update: how should we respond to complaints about a non-binary guest in the bathrooms?

It’s “where are you now?” month at Ask a Manager, and all December I’m running updates from people who had their letters here answered in the past.

There will be more posts than usual this week, so keep checking back throughout the day.

Remember the resort manager asking how their staff should respond to complaints about a non-binary guest in the bathrooms? Here’s the update.

Based on your and your readers’ advice, we reframed our thinking regarding possible future complaints. We made a conscious effort to train our staff who may possibly be receiving or investigating any complaints to ask the right questions and enable them to distinguish complaints about what someone was doing from any that may be about who they were. By doing this, the potential problem and our staff’s concerns about handling it became a much smaller deal than we originally thought. It sounds simple when you put it like that and, truthfully, it was.

We included a statement in our check-in literature which read “Everyone welcome! Teapot Resorts does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, ability, veteran status, or citizenship. We welcome guests to use the restroom that is consistent with their gender identity. Taking pictures, filming, or otherwise putting other guests’ privacy at risk in the restrooms and/or private areas is strictly prohibited.” This was included with other information on resort policy as if it were as non-controversial a statement as the office hours or pet leash rules.

Of the five resorts I manage, including the one where our non-binary guest is staying, I had next to no pushback from any of our staff. One person questioned the necessity of publishing the statement wondering if it were “poking the bear,” and one other older gentleman reportedly told his coworker that he didn’t personally agree with it, but in the course of his official duties has followed it to the letter.

We had an extremely busy summer, with a higher than average number of guests and received exactly zero complaints about anyone in the bathrooms, and I truly believe the statement acted preventatively. We literally had a single negative response, a guest who didn’t say anything during his stay, but sent a long, angry rambling email after the fact complaining about the policy on behalf of his wife and all other “real” women. Interestingly, he never referred to her by name, only as his Wife, as if that were her identity, and we did not hear from her at all. By contrast, we had a handful of guests who positively commented on the policy, both those who were directly impacted by the policy and those who were not but generally approved of it. By far the most common reaction was no reaction at all, which was a very pleasant surprise.

It is easy to see that having a non-discrimination policy, ensuring all of our staff knew how to talk about the issue, and making our guests aware of it neutralized not only our staff’s concerns over dealing with complaints but also made the majority of our guests (regardless of their own gender identity) feel more comfortable and safe in our facilities. Overall this experience definitely resulted in a net positive for our company in a lot of ways, including public perception and staff retention.

My sincere thanks to you and all of your amazing readers who took the time to comment and share their own experiences and things that worked for them. Through the advice received we were able to turn this potential mountain into a molehill.

{ 223 comments… read them below }

    1. Juicebox Hero*

      Yes, it’s great. I was very interested in seeing how this one played out. My brother’s middle kid is genderfluid and some places have been very kind and accomodating, and others not so much. It makes me happy that the response has been overwhelmingly neutral to positive because hopefully in the future, controversy over this sort of thing will go the heck away and people can just be themselves.

    2. Jedi Beth*

      I do love a happy ending!

      Seeing that kind of policy language would be, for me, all the more reason to give a place my full support, recommend it to friends, etc.

  1. King+Friday+XIII*

    Well done, OP. I’m glad that you were invested in getting ahead of possible issues, sounds like that made things more comfortable for your GNC guests.

    1. Hlao-roo*

      Seconding this! I’m glad the OP updated the check-in materials and had a successful summer running the resort!

    2. Giant Kitty*

      As a nonbinary, gender non conforming person I know what GNC stands for, but it’s always extremely jarring to read it abbreviated as “GNC” and have to realize people aren’t talking about the vitamin store, LOL.

      We really need a better acronym that hasn’t already applied to a major corporation for decades.

      1. Bread Crimes*

        Ah, good ol’ acronym confusion. CBT, MLM, and BLM are the ones where I’m most used to seeing double-takes because of two different relatively common meanings.

  2. ScruffyInternHerder*

    This update gives me some hope for humanity.

    Of course, I’m also in a position where I’m watching the design of a building and there’s hand wringing and snark (none of it from women, for the record, in this instance) about the discussions of “Gender Neutral Bathrooms”. Sigh. There would be NONE of this if the designer would label them “Single Occupant Bathrooms”. Because THAT is all that they are. They’re looking at replacing the large gang toilet rooms (meaning 15-20 toilets per group) with individual toilet rooms spread around the building. And I’m certainly making judgements in my head about the men throwing fits about it.

      1. MigraineMonth*

        I like the single bathrooms where they don’t have a “man” icon or a “woman” icon (or the dreaded half-and-half), they just have an icon of a toilet.

        1. Phryne*

          An event venue near me has changed the signs to show what equipment is in the space behind it: either only toilets, or both toilets and urinals, and leaves it to the guests which one they want to use.
          Welcoming to all people and also very useful in a place where often there is a long line at either the one or the other depending on the event/show.

          1. T*

            Even when I was still dealing with a lot of internalized transphobia I always thought the fuss about bathrooms was silly and they should just be labeled as “this one has urinals and that one has a tampon machine on the wall and trash cans in the stalls”

            1. rebelwithmouseyhair*

              Even better, they could have toilets in individual stalls in one room and urinals in a separate room, so that nobody wanting a toilet ever risks seeing a guy with his penis out. That way people with penises can just pop in to pee, and anyone wanting to pee or poo sitting on a toilet will queue for a stall. Of course, if someone presenting as a man is queueing, we’ll all think “ah he wants to poo” but I’m pretty sure they can live with that.

    1. Verde*

      So much this. And seriously, single occupant restrooms are just better overall – I’ve said this at every meeting I’ve ever had to discuss new or remodeled facility features for **years**.

      1. CommanderBanana*

        A local restaurant has a great design, where single occupant, completely enclosed stalls are in a hallway with the sinks and mirrors in a common area outside the stalls, which pretty much eliminates any bottlenecks.

          1. Bexy+Bexerson*

            There’s a bar/restaurant/entertainment venue in my city with this setup. One big restroom, with a line of stalls with “toilet” signs in the doors and one door at the end (perpendicular to the toilet stall) with a “urinals” sign, leading to what I assume is a room full of urinals (I don’t know, I’m not a urinal user). Across from the stalls is a row of sinks for everyone. It’s great!

        1. Me (I think)*

          A popular hotel in Midtown Manhattan has this setup. Private rooms with full doors for toilets, and an outer area with sinks. There is a sign that the bathroom is gender neutral. It still totally freaks out some people, who just refuse to go inside and use it.

          I do not understand.

          1. Pucci*

            A museum in Amsterdam has this arrangement. The restrooms were marked Men or Women, but the women’s restroom when I used it had a male janitor cleaning the sink area.

          2. RunShaker*

            Seen this set up in a few different businesses in Okinawa & many also had toilets with bidet seats!
            In San Antonio, a popular hang out downtown has a similar set up but sinks are inside with full doors for each toilet stall. The issue is tipsy men go in & don’t close the stall door. So improvement is needed to the design. But they do focus on inclusion so that’s big step for here.

