Portland's single-stall bathrooms will be gender-neutral

Portland goes gender-neutral on bathrooms

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Changes are coming to hundreds of Portland bathrooms. More than 600 single-person bathrooms will be available to everyone, regardless of gender.

The policy essentially replaces the silhouette of a man or a woman, with a picture of a toilet.

You will soon see the sign in front of all single-toilet bathrooms in city controlled buildings and parks. There more than 600 of those in the city, and they make up more than half of the city's bathrooms.

The policy also requires new city buildings to have them. Bathrooms with more than one toilet will remain the same.

Commissioner Nick Fish said making single-toilet bathrooms gender-neutral is all about helping people feel welcome, regardless of circumstances.

“The parent with a child has more choices. The older adult with a caregiver has more choices. All of Portland is going to have more choices and we think that's important,” Fish said.

Basic Rights Oregon offered input into the bathroom plan.  It's leaders agree it offers more options for everyone, but they say it may benefit transgender people the most.

"The transgender community faces greater harassment and risk of violence than any other community so this again is an important step for safety," said Co-Executive Director Amy Herzfeld.

Some city buildings, like city hall, don’t have any single-toilet bathrooms.

Over the next few months the city will try out converting some multi-stall restrooms to all-user restrooms, but will also keep dedicated men’s and women’s restrooms.


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