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Creating diversity and inclusion with all-gender washrooms

Click to play video: 'All User Bathrooms' All User Bathrooms
All gender, or all-user, washrooms are creating diversity and inclusion in Okanagan communities – Jun 12, 2019

Global News is celebrating diversity and inclusion, and this week the company is introducing all-gender washrooms.

For many people, gender isn’t binary — it’s not X or Y.

In fact, it can be quite complicated, and using a gender-specific washroom can be intimidating.

READ MORE: New Brunswick adopts third gender marker for those who identify as non-binary

“A binary system does make it very complex in terms of washroom needs when a person doesn’t fit in that standard mold,” said Dustyn Bulkham of the Kelowna Pride Society.

And that’s why as part of Diversity and Inclusion Week, Global Okanagan is making one of its bathrooms an all-gender washroom.

WATCH BELOW (Aired Sept. 13, 2018): School explains reasoning for gender neutral bathroom pilot project

Click to play video: 'SJSD explains reasoning for gender neutral bathroom pilot project' SJSD explains reasoning for gender neutral bathroom pilot project
SJSD explains reasoning for gender neutral bathroom pilot project – Sep 13, 2018

So what exactly does that mean?

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“You have your own sink, your own toilet, you go in do your thing in peace and you leave,” said Bulkham. “There is no one else in your space; you have your own privacy.”

WATCH BELOW (Aired Feb. 1, 2018): ‘In all of us command’: Gender neutral changes to ‘O Canada’ approved

Click to play video: '‘In all of us command’: Gender neutral changes to ‘O Canada’ approved' ‘In all of us command’: Gender neutral changes to ‘O Canada’ approved
‘In all of us command’: Gender neutral changes to ‘O Canada’ approved – Feb 1, 2018

All-gender washrooms aren’t really new. You can find them in several Okanagan businesses.

For example, the Kelowna Heritage Museum has had one for almost two years.

Why, you ask?

“The simple answer is it’s 2019,” said Linda Digby of the Kelowna Museum Society.

“And it is time that we understand that our cultural, our ethnic diversity and our gender diversity [are] a really important aspect of a resilient community.”
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