          3. MM*

            Every time people handwring (or worse) about this I long to teleport them to a bar in Nantes I went to, where to get to the stalls everyone (of any gender) had to walk right past the urinals, which were around a corner–not in full view of the main room–but not even hidden behind a door. IT’S FINE.

          4. whingedrinking*

            I’ve also heard of people being chased out of the “wrong” washroom even when they were designated gender neutral. I didn’t actually witness the occurrence, but I was at a slam poetry night once where the MC had to say, “Our bathrooms aren’t gendered. That means anyone is allowed to use whichever one they want. If you’ve harassed someone over their choice of toilet this evening, kindly get a life.” It was pretty depressing that even in a wildly bohemian space, that was apparently still necessary.

        2. dream weaver*

          An added bonus of communal sinks is social pressure for people to actually wash their hands. If people can see you, you’ll probably stop to wash.

            1. Alanna*

              It’s less great for those of us who need a private sink. My disability doesn’t affect my mobility so I sometimes get looks when using accessible toilets. I much prefer individual toilets with a private sink.

              1. UKDancer*

                Definitely. If I’m having my period and have to change something then I’d really rather have the sink in the cubicle than a unisex toilet facility with communal sinks. I don’t want men seeing me come out with blood on my hands to wash them as it feels too vulnerable. I’d much rather have a unisex toilet with the sink in the cubicle any day. They feel a lot more private to my way of thinking.

                1. New Jack Karyn*

                  In that situation, I tend to wipe my hands off with toilet paper, as thoroughly as I can. I want to do that before doing up my jeans, anyway.

                2. Spruce*

                  Yes, the menstrual murder-hands after taking out a menstrual cup make me appreciate bathrooms with sinks.
                  My workplace has only single-occupancy bathrooms with sinks, not assigned by gender, and it is the best set up I have ever experienced. It’s a brand new building, and I am really glad they just integrated that in the construction. My company’s older buildings are slowly being changed to this set up with every renovation – it’s a success.

              2. dawbs*

                yeah, that’s the main disadvantage of shared sinks.

                Those of us who’ve ever had to help someone completely disrobe, wash *assume gross. For less-gross discussion purposes, assume a toddler & slime!* something off of someone’s body, and change them into new clothes, it can be really useful to be able to access a sink and paper towel and the person without clothes at the same time. And if you’re dealing w/ the very old, very young, and disabled folks, trying to meet needs and respect privacy/modesty, it can be a continual challenge

                The other 90% of the time I’m all for separate facilities

              3. MigraineMonth*

                Good point, it seems like the accessible toilets and changing tables should have the sink inside the room.

                I’m sorry you get looks from people who make unfounded assumptions.

                1. allathian*

                  Because bidet showers are standard in Finland, the vast majority of public toilets have a tiny sink and faucet in the stall. If it’s single-user washroom, like all accessible ones, there’s a bigger sink.

                  For people with GI issues, a sink in the stall is a necessity.

              4. Violet Rose*

                That is also a good point, and made me very grateful for the individual stalls with (small) individual sinks I saw in newer, public buildings in the UK.

        3. Zephy*

          There’s a bar my husband’s band plays at occasionally that just has two single-occupant restrooms, fully enclosed with the sink inside. Anyone can use either bathroom, they’re identical. People just need to pee.

        4. Kimmy Schmidt*

          I saw this design at a BBQ restaurant and have absolutely fallen in love with it since. Also makes it easy if all you need is a sink to wash your hands!

        5. JustaTech*

          There’s a brewery in my area that has this and it’s brilliant. My friends with kids really love it because either parent can take a kiddo to the bathroom without it being an “issue”.
          It is simultaneously the most private and airiest public bathroom I’ve ever encountered.

        6. Olivia*

          I went to a wedding at a venue that had them like this. I believe it was the Artesano Gallery in Philadelphia. It was the first time I had ever been to a place where there was a gender-neutral bathroom that wasn’t just a single-occupancy one, and I thought it was really cool and kind of refreshing. Because the stall doors went basically floor to ceiling, you had more privacy than in typical bathrooms. So it was a gender-neutral bathroom whose design completely sidesteps any potential “concerns” about privacy that transphobes and queerphobes like to disguise their objections as. It was obviously done very thoughtfully, and I like how it just made it seem like the most normal thing in the world. I hope to see more like restrooms like this in the future.

          1. Phryne*

            Floor to ceiling doors are not completely universal in my country, but I was very surprised at the amount of space toilets sometimes had under, over and especially between the doors in the US… A gap you can fit 2 fingers through and right opposite the entry door as well being the worst… I cannot imagine the owmner/manager of any public or private place here seeing that and not th1inking it is a problem that needs soling asap.
            Surely a well fitting door should just be a basic requirement for a toilet no matter who will be using it where or how.

        7. ScruffyInternHerder*

          This would be absolutely brilliant, but they’re looking at spacing them out so that its a single user bathroom like the one in your house. Toilet, sink, all in one room. Making the conversation thus more ridiculous in the scheme of things.

        8. I need a new name...*

          A bar/theatre I frequent has this but the sinks and mirrors are also in the stalls. So it’s just a very long hallway of doors… I should film a scooby-doo skit there one day…

        9. Jennifer*

          Work travel took me to Tel Aviv for quite a bit a while ago and this was very typical in restaurants.

      2. Guacamole Bob*

        Yes! I understand they may take a bit more space so there may still be a role for larger group restrooms, but all facilities should have a healthy proportion of single-occupancy restrooms.

        My son has an insulin pump. Should he need to change it during a work day when he’s older, should he have to be messing with vials of insulin and alcohol swabs in a toilet stall? Or pulling down his pants by the communal sinks to reach where the pump is on his thigh? A single-occupancy bathroom is a much better option for him in that case. And, I imagine, for people with all sorts of other medical needs that might arise.

        1. Michelle Smith*

          Yes, I have a medical device that helps me urinate (think similar to a funnel, like a “shewee” but not that specific product). I am under 5 ft tall, very fat, and disabled. Getting on and off a toilet can be really painful and difficult for me, including in disabled stalls where the seats are often even higher than the ones in the smaller stalls. Because of my height, I cannot squat over a toilet. Trying to pee, either sitting or squatting, can mean making a mess all over the seat, down the front of the bowl, on my clothes, and/or on the floor. Yuck. It’s often much easier and cleaner for me to pee standing up, facing the seat, with the aid of my device.

          The problem is that when I’m out at work or otherwise in public, I don’t really want to wash my device in front of people and freak them out. I am self-conscious about the fact that I need assistance to pee comfortably. It’s so nice when there is a private stall available for me to use so I can wash my device in the sink (I’m clean and I make sure no pee splashes on the counter or gets on the sink handle or anything like that!!!) before putting it back in its case.

