I would be surprised if there is a woman out there who hasn’t waited in a long line for a bathroom while men come and go from their assigned room without the need to cross their legs while cursing.

I have been in plenty of men’s restrooms because I got tired of waiting. I found it absurd to be patient while stalls sat empty.

This surprised a few men. Annoyed some. Even caused a few to say some rather impolite things to me.

Trust me, we are not in there to check you out. We are in there to pee, wash our hands and get back to wherever we came from.

What I have noticed lately is more and more bathrooms are gender neutral.

While the impetus for this is mostly rooted in being more inclusive to people who don’t identify with their birth gender or either gender, as I woman I’m grateful no matter the reason this is taking place.

In spring 2017, all single-occupancy toilets in California had to become gender neutral. Even though that mandate is now almost 7 years old, it’s obvious it has taken some time for people to implement the law. For places that used to have a single female and single male bathroom, by making them both gender neutral means doubling my options.

What I hope going forward is more places with multiple stalls like event venues will either put in more women’s facilities or make them gender neutral.

I completely understand not every woman wants to go into a bathroom full of men. There is plenty to fear, unfortunately. That is why women and anyone else who doesn’t want to share space should be given the opportunity to do their business privately.

With that said, I’m still applauding the gender neutral bathroom bandwagon for myself and others who benefit from it.

According to World Population Review, “In 2015, New York became the first state to implement gender-neutral toilets throughout the public buildings in the state. Since then, OSHA has recently decreed that any single-use restroom in the workplace must be gender-neutral.”

The same website says China was the first country to have gender neutral bathrooms, which was “sometime before 2013.” Other countries embracing this trend are the U.S., Canada, India, Thailand, Japan and Nepal.

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