Why we need gender-neutral bathrooms | Ivan Coyote

There are a few things that we all need: fresh air, water, food, shelter, love … and a safe place to pee. For trans people who don’t fit neatly into the gender binary, public restrooms are a major source of anxiety and the place where they are most likely to be questioned or harassed. In this poetically rhythmic talk, Ivan Coyote grapples with complex and intensely personal issues of gender identity and highlights the need for gender-neutral bathrooms in all public places.

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Comment (100)

  1. The idea of gender neutral bathrooms is insane and the debate is insane. When feminists think that male bathrooms are sexist and a part of patriarchy…I just want to hurl right at them. Leave men's bathrooms alone…don't persecute us because of biology and try to take our bathrooms away because you can't pee standing up. You think you have long lineups now just wait, replacing men's urinals with stalls will make things worse.

  2. Lol this whole debate is absolutely ridiculous. I think we have a long list of much more serious problems in the world than someone feeling confused about a bathroom.

  3. As a girl I would feel frightened if gender neutral bathrooms existed : we can deny it but we all know women are not safe in the streets so putting gender neutral bathrooms it's like opening the door to sexual assaults and it's hard to say that because as a feminist i feel like men and women are both equal but in reality it is not and i'm just facing it. The person talking in this video has no sense whatsoever she goes to the girls bathroom and is surprised because she looks like a man which she has always wanted ? Kinda twisted

  4. All I hear is "me me me". Why not have another bathroom that's neutral. How would you feel letting your little daughter go into a public bathroom with some grown men in the stall next to her? God help this country.

  5. There really is no issue with gender neutral bathrooms besides homophobic people who are afraid of trans people. It really doesn't have anything to do with being trans- there is just no reason we need to be so segregated anyways. It doesn't even matter though. I'm a woman and I could walk into the men's bathroom whenever I want. And vice versa. It's not like bathrooms are monitored as it is.

  6. selfish transgender. when societies enforced male and female binary stereotypes over them it is seemingly unjust. but when they enforce their propaganda over majority it is become totally justified. really psycho.

  7. Seems to he all he is asking for is that trans men and trans women have their own bathrooms with a little bench they can change with I say why not it's letting these people feel safe and it shouldn't be that expensive. I thought gender neutral bathrooms were where they take away the separate bathrooms and make everyone use it together which would of course would make most people feel uncomfortable including trans I say we allow trans people to feel just as comfortable as we r and allow them to use their own restroom

  8. Ok, so we now have 3 genders: male, female, and LGBT. But by solving the problem of these trans people through the gender neutral bathroom, you are creating a problem for the straight male and female people. Now, where is the fairness? The better solution is a separate LGBT bathroom. A gender neutral bathroom is a victory for the perverts out there, not the LGBT''s. There is a real privacy and safety concern here.

  9. I have no hatred for the LGBT people. Their concerns are real. But the concerns of the straight male and female people are real too. A separate LGBT bathroom is a safe and fair solution for everybody.

  10. I once thought humans were the most intelligent species…. I no longer feel that way… You are not what you think you are!! If I feel that Im am no longer human and want to be a Beaver, horse, dolphin or any other mammal I would be thrown into a mental hospital.

  11. The Gender Neutral idea is ridiculous! Men thinking they are women, and women thinking they are men… They are still attempting to be one of the two Genders!!! Get out of here yes this Gender Neutral idea! You are what you are born as, love who you are!

  12. Clearly nobody in the comments actually watched the video, or they're just too blinded by baby rage to understand what was said. A single stall bathroom, that anyone can use. there would still be boy and girl bathrooms, then a third single stall one that ANYONE could use. it's not a big deal, and nobody would even notice that it was a thing unless they chose to use it.

  13. Now you will see the rape rate increase dramatically. All those men looking for woman will now have an enclosed space to get them. The amount of negatives this will bring compared to the one positive it will bring is not worth it. Since when did the abnormal people become more important than the normal people.. they are the ones with the deformation in there brain.. not us. Instead of changing the bathrooms, lets change the people..

  14. These comments are terrible and are frankly, idiotic. "Just use the bathroom assigned to your genitalia". Well, if you watch the video and have any sort of comprehension skills, both the speaker and a child used the bathroom according to their genitals and were harassed and attacked. When were any of you attacked for trying to use the toilet? That is insane. Then there are those saying that "liberals and sjws have taken over" because how dare anyone talk about how transphobia? Really, that offends you? Attacking others, that's free speech, but defending others, that should be censored now? Careful, don't want to make a Trump supporter feel triggered by talking about the lives of minorities. And saying that anyone who doesn't want to act or dress according to the genitals they were assigned is mentally ill, that is incredibly fucked up. "Conservatives" are starting to look more and more like nazis, dictating how people are allowed to dress and think and act. That's a fucked up mentality. A gender neutral bathroom shouldn't trigger you all so much, it's just a safe place for a person to perform a bodily function. Craziness.

  15. "I am not a man, I am a trans man"
    Hold up there buddy,,,, as a fellow trans-person I do not support this tbh. I personally want to be seen as just "a man" and not a "trans man", but life is not that kind.

    The main thing about this bathroom brawl we are all having here is that some people want to go to the bathroom without having to risk getting beat up in both bathrooms.
    I just want to pee.

