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Safe Spaces: A List of "Whatever Gender" Bathrooms in Metro Manila (And Beyond)

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:

 

SM Supermalls

 

Quezon City Hall

 

Ateneo de Manila University

 

De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde

 

Robinsons Galleria

 

Resorts World Manila

 

Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange

 

Ateneo De Davao

 

Saint Louis University-Baguio

 

RELATED: #Pride2019 Through the Lens of A First-Timer

 

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

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