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Last Updated: 05-Apr-2018 15:43
The designers of our built environment have created public facilities that are segregated by gender, such as public restrooms, locker rooms, jails, and shelters. Reliance upon gender segregation in our public spaces harms transgender and gender non-conforming people. This paper employs a minority stress framework to discuss findings from an original survey of transgender and gender non-conforming people in Washington, DC about their experiences in gendered public restrooms. Seventy percent of survey respondents reported being denied access, verbally harassed, or physically assaulted in public restrooms. These experiences impacted respondents’ education, employment, health, and participation in public life. This paper concludes with a discussion of how public policy and public administration can begin to address these problems by pointing to innovative regulatory language and implementation efforts in Washington, DC and suggests other policies informed by the survey findings.