poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Friday, March 04, 2005

A Quest for a Restroom That's Neither Men's Room Nor Women's Room
Patricia Leigh Brown
The New York Times

Ms. Dennis, whose lowish voice is now the lone betrayal of her birth sex, is a foot soldier on a new political frontier: the campaign to establish gender-neutral bathrooms in public places. The idea is to make sure that transgender people (an umbrella term that can include transsexuals, cross-dressers and those with a fluid, androgynous identity who do not consider themselves completely male or female) can use bathrooms without fear of harassment.

Ms. Dennis is one of 250 or so members of People in Search of Safe Restrooms, a group founded here three years ago. It reflects a small but active movement, mostly on college campuses but also in a few cities, in which the bathroom, that prosaic fixture of past battles against racial segregation and for the rights of the disabled, has become an emotional and at times deeply personal symbol of a cultural and political divide.


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