          1. Giant Kitty*

            I’m 5’ 11” (and disabled) and can’t use the disabled stalls where the seats are higher than normal without pain/discomfort. I often wonder who they are actually designed for, because I can’t imagine they are any easier or more comfortable to use for someone UNDER six feet tall!

            1. WS*

              They’re for people who have difficulty with the action of sitting down and standing up! My mum, who has significantly disabling osteoporosis and related knee problems, loves them, and she’s 5’1″.

        2. NotRealAnonforThis*

          Non-hypothetical situation: blood thinner injections with an elementary aged child. Sure, we had a little play in the timing, and sure, we could’ve given the injections somewhere else besides her thighs…but making sure there was a family restroom available if we were out of our house during the hour my daughter required her blood thinners was eye opening. She was so thin after hospitalization that the only options we had were really her belly or thighs (medical team’s statement of fact, actually)

          Even said child noticed that “this would be very difficult if you had to do this every day for your entire life. How do you ensure there’s a non-disgusting bathroom around when you need your shots?”

    2. Don*

      A number of municipalities have simply mandated that such bathrooms must be labeled for all users. DC, for example. You could always bring that up, and point out that such configurations are more family friendly. Labeling them all-use is more welcoming for folks who may need to take in another person to assist them as well.

      It’s ridiculous we have to judo around this nonsense objection to just letting people pee, but ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

      1. Where’s the Orchestra?*

        And honestly the single room toilets are also much easier with changing diapers and potty-training children because they tend to be larger. This means I’m not banging elbows or stepping on things helping kids.

        They are also much friendlier for those fathers who are out and about with their young kids of opposite gender.

        1. anonymath*

          Yes!! It is no fun for daddy to have to send 4-yr-old girl into the women’s room solo or awkwardly “seek permission” to go into the women’s room or try to shepherd kid into men’s room… 4 yr olds have trouble climbing on to the high seats, have trouble with door latches, have trouble reaching the toilet paper, have trouble wiping their own butts, and also are at an awkward age where you don’t really want them seeing the genitals of strangers… “Daddy he has a elephant nose just like you!!”

          Anyhow, end derail, but as with so many “accommodations” (like curb cuts or transcripts/captioning of videos) there are benefits for many other groups.

          1. Zephy*

            I am once again asking where and how are you or your children viewing the genitals of strangers in public restrooms? What sorts of public restrooms are you using and what are you doing in them?

            1. snoopythedog*

              Children are curious and a bank of urinals sometimes doesn’t hide pieces from line of sight. Sure, if you’re an adult and know to avert your gaze as you walk past a set of urinals, you won’t see anything. A curious child will peep and peer, especially a girl in a men’s bathroom as a urinal would be a new sight…and she wouldn’t be expecting/understanding that she would see genitals.

              So a four year old girl out with daddy may need to walk into a mens bathroom with dad if she can’t toilet by herself. It’s really not that odd as you would make it seem.

              1. dawbs*

                and I think as an adult it’s easy to forget that adult people’s groins are at EYE LEVEL for kids.
                It can be overblown fear. It’s something I was willing to have my husband tackle w/ our daughter but it was harder for grandpa to know how to handle.

                1. Where’s the Orchestra?*

                  This was my husbands concern ages two thru five – relative heights mean different things are eye level for preschoolers.

            2. e*

              Eh, it’s not that weird, especially in a bathroom where people are using urinals.

              I agree with your overall point, and I don’t like people bringing up “but what if I somehow see someone with the wrong genitals??” as reason to exclude trans people from public bathrooms, but that isn’t what was going on in the comment you’re responding to.

            3. T*

              Regular public restrooms with urinals, presumably?

              There’s also the fact that many men’s rooms tend to have broken stall doors or no stall doors at all.

            4. JustaTech*

              I don’t know about anonymath, but I was once in the women’s restroom at an Ikea when a little boy escaped from his mom and crawled down the whole line of stalls saying hello to everyone.
              To which everyone said something along the lines of “hey, you should go back to your mom”.

              I don’t know how much that kid saw, but more than normal for a public restroom!
              (And now I know why there are little harnessed jump seats on the insides of the doors of the bathroom stalls at Ikea – to keep little kids from escaping.)

              1. Kacihall*

                I lived in St Louis when my kiddo was born, and traveled back to my hometown with him (4 hour drive) on a way too regular basis.

                I still think fondly of the Menards I would stop at for a halfway point, because it always had clean bathrooms and it had the jumpseat for the baby. Weird to stop at a hardware store for bathroom breaks, but they had snacks I could buy too.

            5. Qwerty*

              Stalls have gaps at every seam. Adults politely ignore them, but kids peer through wondering what they can see.

              Small children sometimes pop their head under the wall to the next stall. The more space under the wall/divider, the bigger the risk.

              Not sure how much privacy is standard in men’s rooms. I’ve heard of some where the urinals aren’t individual, but is more like a bunch of men using a big trough with a drain at high traffic places like stadiums.

              1. Nobby Nobbs*

                Or kids notice the gaps, complain about them, and get accused of peeping by the other kids. Not that I’m still bitter about something that happened when I was five, or anything…

              2. Lellow*

                Hearing about the toilet door gaps is one of the big things putting me off from visiting the US. It sounds so creepy!

              3. Nina*

                I’m in a country where ‘gaps in every seam’ is very very very far from the norm. When you’re in a toilet cubicle here, there are no gaps at the edges of the door or the corners of the cubicle, a standard gap below the door is six inches, and the standard door height is six feet. If you’re very tall (I am not) it’s sometimes just barely possible to peep over the wall into the next cubicle by standing on the toilet, but catching an accidental glimpse is unthinkable.
                When I lived in America briefly I found public restrooms horrifying with all the gaps and I definitely understand how people would find mixed-gender restrooms more upsetting in America than they do in my country.

                1. Phryne*

                  The amount of space around toilet doors in the US was weird. You occasionally have a little space at the top or bottom here, but even those you find less and less. But the huge gaps next to the door freaked me out a bit.

                  I still find the mixed gender panic nonsensical though. If you sit down, there is very little to see, and if you stand your back is to the door.

              4. Azure Jane Lunatic*

                There was a larger than usual gap in the accessible stall at the very end of the row in a work bathroom I used to use. Every time I went in I saw that someone had draped a long piece of toilet paper over that gap. (There was a normal length wall module separating the accessible stall from the next stall over, and then a wide gap that didn’t have a view of the toilet but was directly in eyeshot of someone entering the bathroom, then a narrow panel for the door hinges, the door itself, a narrow panel for the door latch, (another gap but not in eyeshot of the main door), and the wall.)

                I reported the problem and the DIY solution to Facilities, and Facilities installed a piece of opaque plastic to cover it. The extra toilet paper lying around stopped happening, so I guess everyone was satisfied.

          2. Where’s the Orchestra?*

            And just the still amazing lack of changing stations in men’s restrooms.

            Which is totally separate from the fact that the changing station in women’s restrooms frequently are in the accessible stall.

