Calgary city councillor Brian Pincott has put forward a notice of motion suggesting the relabelling of all single-stall washrooms, in an inclusive and progressive first step that many in the LGBTQ community are applauding.
If approved, it would affect washrooms in all city buildings and facilities. The pitch goes further to include gender-neutral washrooms in all future builds.
Mayor Naheed Nenshi supports the concept.
“Really everyone ought to be able to use them and that seems very logical to me.”
Those with first-hand experience say choosing a washroom is an anxiety-filled decision.
“Am I going to be harassed in the female washroom because I don’t look like a woman?” said Sam Dyck, a transgender teenager living in Calgary. “Or am I going be harassed if I go into the men’s because I don’t look like a boy?”
He’s grateful the city is open to the concept of altering the signage.
“Not having to question which washroom you go into and not having anxiety…that would be a breeze.”
Before drafting the motion, councillor Pincott consulted with TESA, the Trans Equality Society of Alberta group. Amelia Marie Newbert speaks for the organization and from lived experience.
Newbert said it’s an easy first step.
“Ultimately the move would be towards removing gender on all washrooms to make room and space for the non-binary and gender-diverse community who are forced to use washrooms that don’t align with their identities.”
The notice of motion is expected to be discussed next week at council’s final meeting before the summer break.