the population is homosexual (according a 2012 Gallup survey) the CDC’s most recent, large-scale study shows that only 1.6 percent of Americans identify as gay or lesbian. The CDC study didn’t try to measure what percentage of the population is transgendered—that is, people who assert that they’re a woman in a man’s body, or vice versa—but it seems safe to assume that the number is undoubtedly much, much lower. But never mind that.
Transgender rights loom so large in the public mind today that at the American
Psychological Association conference held at the D.C. convention center last week, visitors were greeted with a large placard explaining the location of not one, but three “gender neutral” restrooms, presumably to accommodate those who felt uncomfortable using gendered facilities.”
In case you were curious, to show my support I used both gender neutral and gender specific restrooms while at the APA Conference.