        2. Indigo Hippo*

          I’m so grateful for inclusive toilets at the moment. Usually when we’re out and about as a family I’d be the one to take our 2.5yr old to the loo, but I’m 4 weeks out from a c-section which means I can’t lift her on to the toilet right now, and she’s too little to get up there on her own. Her dad isn’t really welcome in the ladies’ room, but the urinal issue in the gents’ makes it tricky for him to take her in there too (not that I’m super bothered if my kid sees a penis, it’s just a penis and she knows her dad and baby brother have them! But she might make a stranger uncomfortable if she is curious or comments about the urinals). Inclusive loos are really helpful for families.

    3. Purple Cat*

      For “gang toilet rooms” (cracking up at that description!) the one thing that makes them “Gender neutral” is eliminating urinals and only including stalls. Are men REALLY that committed to the urinal experience? If so, I’m definitely giving them the side-eye if they WANT to look at other people peeing so badly.

      1. Not Australian*

        Given the amount of conversations that happen in toilets in TV shows, I’m forced to think that men in particular consider them a communal/social space … which, historically, I suppose they were.

          1. Selina Luna*

            I talk to my son when I’m on the toilet… because he’s 2 and doesn’t really get this whole “privacy” deal yet. When it comes to public restrooms, any conversation greater than “none” is weird to me.

      2. Warrior Princess Xena*

        I have heard that urinals are far faster to use and can reduce the length of lines, so I wouldn’t want those eliminated entirely from any restroom. That shouldn’t nix the idea though. The way that my alma mater has started solving that with their newer constructions is having them in stalls as well and clearly marking that on the outside of the stall.

        1. snoopythedog*

          I think if reducing the length of lines were such a concern for building designers, they would then increase the proportion of women’s stalls to offset the ‘line loss’ from urinals.

          1. Slow Gin Lizz*

            Lots of places have done this and I think it’s a mandate in some states (or possibly nationwide) that any public facility undergoing renovations has to increase the number of stalls in women’s rooms since the average length of bathroom visits for people who have to sit to pee is 3x that of urinal-users. That may be an urban legend, however, and I haven’t the time ATM to google and gather more info about it.

      3. Bagpuss*

        I thinkthe advantage of urinals is that they take up less spae, so you can fit ore of them in, and help reduce queues. Presumably if they are in individual stalls then that’s no longer the case and if that’s what’s happening then to me it would make sense to make all of the toilets, since that way any stall is available to people of any gender.

        I’ve noticed a couple of theatr I go to have switched to having sinage that just says what’s iside -(e.g. 3 WCs / 2 WCs + 2 Urinals) on the doors rather than labelling them for men or women, so it’s only the signage they have altered, hich seems sensble if you are not in a postion to remodel completely but want to make them more accessible

      4. Seashell*

        I am a woman who would prefer not to have to put down a seat that has been put up in a public restroom. If urinals would avoid the seat being put up in a gender neutral bathroom, I’m for that.

        1. Bathroom Re-Inventor*

          I totally think that rather than the dichotomy of “men” and “women,” restrooms should be “sit” or “stand.”

          There can be urinals or the “female” urinals I swear I’ve seen somewhere that you kind of hover over, or squatty potties (like in Asia, not the stools for pooping) or whatever options(s) folks want in the “stand” restroom, but if you go in the “sit” restroom, you have to commit to putting your genitals fully between the edges of the seat, at or below the level of the seat, so there is NO missing, dripping, spraying, or splashing on the seat.

          Folks who would otherwise pee on toilet seats (or lift them up and leave them up, leaving non-standers to have to touch the seat to use it as intended) should have appropriate facilities, and folks who sit on toilet seats should be free to sit on DRY toilet seats!

          I don’t care the gender of the butt prior to mine, as long as it was clean and dry and ON the seat. And standers, hoverers, and squatters, could be in and out faster in the appropriate facilities, as well (all in private stalls, none of this bank-of-urinals business either).

          And of course, users choose the appropriate facility for their current needs, it’s not a supposed lifelong designation.

          1. Phryne*

            This the exact argument I always use. Sit down, or use facilities for standing up, and that includes female hoverers. I do not care about the equipment you use to do it, as long as you sit your butt down and keep it clean.

      5. Mr. Shark*

        No, men don’t want to look at other men peeing that badly (Frankly, the urinals that don’t have divider between them aren’t really desirable at all, but somehow still are ubiquitous, especially at sporting events/concert events.) Nor are they really much of a communal/social space as Not Australian suggests below.
        It’s simply convenience, and as Warrior Princess Xena mentions, it allows for more urinals which makes the queue much quicker. I’d say if women were able to easily use them as well, they would be very much for keeping urinals available to them.

      6. John*

        Urinals are cheaper and take up less space, so they end up reducing queues for everyone.

        For example, between two of the years I was there, Lollapalooza switched from only Porta-Potties to having Porta-Potties with urinal areas to their side. I assume they spent a similar amount of $ or even saved $, and the queues for the Porta-Potties were significantly shorter when the urinals were added.

        In addition, they’re more environmentally friendly – urinals can flush using a very small amount of water (or even no water in the case of some modern ones), which is significant in an era with a lot more drought spreading.

        1. John*

          Just to clarify the Lollapalooza example – they put in slightly fewer Porta-Potties, which is why I’m assuming that the change was money-neutral or positive, and yet the lines were still significantly shorter.

          You could complain that it increases gender inequality, but I would say if you can reduce men’s wait time by 100% and women’s wait time by 80% at no cost, that’s worth doing.

    4. Venus*

      We have both sizes and the single use are fully fitted for people with disabilities. I have a coworker who seems to have a health condition as he spends a lot of time in them, and I am very thankful for his sake that he has full privacy. Not all bathrooms have to be single use but there should be some.

    5. CommanderBanana*

      While we’re at it, can we follow the European model of bathroom stall building, where it’s enclosed floor to ceiling, instead of with GIANT GAPS around the edge of every door?

      1. digitalnative-ish*

        Seriously! I just recently used a single occupant one at a hospital where I could see into the hallway through the gap in the door (directly across from the toilet of course). How do you leave a gap like that in the door? How?

        1. Lizzo*

          Many of the toilet facilities at our local forest preserves have stall doors that only come up to about 5 feet high. Super awkward.

        2. T*

          In case this was a genuine question, it’s built in intentionally. The idea being to make public toilets less appealing as a location to use illegal drugs or to have sex, etc. (I would guess in the hospital there may also be concerns about being able to see if a patient has passed out or otherwise is in trouble within.)

          Note: I’m not saying this is a GOOD reason. I actually think it’s reprehensible that these violations on privacy are considered fair game in the ‘war on drugs’. Just saying that it’s on purpose, and you feel exposed because you’re supposed to be.

      2. Yvette*

        I was working in the city (NY) when they passed the (I think it was called) self-identify, whereby people could use the bathroom they identified with (but were still labeled men or women, the bathrooms not the people) and what they did was install metal strips that closed the gap on either side. Personally, I would have loved that all along.

