We applaud New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and his administration for approving Executive Order #16, which mandates that city facilities provide people with single-sex facility access consistent with their gender identity. At The Trevor Project, we advocate for transgender and gender non-conforming youth who often tell us about the fear and harassment they face when trying to access sex-segregated public facilities, such as restrooms.
With 58 percent of transgender people surveyed by The Williams Institute avoiding going out in public due to a lack of safe public restroom facilities, it is clear that isolation can be common in the transgender community, which is detrimental to individuals’ mental health and well-being. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, denying bathroom access to individuals can lead to serious physical injury or illness. New York is making a historic effort in joining West Hollywood, Philadelphia, North Carolina, and South Dakota in ensuring trans-inclusive protections.
We look forward to a day when young people across the nation can feel free from discrimination when entering public parks, pools, playgrounds, museums, and recreation centers. We thank the Department of Citywide Administrative Services for developing a training for city agencies, advocacy organizations, and businesses on how to comply with the new City Human Rights Law, and we are grateful for LGBT Community Center’s educational workshops which will facilitate any necessary changes. Mayor de Blasio’s Executive Order sets the stage for more advancement, and helps forward our vision to create a brighter future for all youth, regardless of gender identity or sexuality.
Abbe Land, Executive Director and CEO, The Trevor Project
Photo via William Alatriste/New York City Council