Safe Spaces: A List of “Whatever Gender” Bathrooms in Metro Manila (And Beyond)
Nobody should feel unsafe in a restroom
Last August 13, a 28-year-old transwoman, Gretchen Diez, made headlines when she was denied entry to a women’s restroom at a mall in Quezon City by a janitress. This encounter, which turned violent, was filmed by Diez. She described that she was “treated like a criminal” having been detained by cops and cuffed.
Discrimination is banned in Quezon City according to the Quezon City Gender-Fair Ordinance. Created in 2004, it prohibits discrimination against people’s sexual orientation, gender identity and expression (SOGIE). Meanwhile, the Safe Spaces Act, signed in July 2019 by President Rodrigo Duterte, bans gender-based sexual harassment in all public spaces. Listed offenses include stalking, flashing and making misogynistic, transphobic and homophobic slurs. According to U.N. Women National Program Officer Charisse Manalo-Jordan, the said incident was a violation of the Safe Spaces Act.
“Whatever gender,” “gender equality,” “gender-neutral” or “unisex” toilets—whatever you want to call it, it all boils down to providing a safe, inclusive space for everyone. Nobody should live in fear upon using a public restroom. It also answers a number of concerns regarding health, safety and people with special needs.
Here are establishments in Manila (and beyond) with all-gender restrooms:
Quezon City Hall
A general services staff of Quezon City Hall places an “All Gender” sign in a restroom of the city hall compound.
The QC gov't has allocated gender-neutral restrooms in the City Hall in compliance with City Ordinance 2357-2014 or the Quezon City Gender-Fair Ordinance. (1/3) pic.twitter.com/lzGBULI6aO
— Quezon City PIO (@QCPublicAffairs) August 24, 2019
Ateneo de Manila University
READ: Memo from the Associate Dean for Student and Administrative Services on All-Gender Restrooms In the Loyola Schools pic.twitter.com/hxq5CjgECH
— ADMU Sanggunian (@ADMUSanggu) March 23, 2018
De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde
Resorts World Manila
resorts world manila has this restroom and i feel like every establishment should have this as well 😢😢
(didn't get in bc someone was already using it–) pic.twitter.com/jqYLmNby3p
— michi | GIVEN LIVE EP LOCKDOWN (@WlNGEDACE) January 2, 2019
Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange
Ateneo De Davao
In the midst of the SOGIE bill dilemma and the Bathroom controversy.
we proudly say that we have this in a jesuit-catholic school
Thank You Ateneo De Davao! pic.twitter.com/egBSPFdNTa
— kuty (@Jhaedal) September 5, 2019
Saint Louis University-Baguio
More establishments plan on creating all-gender restrooms in the Philippines, and rightly so; we only hope that it will be soon.
Art Alexandra Lara