      3. All Het Up About It*

        I miss a lot of things from my Pre-Covid layoff job – but one of them was the very private stalls in the bathroom. Zero gaps and while they weren’t fully enclosed floor to ceiling they went much higher and lower than standard. The stalls were also deeper, so you were further back from the door, so that also made it next to impossible to see shoes, etc. when in the stalls.

        Current office building was built in the 90’s but to match the design aesthetic of all the 70’s or older buildings on campus, so it feels much older than 30 some years old.

      4. Qwerty*

        YES! During the original post, I realized that the whole single-gendered bathroom desire is mostly around (1) Issues with the current bathroom setup like gaps and (2) safety around location (like dark basement bathroom at a bar). If we fix those, most of this other stuff goes away.

        1. UKDancer*

          Yes. I think if you can sort out the security / location issues you’ll solve a lot of the concerns people raise. Well-lit and safe locations and robust and well-fitting doors are a real benefit in making everyone feel at ease.

      5. Michelle Smith*

        No thanks, if we move to that model just have individual bathrooms. Stalls with fully enclosed doors make me feel intensely claustrophobic.

    6. Magenta*

      Individual locking self-contained rooms with a toilet and a sink are much better for everyone, they don’t exclude gender diverse people or religious people, traumatized women, etc who for one reason or another are unable to share a bathroom with members or the opposite sex. To be truly inclusive everyone has to be accommodated, including those with a wish for privacy.

      1. Bagpuss*

        I think having sinks in every stall takes up more space and also means each stall is occupied for longer, comapared to stall plus a separate area with sinks, so it’s not ideal for situations where there is likely to be a very high volume of usage or where there are priods where they are very busy. So great for most office settings, less so for places like rail stations, theatres and cinemas etc, where you get large waves of people all wanting to use the facilities at the same time.

        1. Ana Gram*

          Have you seen Japanese style toilet sinks? The sink is built over the toilet tank so there’s no size difference between them and a standard toilet. I haven’t encountered one but I’m intrigued by the idea. I’m also not sure if I want to lean over/brush against the toilet bowl to wash my hands.

          1. Violet Rose*

            I encountered these in my host family’s house and it took me a few days to figure out what they were – but once I did, I loved them! I think it’s still a good idea to include a (communal?) sink somewhere else as an *option*, but I’d be more than happy to save water and wash my hands this way.

    7. Llellayena*

      It would be lovely if Plumbing code for fixture counts would figure out the whole “gender neutral” thing though. The code specifically divides the number of users in half, labels them “Men” and “Women,” and assigns how many fixtures FOR EACH GENDER. And yes, the numbers are different in some limited cases. I’d like to see the code keep everyone in one bucket for the basic fixture counts but provide additional guidance IF you are providing separate MULTI-STALL bathrooms for Male and Female genders. Single occupant bathrooms should never be labeled with a gender.

      1. Bagpuss*

        Yes, I am in the UK and I think at the moment there is still a requirement to have separate facilities in workplaces “where possible” or failing that separate rooms with locakable doors – so having a stall with a lock which contains the toilet and a sink is permitted but technically oif you can have separate facilities that is what you ‘should’ do. (And you are also allowed different numbers for men and women!)

      2. Michelle Smith*

        “Single occupant bathrooms should never be labeled with a gender.”

        Correct. This is how our bathrooms are at work and they work very well for me. I don’t have to struggle to figure out what bathroom is acceptable for me to use and I have total privacy, without being stuck in a tiny stall with walls enclosing me super tightly.

    8. Some Dude*

      I’m in the bay area, and I do smirk when restaurants with only one single use restroom loudly proclaim that anyone can use it regardless of their gender identity. Bruh, you just have one bathroom!

      1. Grace*

        That’s actually a legal requirement. Single-holers in CA are required by law to be gender-neutral, even if you’ve got two of them.

        1. Azure Jane Lunatic*

          And it’s a relatively recent requirement — I think they were only just starting to change away from mandatory M/F labeling for everywhere with 2 separate bathrooms by the time I moved away in 2017. Which was ridiculous when they were both single-holers.

      2. Mr. Shark*

        Yes, that is funny. I have noticed that in California as well when I was living there. You have one restroom!! Of course it’s gender neutral!!

        1. Stuff*

          I live in the Bay Area, and while that is indeed the law, in my experience a massive number of businesses have yet to actually take down the male and female bathroom signs.

    9. All Het Up About It*

      As a person who works in a large building with only one set of large gang toilets on each floor, and whose office happens to be one of the farthest away as possible from these bathrooms, individual toilet rooms spread throughout the building sounds DIVINE!

    10. bratschegirl*

      My guess would be that the men throwing fits are the ones who (a) always leave the seat up and/or (b) splatter pee everywhere and don’t clean up after themselves, and feel that altering either of those habits – which they will be pressured to do once their women colleagues are using the same bathrooms – would cost them masculinity points. Or your workplace is the one where the men use the women’s bathrooms for pooping…

    11. Kimberly*

      Yes, individual toilet rooms solve so many problems.

      I student taught in a school that had the plumbing put in by the WPA. There was no place for a bank of bathrooms. Instead, 2 WCs were put in the corners of the back wall of each classroom Then a counter with 2 deep sinks and water bubblers was put between the WCs.

      That school had one of the lowest absentee rates for staff and students because everyone could use the bathroom as needed and handwashing was easy to monitor. Teachers were allowed to use the restrooms also. There were no boy and girl bathrooms because that doesn’t make sense. This solves so many problems and should be the norm. (The configuration also provided a safe place for sheltering during Tornado Warnings and Lock Downs)

    12. Eater of Hotdish*

      Another useful label: “family-style” restrooms.

      I live in a very conservative rural area and work with churches, and holy crap (as it were), that really, really works here. We changed signage in one and are currently renovating another. Nobody batted an eyelash.

  3. Don*

    “Interestingly, he never referred to her by name, only as his Wife, as if that were her identity, and we did not hear from her at all.”

    No doubt he has prevented her from learning Her Letters lest she get ideas beyond her station.

    1. Fishsticks*

      Probably because she was in the background saying, “It’s not that big a deal, and you had better leave me OUT of this ridiculous email! One hopes.

  4. OrigCassandra*

    Thanks for updating, OP. This gives me a model I can discuss with my students, when inclusion-related topics come up.

  5. MarfisaTheLibrarian*

    “By contrast, we had a handful of guests who positively commented on the policy, both those who were directly impacted by the policy and those who were not but generally approved of it.”

    I think often people outside the queer community underestimate just how appreciated upfront statements like this are, until they see the response! When there’s not an overt statement of acceptance, there always has to be at least a little question mark about where we stand and whether it would be safe to report harassment.

  6. Observer*

    We literally had a single negative response, a guest who didn’t say anything during his stay, but sent a long, angry rambling email after the fact complaining about the policy on behalf of his wife and all other “real” women. Interestingly, he never referred to her by name, only as his Wife, as if that were her identity, and we did not hear from her at all.

