When I worked in the building that housed student organizations at Cal in the 1960s, it had men’s and women’s restrooms on alternating floors. Someone got tired of going up and down stairs at some point, and re-labeled a women’s room “People’s Crapper.”
We’ve learned that in the City of San Mateo, we still have building codes that require “separate toilets” for men and women. Our architect, Doug Davis of AE3, researched building codes in other jurisdictions, and found that many have updated their language to make restrooms inclusive of transgender and non-binary people—San Mateo is indeed behind in this category of access and welcome.
While it is unrealistic to expect this rule to get changed before we are ready to open our new restrooms, we will find a way to welcome everyone! This roadblock, however, presents UUSM with an opportunity for advocacy.
Campaigning for this change is well within the scope of our congregational mission, but this work not in the charter of the CDTF. If you would be interested in helping the City update its regulations for all-gender inclusivity and justice, we would be happy to share what we have learned so far. Just let us know!
Pam Gehrke, for the CDTF