One Gender-Free Pee In NYC

by CLAIRE WILLETT · March 27, 2008

bathroomsThough we love our hometown ( a Boston suburb, pop. 4,000), we're the first to admit it registers pretty high on the conservative-meter. Sure, GSA was a popular club in high school, but we can't recall anyone actually admitting to same-sex preference. Part of NYU's appeal lies in its diversity, both sexual and otherwise, but with this comes a self-enforced curiosity-buffer. One of our writing classes this semester has one transgender student, and one femme. Both of their stories tend to feature characters whose sexualities mirror their own, but the rest of the class seems loathe to comment on this. Not wanting to come off as prejudiced or ignorant, we haven't either, but we can't help but wonder, as we read and watch them read, what their lives are like, the degree to which their sexual identities occupy their thoughts or impact quotidian activities.

Today, one of our classmates was talking about an anniversary dinner at she'd had the night before at Gordon Ramsey at the London, and the transgendered girl mentioned that it has gender-neutral bathrooms. Oh, we realized, so that's what the skirt girl/pants boy signs on our restrooms are for. It makes sense, if you're a wolf in sheep's clothing, or vice versa, that the restroom you felt to be appropriate might not correspond with your original equipment, and it also makes sense that seeing what appears to be a man in a women's restroom could be offputting. And it's so easy to put in a single-stall room, that we wondered why we hadn't seen them beyond our campus. After hours of online research, we'd amassed a puny list, and more than half are in college-owned buildings. We're guessing/hoping we, and the folks behind, missed a bunch; feel free to add on in the comments section.

Gender Free Bathrooms:

Gordon Ramsay's at the London 151 W 54th St Cafe Lalo 201 W 83rd St Starbucks at Penn Station 8th Ave and 31st St at 27th and 6th Nooch between 17th and 8th LGBT Center 208 West 13th St Gobo 401 6th Ave between Waverly and 8th Teany Cafe 90 Rivington St Juliette 135 North 5th Street, Brooklyn Au Bon Pain 684 Broadway, BrooklynVynl 754 9th Ave NYU Institute of Fine Arts 14 E. 78th St Schwartz Building 345 E 24th Kimmel Center 60 Washington Square North Pless Hall 82 Washington Square East Gallatin Building 715 Broadway Hunter College 695 Park Ave