    Why am I UTTERLY not surprised by this?

    1. heather*

      Yeah, there’s definitely no wife. Or, if there is, she doesn’t care about who is in the bathroom. That guy needs to get a grip.

      1. BethRA*

        Oh, she probably exists. He’s just using her as an excuse for his bigotry. I did phonebanking for a ballot question here in Mass to keep access to public accommodations in our anti-discrimination laws. I spoke to more than one man who told me he was voting against access to public accommodations because of his concern for his wife’s and/or daughters’ safety.

        And then admitted that said wives/daughters didn’t share his concern and would be voting to keep them.

    2. Here for the Insurance*

      My money says he absolutely has a wife and it’s irrelevant (to him) whether she had an opinion on the matter because his opinion is the only one that matters. Notice the “on behalf of his wife and all other ‘real’ women.” He presumes to speak for all cis women because, as a man, he thinks it’s his right to do so. Guarantee he didn’t poll the other cis women at the resort for their thoughts before opening his trap.

  7. tessa*

    I wonder what Whiner does on a long flight. Because airlines have had gender-neutral restrooms on their planes for how long now…?

    1. Expelliarmus*

      Well, planes have one-person bathrooms, so a lot of the complaints that these haters have are rendered moot in that scenario.

  8. Wintermute*

    I think this is a beautiful example of how online discourse can distort perceptions. It’s very easy for a very, very small group of die-hard partisans to APPEAR to be a very big group, by the use of many accounts, signal amplification techniques like mass bot reposting and algorithm manipulation. Then other people look and say “wow this must be a mass movement”, and news reports on it as a mass movement, and people start acting like the apparent volume is organic and the result of popular sentiment.

    But when you get to a situation where you’re only counting what actual human being are willing to say out loud in public– suddenly the noise vanishes, you get one complaint, maybe two, certainly not the thousands you were bracing for based on the perceived prevalence.

    1. turquoisecow*

      Yeah I think the number of people angered by these things is small but extremely vocal. Haters gonna hate…LOUDLY.

    2. FridayFriyay*

      I think it’s a bit “yes and no” on this point when it comes to gender identity and transphobia though. Yes, the people who oppose trans peoples’ existence are a small and vocal minority that uses astroturfing and manipulation to seem much larger. AND that vocal minority has been incredibly effective at escalating public anti-trans sentiment and, in many countries including the US, actioning into harmful new policies of exclusion and marginalization and rollbacks of civil rights – which has real impacts on trans people and very much demonstrates that this rhetoric should be taken seriously and that the situation trans folks are currently in (which is, not exaggerated, nearing genocide status currently) should be taken seriously and not dismissed because we know opponents are a small but vocal minority. They are effective and that isn’t just because the media is amplifying it (although that is also a factor.)

      1. marvin*

        This is well said. However I think it is worth emphasizing the fact that the people spreading anti trans rhetoric rely heavily on misinformation tactics and silencing the voices of actual trans people. Because the vast majority of people don’t have any problem with real trans people and the ways we actually act, but since we’re a pretty small segment of the population and not all of us are able or willing to be open about being trans, it can be easy to circulate all kinds of lies about us.

  9. Nomic*

    I am delighted to hear things have gone so smoothly. Thank you for being so proactive and making sure everyone feels comfortable and accepted.

  10. heather*

    I just wish we could move toward all single-stall and/or mixed gender bathrooms. Bathrooms have stalls for both toilets and showers, so why do I care who is in there with me?? My son is 11 now, but if we went to a swimming pool or water park, he needed help with changing his clothes up until just a few years ago. I couldn’t go into the men’s room, and he was too old/tall looking to go into the women’s room. It was absurd and it’s even worse for someone whose child is disabled and needs help into their teens and beyond! Just make everything mixed-gender and also make clear that you can’t go walking around naked in there. Voila.

    1. bookartist*

      I (cis woman) take my now-20-years-old disabled son (visible disability) into all kinds of public bathrooms all the time. The men have always, and I mean always, been gracious. Women, once my son started looking like an older teen, not so much. Thanks the gods for family bathrooms!

      1. Heather*

        That is so interesting that you have better results when you go into the men’s room with your son, rather than taking him with you into the women’s room.

        1. marvin*

          Actually a lot of trans masculine people have a similar experience. Men’s bathrooms have more of a mind your own business culture whereas some women can get pretty territorial (no thanks to terf propaganda). This is part of the reason it can be fraught for gender nonconforming people to figure out which bathroom is less likely to be dangerous for us.

  11. Just here for the scripts*

    Thank you OP for pointing out that when the focus is on the behavior–be it job-description-related, or client-based, this issue is often simplified and the solution direct:

    “.. enable (staff) to distinguish complaints about what someone was doing from any that may be about who they were. By doing this, the potential problem and our staff’s concerns about handling it became a much smaller deal than we originally thought. It sounds simple when you put it like that and, truthfully, it was.”

    Thank you, Alison, for helping us all focus on the right things.

  12. Pink Geek*

    Oooh! I’ve been wanting an update to this letter and I’m so glad it was a happy one!

    Well done LW. Being proactive about this really paid off!

  13. oranges*

    This is great news! Well done OP and team!

    (I think it’s also a case that Twitter and cable news aren’t real life. Issues that are dominating the conversation in those spaces often aren’t reflective of how often they’re A Thing IRL.)

    1. Heather*

      This is SO true. When I start feeling like the world is a terrible place, the solution is usually to get off the internet and go talk to actual people. They tend to be lovely.

    1. Sister George Michael*

      As a cisgender woman who has been sexually assaulted, I think this is a great update and I’m glad the policy has gone so well!

    2. Avril Ludgateaux*

      I am Muslim. I may not be a paragon of virtue and piety, but I am nonetheless Muslim.

      I knowingly share bathrooms with men.

      You know what excludes me from public life? People treating me as a delicate crystal sculpture who will simply shatter if a man (or – gasp – nonbinary individual!) glances at me in public.

      I don’t know if you realize you’re doing this, but in an attempt to nominally protect women, you are upholding patriarchal, paternalistic, and parochial views of women’s roles in society. Can’t even label your kind TERFs anymore, as you all distinctly seem to lack the “F” while focusing heavily on the “TE.”

      1. Nobby Nobbs*

        I’ve seen a suggestion that “Feminist Appropriating Radical Transphobes” would be a more appropriate term. Wish it would catch on more widely…

        1. fnordpress*

          As a trans person myself, I don’t really like calling transphobic radical feminists “FARTs.” I think calling them by a silly name undermines the seriousness of the issue — TERFs are directly influencing and lobbying for transphobic legislature, so they’re not really a frivolous group at this point.

    3. kt*

      You don’t have to let people in the stalls with you. I mean, even when cis females go to the bathroom in groups, we don’t herd into the stalls together. Close the door, like you always do. (Don’t you???!!!?)

