This iPhone app could help solve a real problem for transgender people
An iPhone app has been created to provide a network of toilets where transgender, intersex and gender nonconforming individuals are free to pee in peace.
Several US states are currently pursuing ‘bathroom laws’ that would make it illegal for trans people to use the correct bathroom for their gender – and trans people are already often subjected to violence for doing so.
New location-based app app Refuge Restrooms aims to solve the problem – by creating a network of toilets where trans people can feel safe peeing without judgement.
The app, which has launched this month on iPhone and Android, allows members of the public and business owners to mark unisex and gendered toilets that are accessible to trans people.
It then acts partly like a Grindr for toilets – allowing trans people to see the nearest toilets to them that have been marked as safe to use.
Business owners can also download signs through the app, which make clear that trans people are welcome in their toliets.
The app makers state: “One of the biggest battlefields upon which the fight for transgender rights is taking place daily are restrooms. It seems that every other week a transgender child is made the centre of a national news story because they used the restroom assigned to the gender they identify with.
“Obviously, we believe that every transgender person should have the right to use the restroom they want to.
“However, we also realize that despite legislative victories in recent years regarding restroom usage, many transgender individuals still face both verbal and physical harassment simply for using the restroom. Nobody should have to face that – and that is why we created REFUGE.”
“Users can search for restrooms by proximity to a search location, add new restroom listings, as well as comment and rate existing listings. We seek to create a community focused not only on finding existing safe restroom access but also looking forward and participating in restroom advocacy for transgender, intersex, and gender nonconforming folk.”
The app is already proving popular, with toilets added by users in a number of major cities.