This week, the city of Minneapolis announced that it will install restrooms in all city-owned buildings that are for all genders. City officials said this would “further transgender equality” in a press release. The goal is to be more inclusive of the transgender community and staff.
Bathrooms in 44 different city buildings including police precincts, fire department offices, fire stations, city-owned parking ramps, and public works facilities will receive new signs for the bathrooms over the next few weeks. In some cases, they will also receive new security locks. While this project seems small, it’s estimated to cost $17,000.
These new restrooms are in addition to the traditional women’s and men’s rooms that already exist. There will be 62 all-gender restrooms available to those who feel uncomfortable with men’s and women’s rooms. The bathrooms are also a good fit for families as they provide an option for caregivers who are different genders from the children they are taking care of.
I think this is an excellent step that hopefully other cities across the US will follow. This is good news that could not have come soon enough. The transgender community has been on edge since it was announced that President Donald Trump rescinded the guidelines and protections that were put in place by President Obama for transgender students in school. These guidelines allowed students to use the restrooms and locker rooms that corresponded to their gender identity. Under President Donald Trump, this federal law was rescinded, and the issue was turned back to the states.
It will be interesting to see whether or not other city governments follow Minneapolis’s example or if the recently rescinded law will have restrictive and discriminatory repercussions for the transgendered community. In many ways, we live in a very progressive nation. In other ways, we still have a long way to go. This has never been clearer than it is now.