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In Tallahassee, Gender-neutral bathrooms promote transgender acceptance

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The Tallahassee Democrat
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June 6, 2013

Frequenting public restrooms is about as mundane a task as any. All people go through the motions: finding a stall, counting the scum-ridden floor tiles as they do their business and washing their hands with watery soap as they stare absent-mindedly into a vaguely opaque mirror before they carry on with their lives.

Add verbal assaults, possibilities of physical harassment and an overwhelming identity dissonance to that bathroom visit, and you’ve got the familiarly dreadful routine of a transgender individual.

“Speaking from personal experience, just going to the bathroom in public is incredibly stressful,” FSU student Riley Navarrete said. “I’m female-bodied so whenever I need to use the bathroom, I feel like I have to use the women’s one. It just makes me feel so uncomfortable. People look at me twice for going into a women’s bathroom, and it makes me feel really terrible. For me, I can’t even enter a bathroom without being looked at strangely.”