A transgender woman told TV reporters in late January that a Balboa Park worker confronted her, instructing her not to use a ladies’ restroom because she was really a man.
The mini-brouhaha focused on an issue that is gradually being addressed.
At the head of the pack is the San Diego International Airport. About a month ago, signs on 12 of its single-stall public bathrooms were changed.
Instead of stick-figure icons showing a man, a woman and a child holding hands, the iconography for these bathrooms now depicts individual drawings of a man, a woman, a baby, plus a figure that could be interpreted as half-man/half-woman.
The signs bear this message: “Anyone can use this restroom, regardless of gender identity or expression.”
Robert Gleason, chair of the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority, said the prior depiction didn’t reflect modern families, including his, which includes two male parents and two children.
So, taking signage criticisms to heart, he asked airport staff to revamp the icon depiction to make it more inclusive.
“This is what they came up with,” Gleason says, noting he has received a lot of positive comment from members of the transgender and LGBT communities.
The one-toilet trans-friendly bathrooms are in all Lindbergh Field terminals except the small Commuter Terminal. They also include a sink, a baby changing table and are accessible to people with disabilities.
On Jan. 15, West Hollywood passed a law requiring businesses and public places with single-stall restrooms to change to gender neutral labels within 60 days.
More inclusiveness is in the works. Last fall, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill that, as of January, 2016 requires all of California’s major airports to offer a private lactation room for mothers who need to breast-feed or pump milk.