New WeHo restrooms will be gender-neutral

All new multi-stall restrooms in West Hollywood will be gender-neutral.

City Council voted unanimously Monday night to proceed with the plan, which would pertain to new developments and commercial leases, as well as major remodels. The city already requires single-stall restrooms in public and places of business to be gender-neutral.

So what is a gender-neutral multi-stall restroom, and how is it different from traditional Men’s/Women’s rooms?

Instead of two separate rooms with two sets of toilets and sinks, usually divided by partitions, the gender-neutral restroom features only single-stall toilets with full doors. Any person of any gender can use any of the stalls. Sinks stand outside in a semi-public space, not behind closed doors or enclosed like stalls, also available for use by all genders.

While all five councilmembers were enthusiastic about the agenda item, D’Amico and Councilmember Lauren Meister highlighted a couple of potential pitfalls.

Meister was concerned about funds that were just spent on new, split-gender restrooms at city facilities — and whether the new law would force them to rebuild. She also wondered whether the code would apply to restrooms with showers, such as those at gyms and pools.

They won’t, said Councilmember Sepi Shyne, who wrote the item along with Councilmember John Erickson.

She recalled her inspiration: a trip to the West Hollywood Rec Building and Auditorium, where she learned that the facility’s only single-stall restrooms were located on an entirely different floor than the multi-stall ones.

“It was a complete injustice,” she said.

She clarified that the law would only apply to future projects but was hopeful that city restrooms could be updated without much cost.

The councilmembers agreed West Hollywood should pave the way for gender-neutral restrooms across the state, asking city staff to include their lobbyists in the effort.

“This city is a place that can break that ground and make that happen,” D’Amico said.

But as an architect, he wondered whether the city’s laws would come into conflict with the California Building Code, which contains provisions about the ratio of men’s to women’s restrooms, thereby putting builders and plumbers in a precarious position.

“We’re potentially asking people with a license (to put) their professional lives at risk” by breaking the California code, he said.

Ben Galan with Planning & Development Services assuaged the concern somewhat, mentioning that statewide efforts to revamp the code are already in the works.

The council was ready to get to business in voting the item through, echoing the sentiment of public comment of WeHo resident Jordan David.

“Gender-nonconforming people are people,” he said. “They need to use the bathroom just like anyone else. And fuck anybody who’s against it.”

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Alonso Martinez
Alonso Martinez
6 months ago

I’m 22 and gay. Don’t think of myself as a prude but……..no way! F this!

Keith
Keith
6 months ago

This is why people are leaving California. Don’t you politicians have something better to do with your time. This is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. Once again I will vote all you morons out of office. STUPID!

Michael Grace
Michael Grace
6 months ago

In a unisex bathroom, gone are the urinals. Instead, users of the Unisex public bathrooms will wait in the washroom area for a toilet located in a stall-like closet to urinate or defecate. There was no mention the City Council meeting of eliminating urinals. It’s common knowledge that when a man’s only choice to urinate is to use a toilet, he probably won’t lift the seat. Many times it’s drip, drip, drip. Not great for someone who is going to sit down on the toilet? Is there paper to clean off the toilet seat urine drippings? And this is what… Read more »

Last edited 6 months ago by Michael Grace
Gimmeabreak
Gimmeabreak
6 months ago
Reply to  Michael Grace

Right on, Michael Grace! Stop and look at the realities of human nature, and not at the way it ought to be. Sepi is building a monument to herself and for some reason everybody else is going along with it. Is Sepi really that intimidating?

No one has responded to my post below (the first in this thread) about a rape at the only other gender neutral bathroom I have known of in WeHo. I see no reason to have this kind of set-up and a whole lot of reasons not to.

Randy
Randy
6 months ago

*deleted comment, wrong article*

Last edited 6 months ago by Randy
Patricia Dixon
Patricia Dixon
6 months ago

Im actually surprised this went through; i really thought smarter minds would prevail. I have seen a few gender neutral bathrooms in a few brooklyn restaurants (when I was visiting) and while it seemed uncomfortable, the layout was quite good, more a less a semi circle of fully closed “closet” doors with a toilet inside. That being said, for safety reasons I am in favor of distinct bathrooms so marked for each “gender”. If one identifies as a female, go to the door marked “female” or any other name indicating gender; same thing with male. That all being said, I… Read more »

JJ1
JJ1
6 months ago
Reply to  Patricia Dixon

It’s all about the victimhood and not what floor a bathroom is on. She was looking for a reason.

Drew Pokorny
Drew Pokorny
6 months ago

I like the photo examples presented in this article. It seems the only ‘gender neutral’ spaces are the areas where people wash their hands– which is quite open. I don’t see the danger in letting different genders wash hands at the same time. In fact, women let themselves into our men’s bathrooms in the club all the time and nobody bats an eyelash. Also, bad things can and do happen in bathrooms even with signs that divide them into male and female bathrooms. Those signs dividing the genders have not mitigated bad things happening to others, sadly. I would posit… Read more »

Pedro Baptista
Pedro Baptista
6 months ago

Drunk men and 17 year old girls. Is this even legal?

WehoFan
WehoFan
7 months ago

Cramming inebriated people into the same bathroom will cause a lot of issues.

Ray
Ray
7 months ago

It’s time to recall Shyne and Erickson. Once again they are not taking into account what the residents of West Hollywood want amd what is best for the city. This is a terrible and dangerous move by the city counselors.

JJ1
JJ1
7 months ago
Reply to  Ray

Yup.

Keith
Keith
6 months ago
Reply to  Ray

Absolutely! Recall the whole bunch. West Hollywood has bigger issues. It used to be a great place to live but it’s disgusting now and unsafe.

Vigilent
Vigilent
7 months ago

Could someone please explain WHY the urgency or REASON for such an issue and to whom the accommodation is intended. Please list 1 to 5 short reasons.

Thank you.

Cocoon
Cocoon
7 months ago

Oh well, so much for professional and world class corporations setting up shop in West Hollywood.

Drew Pokorny
Drew Pokorny
7 months ago

I’m looking at the gender neutral bathroom example photos and I’m actually seeing a lot that I like. They seem to make a lot of sense and are open only in the handwashing area. Why can’t people of different genders wash hands at the same time? Also, if there are dangerous acts happening now to women or youngsters, with signs in place that divide the genders, doesn’t that mean that those signs don’t actually protect us from bad people? Maybe with hand washing areas that have all genders we’ll find those spaces become safer.

WehoFan
WehoFan
7 months ago
Reply to  Drew Pokorny

Not safe forcing drunk men and women into the same private area together.

Keith
Keith
6 months ago
Reply to  Drew Pokorny

Idiot!

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