  16. ohhh god forbid you get questioned wouldnt want that to happen …what in the world is she gonna do with a urinal … do they not understand all the perverse and get possibilities that comes along with this

  17. What about women who are victims of sexual abuse? Are people people going to tell victims to shut up and get over their feelings of fear and discomfort? They're telling them that they're uneducated bigots (or so I hear most people call each other) now? They are educated and they were educated in the worst way possible. Having a man in the bathroom is just going to trigger those memories, isn't it? I know sexual abuse isn't something that's simply forgotten about, and you can never tell who is a victim or will be a victim. So isn't it bad to let any man who says he is a woman (he doesn't have to dress like one either) into the women's bathroom?

    I just watched a video where women who were sexually abused were speaking out against gender-neutral bathrooms, and what happened to them definitely doesn't seem to be something they can just forget and keep quiet about for "equality".

  18. dash of wackness ..you obviously have no faith in god .how can u say the black movement is the same as the gay movement .now if u really know what u are talking about then u know that there r only two sexs male female .why should we push this bs on our children .all of these people that are trans.they are all with psycological problems since birth .look i dont care if u want to dress how ever but we live in a society.we need to stop this movement. now

  19. I still change in toilet stalls. I get so anxious and have seriously debilitating body image issues. I cannot tell you how helpful it would be to have these spaces. In terms of the problem of creating these spaces, maybe widening the purpose for the unisex disability bathroom …

  20. Ivan is a powerful speaker. There are a lot of places already equipped with individual bathrooms… usually due to whatever space is available at the time they put them in. In any case… all the millions of locations that will have to add these bathrooms or alter their existing bathrooms…. who is going to foot the bill for them?

  21. TED: where seasoned geniuses pay a lot of money to discuss adult topics like peepee and potty time.

    If you're a grown adult and can't figure out a safe place to pee, I just feel sorry for you. I caught on when I was 3.

  22. this is a very disturbing phenomenon showing how effectively it is possible to brainwash the population through mainstream propaganda.

    we'll have the last generation on this planet before the purge totally and completely confused about the most basic, God given distinction we have.

    Sodom and Gomorrah is in the Bible for a reason. to warn latter generations about how God feels about the spirits of rebellion and immorality

  23. who pays for these separate bathrooms for Less Than .3% of the population? how about exceptions for small businesses? or for places where there simply is not the space to do so? Those exist for separate handicap bathrooms and those serve a much bigger portion of the population.

  24. Look, the main purpose of dividing men and woman into two different bathrooms is to somehow avoid mixing sexes sexually. That is making less and less sense everyday because gender and sexuality are fluid. It makes complete sense to me that bathrooms are gender neutral, not just because of trans people but because it just doesn't seem necessary anymore to divide people into two binary strict categories.

  25. So many people are arguing on this video it's unreal. I think we should leave the current toilets as they are, but add on a 'safe place' toilet. A large cubicle similar to disabled toilets (you could even combine it with the disabled toilets in small businesses and it wouldn't cost them extra if they already have disabled toilets, just a new sign for the door). A safe place toilet would be somewhere you can go if your trans and don't feel comfortable in gendered bathrooms, where you can go if you're being bullied or abused and want to escape the person doing that to you without them being able to follow, where you can go if you need to change and feel uncomfortable with your body doing that in a toilet block with many toilets, where you can go if you're having a panic attack and need time alone. There's lots of reasons to want private bathrooms and I think if advocates of gender neutral bathrooms shared the focus to all the people it would benefit there would be much more support.

  26. I don't mind him being transgendered by why can't be use the men's room? What is the big problem? He is obviously trying to look like a man, so don't expect women to not get alarmed when they see you in the women's restroom. Seems like he/she demands people to understand him but can't understand other people's completely logical reaction and points of view. Very selfish, imo.


  28. Big problem is that you can see through the crack openings on the sides of the stall doors. I have used gender neutral bathrooms before and as I walked to use a stall I could see a women through the small door side opening pulling her pants down to sit down. For it to be fully free of spying eyes it needs to be fully covered with no hinge openings.

  29. i am very confused? what is this person's gender identity? because usually i'd say a ftm trans man is just a man and should be allowed to use the men's restroom. and a mtf trans woman is just a woman and should be allowed to use the women's restroom. this person is saying they're a trans person, however doesn't want to use either the men's or the women's bathroom? so they're non-binary?

  30. Look, I absolutely refuse the meshing of both bathrooms.

    While this may be a good thing for the trans people out there, I personally, do not think so.

    I rarely ever feel comfortable in the presence of strangers, and I can barely manage to go to the bathroom myself. I feel self conscious and extremely wary of my surroundings. And if there's suddenly the added surplus of people I don't think I'll even consider going to the bathroom when I go out.

    I would prefer there to be a separate stall or a whole other bathroom for trans people, and while you could still make the argument that people could take advantage of that third bathroom, it raises the risk of cis people too if the bathrooms mesh.

    Basically, the risk will always be there. And while you will make the bar even between trans and cis people if you mesh the bathrooms together, you will be making a lot of cis people uncomfortable.

    (I am generally assuming, I obviously know there will be exceptions to my thoughts. They are my thoughts. I don't expect everyone to agree with me on this.)


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