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Denver says businesses quick to adopt gender-neutral rule for bathroom signage

Author: Adam McCoy - September 18, 2017 - Updated: September 18, 2017

(iStock image / chameleonseye)

We’ve all experienced the plight — you sprint to the restroom as your bladder is on the verge of imploding only to find the single-occupant bathroom relative to your gender occupied — while the other is empty. What to do?

Well, a Denver rule is set to take effect next spring which mandates non-gendered signage for single-stall and family bathrooms, and many businesses have already embraced the rule, the city says.

In addition to the signage, the rule approved last December and set to be fully implemented next April 30 stipulates single-use facilities be lockable from the inside.

For businesses that aren’t up to code yet, the change might be as simple as adding a new sign, the city pointed out. The rule won’t affect multiple-stall bathrooms or portable bathrooms.

The city said in a post on its website last week the change is about inclusivity and equal access:

“Many local businesses have long opted for more inclusive signage, because ensuring equal access to restrooms for all users achieves parity in bathroom wait times and removes barriers for members of our community who are transgender, gender-nonconforming, or non-binary; need the assistance of a caregiver of a different gender; or need to accompany a child of a different gender to the restroom.”

According to a December 2016 Denverite report, the change came about after Denver’s Denver’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Commission suggested the non-gendered signage as the city was discussing an update of the building code.

Denver is joining other cities like Seattle, Washington and Austin, Texas which have adopted mandates requiring some form of gender-neutral restroom signage.

Adam McCoy

Adam McCoy

Adam McCoy covers Denver-area politics for Colorado Politics.