Quicker line-ups and inclusivity. That’s what the CNE had in mind when they installed their gender-neutral porta potties. Vv Magazine’s Aly Zorn gives us the full scoop.
CBC reports that the inclusion of gender identity in the Canadian Human Rights Act has been at least 12 years in the making, but sometimes to create change, initiative has to start from the bottom up. Quite literally in this regard – the toilets that sit beneath us at the CNE are flushing away social stigmas as we speak.
The fair is introducing a whole new fleet of gender-neutral, single-occupancy portable washrooms, upgrading to more user-friendly signage. The new porta potties feature a pictogram wearing half dress, half pants and a cheeky tagline below reading, “We Don’t Care.”
CNE General Manager, Virginia Ludy, told The Star, “This way anybody can use the washrooms – it doesn’t matter what the gender is.” Ludy continued to say she was inspired by ongoing political debates in Canada and the USA, concerning the transgender community. She said, “ Quite frankly, we didn’t want our customers to have to have that debate.”
But the washrooms aren’t just there to instil change, they also show how progressive thinking leads to efficiency. Thousands of people use the facilities at the CNE and cheap porta potties can’t accommodate the traffic. The new toilets were custom made, including larger ones for families and persons with disabilities, all sporting the new signage.
The artwork for the new toilets was designed by Missouri-based artist Peregrine Honig who specializes in creating catchy bathroom signs and lingerie for people in transition. So far the same sign has also been adopted by businesses in the United States who are taking a stand against discriminatory bathroom laws.
Another adopter of the washrooms, 21c Museum Hotel’s President Craig Greenberg, told the Kansas City Star, “We elected to engage this issue through contemporary art, with the belief that art can drive not only conversation, but that it can also create change.”
We have a feeling the comical, artistic approach will not only do this but also bring a light-heartedness to the issue, allowing more openness. So the next time you make a run to the loo, gender-neutral sign or not, don’t question why someone may be using that washroom – they know where they belong. We hope to see more businesses in Toronto supporting this new model.
What are your thoughts on the gender-neutral porta potties? Let Vv Magazine know in the comments below or tweet us @ViewTheVibe.