A pizza parlor in Charlotte, North Carolina, is getting some much deserved kudos after a patron snapped a photo of a framed note that explained why the restaurant has a unisex bathroom available for anyone who needs it, and uploaded it to a Facebook group for Charlotte’s Plaza Midwood community members.
The note gets straight to the point: “We have a UniSex because sometimes gender specific toilets put others into uncomfortable situations.” It gets better from there, going on to welcome people who have all kinds of different needs when nature calls:
The note got applause from the local group, and the original poster called the owner of the restaurant, Juli Ghazi, out by name, lauding her awesomeness.
Ghazi explained why she felt motivated to post the missive to a local news outlet, and frankly, she totally nailed it:
” … My hope is to shine a light that it’s not ‘dirty perverts’ or ‘molesters’ eager to hang out in a unisex bathroom, but individuals that have legitimate reasons to be there, and for others to find compassion rather than animosity.”
She is so spot on in that sentiment that it’s hard to imagine that there are people out there who balk at the idea of bathrooms existing for people and not for genitals. Take parents, for instance, who make Ghazi’s list three times: dads with daughters; moms with sons; and parents of older, special-needs children who need toileting assistance.
People get so weird about bathrooms. How many times have you read a snotty Facebook post about moms bringing boys slightly older than toddler age into public bathrooms, as though every male is just a pervert waiting to reach his final form? Or how many times have dads balked when it came to taking their daughters — girls that they have an invested interest and active role in potty training — into the bathroom because they feared social blowback from onlookers?
Even setting that aside for a moment, how many dads would love to take an equal share of bathroom business but can’t because there aren’t even facilities like changing tables in men’s restrooms?
Potty pearl clutchers have vivid imaginations, but there’s just not much going on in bathrooms besides the usual unmentionable functions. The common thread in anti-unisex or anti-trans-friendly bathrooms does appear to be, as Ghazi mentioned, a fear of the nefarious perv just waiting for their opportunity to strike, which deserves a little scrutiny.
What do these people think bathrooms are for if not pooping in a modicum of peace behind a securely locked door? There is the occasional inexcusable assault in a gender-specific restroom, but a quick Google search suggests that it’s not trans women or single dads perpetrating them, but cis men and occasionally cis women.
The fact is, the world is not full of disturbed freaks just waiting for all bathrooms to become unisex so they can finally pounce on a chance to do The Sex and Other Bad Things in them. If you spend your spare moments dreaming up gonzo dirty stuff people might do in potties, it’s pretty clear who the pervert is in this situation.
If you think this kind of safe, comfortable acceptance when it comes to bathroom business is a nonissue, you’re mistaken. To some people, especially parents, it makes a world of difference. Take this anecdote from Ghazi:
“About a month ago, a mom who has a disabled teenage son came in for lunch; she teared up when she saw that we offered a unisex bathroom and I had this posted.”
Presumably this woman has had her fair share of dirty looks and dressings-down for taking her post-pubescent son into a restroom because people were too busy dreaming up sick scenarios to recognize that she was just trying to do some parenting.
Bathrooms like the one this note hangs outside of cuts those jerks out of the equation, and that’s something we can all get behind.