Establish gender neutral bathrooms in the Philippines!

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Though the Philippines is considered to be one of the top 10 most gay friendly country in Asia, discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community still exist. In fact, despite being "tolerant", the Philippines actually possess the highest number of hate crimes against the LGBTQ+ community in the Southeast Asian region, and is considered to be second in Asia. Overall, it could be said the Philippines has yet to truly observe equality  and acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community. 

For this very reason, female/male sex-segregated bathrooms are not accessible spaces that everyone can use. People in the LGBTQ+ community, particularly transgender, genderqueer, and/or gender non-conforming people are particularly affected by bathroom segregation because of the visible gender differences that may not correlate with gender norms. Even in places that are considered more "liberal" where it is “easier” to be gender non-conforming, many people are still harassed in both women’s and men’s rooms.

Many non-transgender or gender conforming people also experience difficulty and inconvenience in sex-segregated bathrooms. Parents with differently-gendered children are not able to accompany them in gender-segregated bathrooms (a mother with her son or a father with his daughter). Disabled people with differently gendered attendants or family members are not able to bring them into gender-specific, multi-stall bathrooms.

A possible solution for the aforementioned problems would then be to establish “Gender-neutral” bathrooms. These bathrooms are typically a single-stall, lockable bathroom available to people of all genders and sexes. Gender-neutral bathrooms provide a safe, private facility for transgender, genderqueer, and gender non-conforming people, families with children, and people with disabilities who may need assistance. 

So far, only Quezon City has passed an ordinance that requires all public establishments to provide gender neutral bathrooms. A few select airports nationwide will also be equipped with them. Though these may be the first few steps in the change we have hoped for, these would not suffice. Gender neutral bathrooms must be implemented nationwide. This is since we must take into consideration the health and hygiene of all people, regardless of their sexuality, disability, or anything else for that matter. 



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