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Friday Feminist Fuck Yeah: Refuge Restrooms is available on App Store and Google Play

Refuge Restrooms, a developing app we clued you in on last year that links transgender, intersex, and gender non-conforming folks with safe places to use the restroom, has just become available for download!

Despite what some conservative groups and Republican politicians want you to believe – that transgender folks are criminal predators who see restrooms as an opportunity to sexually prey on people – we know that the reality is that restrooms are more likely to be a site of trauma and violence against this marginalized group. Restrooms are one of the structures of our society that support binary gender policing, thus creating a hostile environment for those who do not conform.

To create safer spaces, trans, intersex, and gender non-conforming organizers have demanded businesses, organizations, and schools offer non-binary restroom facilities. According to trans activist Drian Juarez – for whom bathrooms became very dangerous when cis women started “freaking out” about her presence there – gender-neutral bathrooms are “about safety and inclusion. It’s about creating a space that is safe to everyone.”

In response to these demands, some businesses and many college campuses across the country are embracing gender-neutral restrooms as an example of their commitment to inclusivity and safety. And while these are important steps in making sure that a safe space to take a leak is a human right that is realized for everyone, finding a safe restroom still isn’t easy.

Enter Teegan Widmer and her team at Refuge Restrooms. This interactive site catalogs restrooms that are considered safe to use for transgender and non-gender conforming folks.

As Jos reported when she first wrote about the app, Widmer started Refuge Restrooms to fill a gap. She explained:

When I was early in transition, I often found myself in a tight spot in terms of being able to use the restroom. During this time I largely relied on the Safe2Pee site (and the mobile application TranSquat). However, over the past year, I found that the Safe2Pee site had passed out of functionality. Since this was the primary and most comprehensive list of safe restrooms for trans people I was pretty devastated. It was incredibly useful. I saw a gap that needed to be filled. Safe2Pee allowed folks to scrape their old database export and I downloaded the CSV file and used that as the seed data for Refuge Restrooms.

That seed data has produced some invaluable fruit as Refuge Restrooms: the app took up where its predecessor site Safe2Pee left off, adding more entries and creating a database that can now be accessed via the iOS App Store and Google Play, in addition to online at RefugeRestrooms.org.

But the vision of Refuge Restrooms can’t be fully realized without your help. App users can and should contribute to the database by adding new entries and rating the safety of existing ones. And the project still needs your help financially as well: as Refuge wrote in a recent blog post, “no one is getting paid for working on this.” Visit Github to find out how to contribute and download the app for iPhone or Android to find safe restrooms or submit new ones for other users to access!

 

Feministing's resident "sexpert", Sesali is a published writer and professional shit talker. She is a queer Black girl, fat girl, and trainer. She was the former Training Director at the United States Student Association and later a member of the Youth Organizing team at Planned Parenthood Federation of America. She received her bachelors in Women's and Gender Studies from Depaul University in 2012 and is currently pursuing a master's in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality studies at Georgia State University in Atlanta. A self identified "trap" feminist, and trained with a reproductive justice background, her interests include the intersections of feminism and: pop culture, youth culture, social media, hip hop, girlhood, sexuality, race, gender, and Beyonce. Sesali joined the team in 2010 as one of the winners of our So You Think You Can Blog contest.

is Feministing's resident sexpert and cynic.

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