This week all 52 Washington D.C. Starbucks locations took down their bathroom signs designating them for men or women — ’cause they’re now all gender-neutral. The move follows lobbying from the D.C. Trans Coalition to get the city’s businesses to comply with local regulations requiring all public restrooms to be trans-inclusive. Of course all Starbucks bathrooms (at least the ones I’ve been to) are single-person only, so it’s not just a way to welcome trans customers but a way to make things fair for the always-longer lady’s line.
Enforcement of D.C.’s bathroom law can be difficult with largest establishments, notes TBD, but not places like Starbucks:
But these laws can also be difficult to enforce; they require a trans person to be harassed for using a bathroom, prove that the harassment was based on their gender identity, and then pursue a complaint with D.C.’s Office of Human Rights. So D.C.’s law includes a helpful short-cut: Businesses equipped with single-stall facilities must forgo gender-specific signage altogether, instead using “gender-neutral signage” that makes restrooms available to people regardless of gender—for example, “replacing signs that indicate ‘Men’ and ‘Women’ with signs that say ‘Restroom.'” Enforcement is as easy as opening an establishment’s door.
It’s still unclear whether the Starbucks located inside Starbucks’ bathrooms will comply.