Bathroom sign change a welcome sight for transgender Philadelphians

Listen
 Mayor Michael Nutter signs a law banning gender signs on single-user bathrooms. The act was applauded by members of the city's trans gender communities. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

Mayor Michael Nutter signs a law banning gender signs on single-user bathrooms. The act was applauded by members of the city's trans gender communities. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

A new law in Philadelphia mandates that single-stall bathrooms open to the public be gender neutral.  That change is important to the city’s transgender community.

By banning gender signs on single-user bathrooms, Mayor Michael Nutter said, the law is designed to help out those transgender people who fear going to a gender-specific restroom.

“It will protect them from violence and discrimination by letting them use a bathroom suitable to them, rather than assigned to the person by sexual designation,” he said Thursday.

And change makes the city more welcoming to all, said Nellie Fitzpatrick, director of the Office of LGBT Affairs.

“Transgender and gender-nonconforming people often face stress anxiety and mistreatment when accessing gender-nonconforming bathrooms, especially when trying to access the bathroom that is appropriate for them,” she said.

Signage in public single-user facilities must conform to the new law by Jan. 20. 

fergieFergus Carey, owner of Fergie’s Pub in Center City, puts up a gender-neutral replacement for the ladies room sign. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.