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)

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October 11, 2019
Read Time: < 1 minute

Nobody should feel unsafe in a restroom

In 2019, 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

Resorts World Manila

Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange

Ateneo De Davao

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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