Atlanta rebranding over 100 city restrooms as gender-neutral

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Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms is converting more than 100 single-occupancy restrooms in city facilities – from City Hall to the Atlanta airport – to gender-neutral bathrooms.

Bottoms will sign an administrative order later this month directing the Department of Enterprise Assets Management to change the signage for 113 restrooms at City Hall, the airport and several other facilities by June 28, which is the 52nd anniversary of the Stonewall riots.

“In keeping with her vision for One Atlanta, the mayor has prioritized the safety and dignity of our trans and non-binary community, and believes that city facilities should be safe, welcoming spaces for all people,” Malik Brown, the city’s LGBTQ affairs director, told Project Q Atlanta in a prepared statement.

The Bottoms administration worked on the project with the Mayor’s LGBTQ Advisory Board and the Human Rights Campaign, Brown added.

The updated signage on the single-occupancy restrooms will read, “Anyone can use this restroom, regardless of gender identity or expression.”

“The designation of single-occupancy restrooms for use by everyone, regardless of gender, will provide safe spaces for transgender and gender nonconforming residents, and may reduce line wait times for everyone,” according to the order.

The project will also increase restroom accessibility for parents or guardians with children whose genders differ from their own, and people with disabilities who require personal attendants of genders other than their own, according to city officials.

The restroom conversion includes facilities at City Hall, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Municipal Court, Public Safety Headquarters, Public Safety Annex, Department of Watershed Management, WorkSource Atlanta and parks and recreation centers.

The project will cost less than $20,000, according to Brown.

The restroom conversion project is the latest LGBTQ effort from the city, which has received a perfect score on HRC’s Municipal Equality Index for eight years.

In November, Bottoms promoted Brown to become the city’s first-ever LGBTQ affairs director and refreshed the Mayor’s LGBTQ Advisory Board. In February, a public health expert joined her administration to create a strategic plan to address the HIV epidemic.

But problems continue to plague the city’s housing program for low-income people living with HIV. In June 2020, the city’s first LGBTQ police chief, Erika Shields, stepped aside in the wake of a police officer shooting and killing Rayshard Brooks in a Wendy’s parking lot.

This story is made possible by Google News Initiative’s Journalism Emergency Relief Fund.

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