Gender Friendly Restrooms in Oakland

Tour curated by: Nazanin Szanto

My generation is a generation of spectrums. While we haven’t created or invented spectrums, we are beginning to do very serious and important work to dismantle social constructs and teach people to see dichotomies as spectrums. Gender is one of these spectrums. The more I become educated about gender studies and how they intersect to form interlocking systems of oppression the more I take a stance to break these structures down.

So let's talk about our society's innate obsession with forcing each other to pick and choose, and shove ourselves into tiny boxes. Trans* identities include but are not limited to people who are; transgender, gender non-conforming, gender neutral, no gender, non-binary etc. And Trans * people often don’t fit into boxes, because the reality is that gender isn’t just male or female but a range of different identities.

These people are often uncomfortable with utilizing Male/Female bathrooms. In my tour I plan to map gender friendly restrooms in Oakland. Historically, Oakland has been on the cutting edge of liberalism, and full to the brim with diversity. That’s why it’s no surprise that there would be a movement to have more inclusive spaces for trans* people, including restrooms! I am not the first to do something like this, and I hope that creating this app will push for more gender friendly bathrooms and business owners will transition into more neutral bathrooms. This map is a driving tour because I’m trying to highlight many different areas of Oakland, and is targeted towards anyone who wants to use a gender neutral bathroom regardless of their gender identity.

I hope that people using this app can benefit by not having to enter into spaces that potentially trigger them or make them uncomfortable. However, this app will only be accessible to people who have smart phones and can download it onto said smart phones. This is a serious limitation as not everyone has the privilege to own expensive technology. There is no way that this information could really be accessible to everyone, because even if it were on the internet not everyone has access to computers and to internet services. I challenge myself, and my classmates to keep this in mind throughout the process of creating our street stories. Another limitation of my content is that I will only be mapping 10 places in Oakland with gender safe restrooms, and there needs to be a lot of work done around dismantling and rethinking how restrooms should be organized, including but not limited to; accessibility for disabled people, changing tables in all restrooms, making sure the restrooms are accessible to all different body types etc.

Locations for Tour

If all the drinking hasn’t assisted you in calming your nerves, no worries. Our last pin will save the day! The East Bay Meditation Center’s mission is: “...forster liberation, personal and intrapersonal healing, social action, and inclusive…

Trader Joe’s on LakeShore avenue offers a wheelchair accessible and gender free bathroom! This is a very valuable stop on our tour, because trans* people need to shop too! And Trader Joe’s is a reasonably priced grocery store, as you can see in…

The New Parish is a venue in Downtown Oakland which has a slew of events throughout the year. There is one bathroom upstairs, and one bathroom downstairs! One event in particular described as: “Every 1st Saturday in Oakland, Ships In The Night is a…

We now stop at debatebly one of the most important pins, Planned Parenthood! Located in West Oakland across the street from the Post Office, Planned Parenthood offers services that include: Abortion Services, Birth Control, HIV Testing, Men's…

Bar Cesar on Piedmont Avenue in Oakland brings us to our next destination! Open for happy hour is a pleasantly priced Tapas restaurant. The restaurant does have a gender friendly restroom, and while it is unclear as to whether or not they created the…

Feeling a little tired of explaining your gender identity to non-trans* people? Need to get some work done because you happen to be a poor trans* person that has to work long hours to survive? Need a pick up? Blue Bottle Coffee in Jack London Square…

Out and about in Downtown Oakland before heading out to the bars - Legionnaires Saloon perhaps? Or trying to take a break from Mills College campus and grab a bite to eat? Souley Vegan is one of the hip-est up and coming restaurants, established in…

More often than not, queer and trans* people want to go out! And what’s a better night out than grabbing a few drinks at a local bar and dancing the night away to Motown Music? Join Legionnaire’s Saloon for Motown Mondays and feel free to use…

Mills College was established in 1852 and resides in the heart of East Oakland. Mills College offers a plethora of different bathroom utilities including bathrooms that are disability accessible, and non-gendered. Mills takes the lead in schools…

Because there have been many higher priced bars on our tour, Merchant’s Saloon is a refreshing stop. Merchant’s Saloon was one of the first businesses, still in Jack London Square, that opened. Established in 1916, the bar has seen its fair share…