      1. Giant Kitty*

        Amusingly, when a cisgender gay man & I decided to dress up as conjoined twins one Halloween, we did not consider the logistics of peeing and DID have to squeeze into the stall together when one of us had to go.

        Luckily, we were at a goth club where people were both generally drunk and not hung up on gender identity issues…nobody actually cared and we just thought it was hilarious.

        1. Lellow*

          I would advise you to think about the phrase “my identity is not a costume”. Would you be happy to meet an actual pair of conjoined people, or twins who have had a seperation operation, while dressed in that costume? If you feel embarrassed at the thought, please sit with that.

          1. Giant Kitty*

            I’m not embarrassed at the thought at all, and it wouldn’t bother me to have met currently/formerly conjoined twins while dressed that way. We didn’t do it because “haha, having a disability, what a great costume, let’s be circus freaks”, we did it because we were so much alike in both height, appearance, & odd niche interests that people always joked that we were like twins or doppelgängers.
            Thanks for your condescension!

    4. Fluffy Fish*

      Interesting that OP wrote in that there was ONE complaint the entire season. From a man.

      Yet you feel like making a strawman argument speaking for people who are fully capable of speaking for themselves if there is an issue.

  14. Zephy*

    All public toilets should be (1) single-stall, (2) gender-neutral, (3) fully enclosed. If you are in any way aware of what genital configuration the other person in the public restroom has, you are the one doing something wrong.* You do not hear or see or smell anything happening in a public restroom stall that you are not personally inside of, nothing going on in there is of any concern to you.

    (* Genitalia does not equal gender, but I think you’ll find the Venn diagram of “people who equate having a particular kind of genitals with being a particular gender” and “people who get up in arms about which room other people pee in” is a circle.)

    1. Sara without an H*

      This. A lot of public toilets in the US are very poorly designed for privacy, security, or even simple comfort.

      I’m not naive enough to suppose that all the worlds problems can be solved with design improvements, but I think this one could be.

    2. Nina*

      My favorite bathroom situation of all time was the one in the science buildings at the university where I went to grad school.

      Every floor of every (interconnecting on every floor – you didn’t have to go outdoors or navigate stairs to get to the next block) block had bathroom facilities, three fully-enclosed rooms, all gender-neutral. There were two normal-cubicle sized ones, and an accessible bathroom. Each room had a toilet, a sink, a hand dryer, a sanitary bin, independent ventilation, and a door that locked firmly and visibly. The doors all opened into a high-traffic corridor. It was great.

  15. Grandma*

    I love “family” restrooms in public places. My friend has a 40 year old, non-verbal son with Down Syndrome. While he can use the bathroom at home with minor supervision to urinate, there is no way it is safe to send him into a public men’s room alone. Mentally challenged people, especially those who are non-verbal are very vulnerable to sexual assaults. Unfortunately, such assaults are not uncommon, and, yes, establishments have rules refusing her access to either gender bathroom with her adult son. I think that’s illegal, but who wants to have to have that conversation when necessity strikes? When there is an available “family room,” it makes life so much easier. That they are built for more than single occupancy is also a big bonus.

    1. LilPinkSock*

      I do too. My father was disabled for the last 30 years of his life. It became unsafe for him to use the men’s room–or even a large single-seater–alone. In public places where a family restroom wasn’t available, my mom was not shy about politely poking her head in and giving the other gentlemen a warning that she was coming in to help him in the large stall. A large gender-neutral, family-style restroom was the absolute best for my parents’ comfort, safety, and dignity.

  16. turquoisecow*

    This is such a wonderful update! I’m glad things have gone so well for you and your guests, OP.

  17. JaneLoe*

    Great solution. I’m hopeful this article will be referred to by others in need of advice for how to navigate this topic- and make it a nonissue once and for all!

  18. Bernice Clifton*

    If I got that email from the Guy With A Wife, I’d sooo want to respond and ask why he didn’t register a complaint during his stay.

    Not because I think his complaint is valid, but because I’d love to see him admit he didn’t want to face consequences for saying something prejudiced to someone’s face, vs. from behind a computer.

  19. SJ (they/them)*

    Wonderful update, that framing of “inappropriate behavior” vs “inappropriate presence” is so valuable.

    I would love if the LW’s update had been slightly edited so it just says “on behalf of his Wife […] Interestingly…” Repeating the explicitly transphobic bit doesn’t add anything useful and even though we’re all in agreement the dude is wrong, it’s still one of those death by a thousand papercuts kind of things to read it at all.

    It’s a small thing but hopefully it’s useful to know that when you have the option, it’s a kindness not to repeat these things word for word (even in quotation marks to show you don’t agree with them).

    1. SJ (they/them)*

      ETA “on behalf of his Wife and other [cis] women” would work to preserve the bit about invoking the group, without repeating the transphobic remark.

      (just thinking out loud here for the benefit of anyone reading who faces these kinds of editing decisions in general / in the future)

  20. Trans Rights are Human Rights*

    I just have to say thank you so, so much for moderating the comment sections here. Posts like these make the trolls come out of the woodwork, and I’m glad you have zero tolerance for them!

    1. Czhorat*

      It’s MUCH better, IMHO, then letting them fight about it here; some viewpoints are simply harmful and not worthy of discussion. To not allow bigots a platform sends the message that they do not have an opinion with equal validity as anyone else’s; they’re hurtful people who should be driven away.

  21. Mockingjay*

    “We made a conscious effort to train our staff …”

    Training! The best policies in the world can’t be implemented correctly and consistently without training staff. So many businesses issue guidelines but don’t teach staff how to implement, how to resolve problems, and when to escalate. Well done, OP.

  22. Elenna*

    “Interestingly, he never referred to her by name, only as his Wife, as if that were her identity, and we did not hear from her at all.”

    *gigantic eyeroll*

    Anyone else remember that one scene in Tamora Pierce’s Protector of the Small series?
    “I’m his wife.”
    “‘His wife’ is an odd name.”

  23. Keymaster of Gozer*

    This is a wonderful update! I’m taking notes actually (the issue of ‘who can use what loo?’ has arisen at work. Again).

    Inclusive facilities are a benefit for all and I especially love the way you worded the statement.

    (And that one whining guy? I Hahaha at him – in my mind not in real life)

  24. RunShaker*

    I teared up and so happy to see the update. I would love to visit and show my support by spending money to visit the resort. My sister came out this year as non-binary, they/them. With recent events again…my anxiety is up and I worry about them. She lives in very liberal city in Pacific Northwest but the state as a whole is mixed bag.

  25. Jodi*

    I think the issue people have is not with gender neutral bathrooms where people do their business in the closed stall, but shower facilities where people tend to be naked or barely dressed in the common area. I wouldn’t care about using a genderless bathroom , but I would feel uncomfortable in an open changing room/shower facility. Good on the resort for making their policy known ahead of time, as I and others who’d feel uncomfortable can choose to stay elsewhere. No need to cause a stink, just make the choice one is comfortable with.

