After making my post on the gender neutral washroom signs at my college, I found this post by Sam Killermann at “It’s Pronounced Metrosexual” about the gender neutral washroom sign he initially designed as a joke:
I was discussing [the reluctance to put up gender neutral washroom signs] with an administrator at a university a few days ago and their concern was simple, “When people are looking for a restroom, they look for the ‘man or woman’ icon. It’s what we know to look for that means restroom.”
In the airport yesterday I asked a facility manager about gender neutral restrooms and the above concern was echoed, “But what would you put on the door?!”
WHAT WOULD WE PUT ON THE DOOR, SAM?! HOW CAN WE CONTAIN THE CHAOS?!
I decided to put my super sharp visualization cortex part of my brain to work, to see if I could come up with a revolutionary new sign we could use to signify gender neutral bathrooms.
I wrote this post and made the included graphic yesterday in a moment of what I call using humor for self-preservation. I was frustrated with the gender neutral bathroom sign “debate” and reached my tipping point. But, as several people have pointed out, like Fenix in the comments of that post, maybe it’s not such a terrible idea:
You joke, but I’ve read dozens of articles on this subject, and you are the first to propose that the sign on the door (uniformly identified as the primary problem with gender-neutral bathrooms) be a picture of what’s on the other side of the door. Like all problems, the answer is obvious only after someone like yourself comes up with it. Thank you
Print one of the signs…and attach it to any single-stall, individual bathroom you see in your community that is currently (and unnecessarily) gendered. Raise awareness. Create change.
(Sam Killermann, “Guerilla Activism: Printable Gender Neutral Bathroom Signs Project;” “Gender Neutral Solution for the ‘Confusing’ Gender Neutral Toilet Sign Issue,” It’s Pronounced Metrosexual)