Toilet Talk – Making our downstairs washrooms friendly to all

On March 10, 2023, A-Team, Board and RE representatives reached a consensus on how to make our basement washrooms more welcoming to all. Sara Allen summarized the consensus as follows.

Purpose: To be intentionally welcoming to the community and put the 8th principle into action.

  • This pilot has been designed to intentionally welcome three groups: Transgender People and Those exploring Gender Expression, People with Caregivers, and People with Young Children.

What: A 6-month gender-inclusive washroom pilot.

  • The multi-occupancy washrooms in the basement are the focus of this pilot.
  • The current Male and Female icons outside the washrooms will remain up.
  • Icons representing what is inside the washrooms will be posted next to the existing signs. Both washrooms will have icons of a toilet, a baby changing surface, and the accessibility symbol (a person in a wheelchair). The current Men’s washroom will also have an icon of a urinal.
  • Information Signs declare: Choose the washroom that best fits your needs! They also point to private washroom alternatives on the first and second floors and cite our 8th principle covenant to overcome systemic barriers to full inclusion. These signs will be posted outside both washrooms.

Feedback: There will be a sign asking for feedback placed between the washrooms.

  • Below the sign will be a box with provided paper and pens/pencils. People do not need to sign their feedback for it to be counted.
  • Feedback will be collected online through emails sent to the email address.
  • At the 3-month mark (mid-pilot) and 6-month mark (end of pilot), feedback will be summarized and presented to the Board by a member of the AIM Team.

The Board ratified this consensus proposal at its meeting on March 14th.

Thanks are due to Sara Allen, Diane Pearce and the A-Team for their research, engagement, and persistence in creating welcoming washroom spaces, including a Sunday service last May, two Communicator articles in the fall, responses to queries and comments, and several proposals to the Board until we found one acceptable to all.

Thanks are also due to all parties for demonstrating the mutual learning model of decision-making adopted in Mission into Action.

Toilet Talk background slides describe issues and alternatives for the consensus discussion.