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Introducing Gender-Inclusive Bathrooms: Creating a More Inclusive Workplace

Buncombe County is proud to announce that we will be introducing gender-inclusive bathrooms across County buildings starting with our libraries, and 200 College Street. This initiative reflects our commitment to fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace where everyone feels welcome and respected. The initiative will begin early May, and you’ll see corresponding signage going up then.

Why Gender-Inclusive Bathrooms?

Gender-inclusive bathrooms provide several important benefits:

  • Inclusivity: Offers a safe and affirming space for individuals who identify outside the gender binary, including transgender, non-binary, and genderqueer community members.
  • Safety: Allows individuals to use the restroom that aligns with their gender identity, regardless of their assigned sex at birth. According to the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey, which had 27,715 respondents, transgender individuals reported incidents of verbal harassment (12% of respondents), physical assault (1%), or sexual assault (1%) when accessing a restroom, while 9% of survey respondents reported that they were denied access to a restroom in the past year (National Center for Transgender Equality, 2015).
  • Convenience: Eliminate confusion and potential discomfort for anyone who may not feel comfortable using gender-specific facilities. Gender-inclusive restrooms are also helpful for people whose family member—such as a child, person with a disability, or older adult—requires assistance from parents or caregivers of a different sex or gender (American Psychological Association, 2019).

Our Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion

By offering gender-inclusive bathrooms, Buncombe County is sending a clear message that we value and respect the diverse identities of the people we serve as well as our employees. This small step contributes to a more welcoming and inclusive environment for everyone.

What to Expect

New signage will be displayed outside restrooms underneath existing signs that will encourage people to use the bathroom which best aligns with their gender identity.

Will this make anyone less safe?

No. Inclusive restroom signage is a low-cost, easily instituted accommodation that makes public restrooms more accessible for everyone who lives and works in Buncombe County.

To learn more about Buncombe County's commitment to equity, visit

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Updated May 13, 2024 09:22 AM
Published May 08, 2024 12:00 AM

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