Last week, the Tacoma City Council passed an ordinance requiring businesses, government buildings, and other public places to install gender-inclusive signage on all existing and new single-occupancy restrooms.

gender-inclusive, restrooms, bathrooms, Tacoma

An example of a gender-inclusive restroom sign. Photo courtesy Map of the Urban Linguistic Landscape via creative commons.

“This ordinance, as little as it seems, is crucial and necessary for so many in our communities that face harassment on a regular basis,” said Pride at Work President Jen Haggard. “I am so proud to have stood alongside engaged, smart, and dedicated community leaders, and I am proud of our City Council for taking this action to show that they value and respect the gender diverse people of our city. There is much work yet to do, and I believe that if we keep showing up and taking risks, together we will make Tacoma stronger.”

The ordinance goes into effect on June 1, 2019. Tacoma’s Human Rights Commission, as well as Pride at Work, advocated for the ordinance, citing the need to address the rights of people who identify as transgender and non-binary.

“I want to thank Pride at Work, the Human Rights Commission, and the Office of Equity and Human Rights for working together to bring this vital legislation forward,” Tacoma Mayor Victoria Woodards said. “All members of our community should be able to retain a sense of safety and dignity when they are out shopping, attending a show, or seeking medical care in the city of Tacoma.”

According to the city, a survey will be conducted to find out how many restrooms the new ordinance will affect. Outreach efforts will be launched as well, to notify local businesses and organizations of the change.


Thumbnail photo by Adrian Naranjo on Unsplash.