Living on the Edge: The Messy Truth of Bathrooms and Disability, part 2
I know that I am speaking primarily as a person whose gender presentation is male. But I know from conversations I’ve had with friends and disabled females that the problems are often worse where they are concerned. In their case, often gender neutral or family bathrooms allow them more space to handle periods and other biological needs without feeling rushed, or judged should their physical or developmental circumstance require them to take more time. My point is this: when we draw battle lines along gender when it comes to the bathroom, we further put those with disabilities into an inflexible situation, which can make an inherently awkward situation even worse.
I wish I had time to directly speak extensively about the issues faced by many of my queer disabled friends. Perhaps in future blogs I will. Until that point, I call upon the Church and the wider culture to try to understand that by exclusively supporting gendered bathrooms, we are once again inhibiting not only the rights and freedoms of those who are transgender, but simultaneously the rights of the disabled to live, work, and pee with the greatest degree of comfort, freedom and safety possible.
Rev Justin Hancock