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Why the country needs more gender neutral bathrooms

Posted at 5:08 PM, Mar 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-06 17:09:13-05

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Going to the bathroom is not something many of us have to actively think about. But, for people in the trans community, it is. Camille Hopkins is a transwoman from Amherst and she says that during her transition, one of the first issues she encountered was bathroom use.

At the time she was working at city hall and she says the only bathroom she could use was the one in the janitor's closet.

"But it was so dirty and after a few months I didn't want to use that bathroom anymore," she said. So, she said she had to walk down to city court anytime she had to pee. When asked how long it would take her to go to the bathroom and back she said 20 minutes.

"It was a big ordeal. I had to put on a jacket and coat. Leave the building," she adds.

Kit Myerpost, a transmale from Cheektowaga says issues like these make trans people feel like a burden.

"They kinda put you like out of sight out of mind," he said. "It's okay that you have to go the extra mile so you can feel comfortable."

Before Myerpost felt he looked masculine enough, he said he avoided all bathrooms.

"I just felt kind of like a trespasser... because there wasn't other people that looked like me in the bathroom."

Both Hopkins and Myerpost say so much of trans people's lives end up revolving around the bathroom.

"We often plan vacations and trips based on what restrooms I could use and often we'll decide to fly versus driving across the states... just to save the bathroom issues," Myerpost said.

Camille adds saying if there were just more gender neutral bathrooms a lot of these issues could be avoided.

"It's just hard to believe how this country doesn't wanna step forward and embrace everybody," Hopkins said.

Over the last few decades newer organizations have made steps towards creating more gender neutral restrooms, but there's still a long way to go.