A restroom with a rainbow heart.
A college in the City of San Fernando, Pampanga took a big leap in promoting gender equality – it has a restroom specifically accessible to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students.
“Feel free at Colegio De Sebastian (CDS),” said Eugene Byron Popatco, a college instructor who posted the picture on his Facebook account.
The move has since gained positive response from students and outsiders.
“Only in Colegio de Sebastian! Finally, it’s official!” CDS student Lorena Saivitri Villareal said, adding the hashtags #pride #LGBT.
While most reactions lauded the school’s gender-sensitive move, Popatco said it is not an exclusive LGBT restroom.
“The sign, if you notice, also includes male, female and accommodates persons with disabilities (PWDs) too. So at the heart of it is all-inclusivity, somehow,” he said.
He added that the restroom for all genders and PWDs was built to rule out discrimination in the school based on gender or ability.
“Tolerance is a great prize to pay. Respect, accommodation and tolerance are the values that are emphasized. In a deeper sense, it is not who we exclude; it is who we include,” Popatco said.
In 2014, Quezon City officials passed an ordinance requiring government agencies, private offices and commercial establishments to have unisex restrooms in order to address discrimination issues.
According to an ABS-CBN report, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines has said 11 of 41 provincial commercial airports will have a common restroom this year as part of its Gender Awareness Program (GAP). Jay-vee Marasigan Pangan