Democrats are working together to push for more inclusive gender-neutral bathrooms on Capitol Hill. This group effort began with a letter written by Representatives Hakeem Jeffries and Katherine Clark sent to Representative Zoe Lofgren, chair of the House Administration Committee. The letter urged Lofgren to support the push for the installation of single-use occupancy bathrooms to give staff members, interns, and visitors a safe and comfortable experience when nature calls.

The letter mentions that, in the 2015 U.S. Transgender survey, 59% of respondents avoided going to the bathroom because they feared public confrontation. Of those that participated in the survey, 12% reported that they have been sexually assaulted, attacked, and harassed in the bathroom. 

Jeffries and Clark urge Lofgren and other lawmakers like them to do their part to make spaces like Capitol Hill more inclusive and accessible to a lot of different people.

“As lawmakers, we can more effectively represent our constituents when our staff and interns reflect the diversity of the American people. However, absent improvements, we in Congress are limiting our ability to hire and retain individuals who belong to these communities” Clark and Jeffries say in their letter. 

Jeffries and Clark make it clear that it would not only benefit LGBTQ staff, interns, and visitors of Capitol Hill; the single-use bathrooms would make Capitol Hill more accessible to disabled people and anyone needing another person to use the bathroom, including children and accompanying single parents of another gender.

This should give lawmakers all the more reason to support this effort, as it is widely beneficial to a variety of people. Installing the single-use bathrooms is also a way to rectify the negative experiences people have had at Capitol Hill.

In their letter, Jeffries and Clark say, “Concern over the lack of appropriate facilities is shared by our staff and visitors who have relayed to us their stories and experiences, including Members of the LGBT Congressional Staff Association.”

The push for gender-neutral bathrooms in Capitol Hill comes at a great time: It’s Pride Month, but we’re also at a point where anti-trans and anti-LGBTQ laws are creating pressure and tension in the community. We have reached our boiling point, fighting back the best we can. The obstacles the trans community faces go beyond a bathroom, but this can be a breath of fresh air amidst the hundreds of anti-trans laws today. 


Original story HERE.