(SPOT.ph) It was barely a month ago when Gretchen Diez, a transgender woman, was barred from using the ladies' bathroom in a Quezon City mall on August 13. Her subsequent arrest shed light on the discrimination that LGBTQ+ members go through on a daily basis and reignited the discussion on the SOGIE Equality bill, plus of course, talks on how to let people relieve themselves where they felt safest. Well, a mall in Quezon City has taken a small step towards finding a solution: Robinsons Galleria has designated selected PWD bathrooms as an "all-gender restroom."
The all-gender signage was put up on the PWD bathrooms, although PWDs, pregnant women, and the elderly still have priority access. As of now, two other Robinsons Malls have designated gender-neutral bathrooms: the Novaliches and Magnolia branches, says Roseann Villegas, Corporate Public Relations Director for Robinsons Land Corporation, in a conversation with SPOT.ph. According to her, a completely separate structure will be more logistically difficult to construct in the existent malls, although those are in the plans for future establishments.
Gender-neutral bathrooms are not a new concept. Quezon City already has a Gender Fair Ordinance in place since 2014, which mandates establishments to have designated "all-gender toilets." Other public areas have also followed suit, such as Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange and several airports nationwide. A couple of universities, like the Ateneo de Manila, also have gender-neutral bathrooms.
this strange new world.