Preti Petter, a TV presenter from the LGBTIQ+ community, travels a lot due to her work and states that she frequently uses public washrooms.
“I identify as a transgender woman; hence, I use the female washroom. Thankfully female toilets have separate compartments so it is not difficult for me to use them but the judgement I face from people while heading to washrooms or coming out of them makes me feel uncomfortable,” said Preti.
Preti stresses the need for universally accessible toilets for people from the LGBTQI+ community.
“Universally accessible toilets in public spaces can be helpful for people of all sexual orientations to feel included in society. Additionally, separate toilets could attract untoward discrimination by others toward the LGBTQI+ community compromising their safety. The LGBTQI+ community would therefore advocate for universally accessible toilets,” states Preti.
Preti Petter, TV Host and member of BDS
Elyn Bhandari, Program Coordinator at Blue Diamond Society, shares that he seldom visits unfamiliar locations due to his struggles while using public toilets as a transgender male.
“I haven’t gone through a (gender-affirming) surgery yet, which means my body parts are still that of a female. Therefore, it is difficult for me to use men’s toilet, especially the urinals. Meanwhile, I cannot use women’s toilet in public either owing to my previous trauma of bullying and harassment from people for using women’s toilet”.
Elyn firmly believes that we could do better work with existing toilets, or build universally accessible toilets rather than creating separate toilets for the LGBTIQ+ community.
“There are many people of the (LGBT+) community that I know, just like me, who don’t even pee for 8-10 hours while traveling long distances because of fear of being perceived in a wrongful way for choosing the toilet they prefer to use based on their sexual orientation rather than use the toilets they are assigned to,” informs Elyn.
Elyn Bhandari, 29, Program Coordinator at Blue Diamond Society (BDS)
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