    1. Mr. Shark*

      I agree, there is a difference there and I understand why someone might be uncomfortable in those situations. I think that’s what makes this discussion more complicated when it comes to school restrooms/shower facilities. But this isn’t really the place to talk about that.

    2. marvin*

      People have a problem with gender neutral bathrooms generally because they would like trans people to not be able to participate in public life (or exist at all, really).

      I have not heard anyone of any gender or lack thereof advocate for big old public nudity emporia becoming common. Trans people are likely to be among the most at risk in that kind of scenario. It would be lovely if more gyms and rec centres had single stall changing areas though.

      1. Giant Kitty*

        Right? The issue here isn’t inclusiveness, it’s that private changing rooms & showers should exist along with communal ones in gym facilities.

      2. Mr. Shark*

        Yes, like I said, I can see the issue in public schools. I agree completely that gyms, rec centers, and especially schools should all have single stall changing and shower areas.

  26. Sara without an H*

    Public libraries have been dealing with this for years: 1) Have a clearly-articulated policy in place; 2) Make sure all staff (including the shelvers) know the policy and no how to respond to complaints and/or questions; 3) Focus on behavior.

    My congratulations to the OP — it sounds like you and your team did a fantastic job.

  27. Anon Librarian*

    Basically what the OP said here is that they stepped up to the plate and managed, like they just managed! It becomes so much less a big deal when the managers manage! Kudos to you OP for doing the work.

    “we reframed our thinking regarding possible future complaints. We made a conscious effort to train our staff who may possibly be receiving or investigating any complaints to ask the right questions and enable them to distinguish complaints about what someone was doing from any that may be about who they were. By doing this, the potential problem and our staff’s concerns about handling it became a much smaller deal than we originally thought. It sounds simple when you put it like that and, truthfully, it was.”

  28. JR*

    This is SUCH a pet peeve of mine. I have been stuck in a stall, desperately trying to do my business as quietly as possible, while two people loiter at the sinks discussing the latest Teapot Report or last night’s episode of Love is Blind. PEOPLE, we have offices, we have lunchrooms, we have touchdown spaces all over the building… Go chat somewhere else and let me poop in peace!

    1. JR*

      *facepalm* I did not thread this response correctly, and I sound absolutely unhinged. It was in the context of someone discussing the merits of single-occupancy restrooms, and how people tend to gather around and chat in restrooms.

  29. beans*

    Man, I know you can’t/won’t share the name of your employer, but I’d love to come stay there! Thanks for this update!

  30. Michelle Smith*

    This makes my nonbinary heart feel extremely full. Thanks for taking the advice to heart and putting an effective policy in place.

  31. Ellen N.*

    I’m glad to read that your actions in protecting LQBT people are working well.

    However, I’m disappointed to read your description of your employee who dislikes your policies as an “older gentleman”. This is agism; you are reinforcing the stereotype that older people are less comfortable with LGBT people.

    1. Hen in A Windstorm*

      Fact: he is older than the other employees
      Also fact: he vocally disagreed with the policy

      That’s not ageism – no one has discriminated against him because of his age.

      The person reporting these facts is not reinforcing a stereotype – the person fulfilling the stereotype is the one doing that.

    2. Giant Kitty*

      As someone who started qualifying for senior discounts this year, the only thing I feel when reading stuff like that is disappointment that people my age are so closed minded.

  32. Rosyglasses*

    I would love to know what training you used – training can be hard to find (quality) – if the LW is reading and can share for other businesses that would be helpful.

    1. Catherine*

      LW here – we did it in-house, in three parts. We had an in depth discussion with all of the resort managers at our annual Managers Meeting, role playing and making sure everyone was comfortable with the possible questions and answers. Then I travelled to each of our resorts talking with staff and doing any additional explanation for anyone who didn’t grasp the concept of determining if the complaint was about who the person was vs. the actions they took. Finally, and this was key, we shared Alison’s page with all of our staff (without specifically calling out a specific resort) so everyone could read the very helpful responses for themselves. This generated some very helpful internal discussion, too.

  33. Former vet tech*

    This is such a great update! Love it. And not to derail, but I had to actually muffle a snort laugh at the comment, “…as non-controversial…as our pet leash rules.” I’m glad there is at least one place on earth where pet leash rules are uncontroversial :-)

  34. fluffy*

    It might be worth figuring out why the one employee who doesn’t “personally agree” with the policy disagrees with it, just to see if it’s a mismatch in understanding or if it’s something deeper that might cause more problems down the road.

    1. Pyjamas*

      Alternatively if there are problems down the road, this intelligent & effective manager can handle them at that time.

    2. New Jack Karyn*

      I dunno. He said that he didn’t agree with it personally, but he followed the rule scrupulously. His private thoughts are his own; his behavior is what matters. There’s no problem with his behavior, so I’d let that sleeping dog lie.

      1. allathian*

        Yes, I agree. I’m fully confident that in this case management will act if it becomes necessary.

      2. UKDancer*

        Yes. I mean people are allowed not to agree with company policies but as long as he follows them and does what he’s been trained to do, I don’t think it’s helpful to try and make him change his views. Over time he may change them naturally. If he doesn’t obey the policy, then the OP can deal with it. I think all we can change is what people do, in time they may change what they think but that’s not always the object of the exercise.

  35. Serenity Now; Firefly Class*

    Mom of a trans daughter here: It takes a lot of convincing for my teen to join me in public events, because she is forced to use the men’s bathroom since she gets scolded for using the women’s bathroom. It’s less stressful for her to use our home toilet and not deal with lectures in public. RedStarDeptStore and MajorMovieTheater are the worst offenders.

    Thanks for thinking ahead and respecting the dignity of all guests.

  36. A-gendered*

    As someone who identifies as non-binary, this made me tear up. I read the original query and I just want to say thank you so much for ensuring all of your guests feel safe and welcome at your facilities. Thank you so much. You cannot imagine how it feels to have this safe space declared openly. To feel othered in general and then to experience inclusivity. It really is just so wonderful.

  37. kittybutton*

    This is such a wonderful update. I re-read the original post, and Alison connected the OP with such valuable and insightful resources. They gave thorough and thoughtful advice, and the OP executed it flawlessly.

    1. allathian*

      Yes, this is certainly a case where Alison’s blog made a huge difference to a company and many potential and actual guests.

  38. GythaOgden*

    Well done, OP. You did the right thing and I’m glad that this site had a hand in it as Allathian says.

  39. Katherine Boag*

    My new job has signs in the bathroom that basically say ‘think someone is using the wrong bathroom? Remember that our policy is for them to use the bathroom they feel comfortable in. Have you tried minding your own business?’ :)

    All the people going on about shared, open changing rooms, which this business does NOT have, I always focus on what I’m doing in there, and avert my eyes from other naked people, as thats not what I’m there for. You’re welcome to feel however you feel about it but I don’t think it’s that big an issue (and suspect that most people with genitals that ‘don’t match’ the changing room they’re in probably change in a stall or take extra effort to cover up while changing).

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