The synagogue’s bathroom guideline sign is delighting the internet

A sign in a synagogue’s toilets tells people exactly what to do if someone sees someone who doesn’t appear to match the gender label on the door – and a picture of it is going viral.

Posted on Sunday by @ETori, the tweet was retweeted over 3,800 times and received almost 37,000 likes. The photo, which reads “In the toilet of my parents’ synagogue,” shows a printout of the sign.

“We are respectful,” reads the sign, along with nine triangular photos of a diverse group of people. “If you are in a public washroom and believe someone’s gender does not match the sign on the door, follow these steps,” it said.

Step one is, “Don’t worry. They know where they belong.” There are no further steps.

Although @ETori didn’t reveal the name of the synagogue in question, in a follow-up tweet they said it was in the Midwestern United States.

The sign was originally created by the Gender and Sexual Diversity Committee at Humber College in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The college placed the sign in the restrooms on campus. The committee explained its reasoning on a website related to the sign, saying every person has the right to use public toilets without worry.

“People who are trans or gender non-conforming may experience stares, threats, harassment, or even violence simply by trying to pee. Some choose to ‘stop’ it. This can have negative consequences for physical and mental health,” the committee wrote.

transgender bathroom sign synagogue twitter etori viral
A sign in a synagogue’s toilet telling people what to do if they see a person whose gender doesn’t match that on the toilet’s sign has gone viral.
Ken Tannenbaum/Getty

Some states have proposed colloquially so-called “bathroom bills” aimed at banning transgender people from using public toilets that match their gender identity. However, bills like these have drawn consequences against states that have passed them.

In 2016, North Carolina passed House Bill 2, one of the first “bathroom bills” in the United States. As a result, the NCAA boycotted the state and refused to hold championships there. The ban lasted until 2017 when the law was repealed. Had the law remained in effect, North Carolina would have lost $3.76 billion in business by 2028, according to an Associated Press analysis.

Despite North Carolina’s relatively quick repeal of the law, other states have attempted to pass similar bills. Texas’ proposed law failed to pass in 2017 after costing the state over $200 million in bad publicity, according to a report by Texas Competes, a group of state business leaders.

writing for news weekshared the danger of transphobia, Dallas Ducar, the founding CEO of Transhealth Northampton.

“It is time to act to uphold our right to self-determination. Everyone has a deep connection to gender, not just the transgender population. Gender expression means freely expressing some aspect of one’s identity, whether it be straight, gay, cisgender, transgender, or anywhere in between. This freedom of speech is written into our constitution. So it’s not surprising that two-thirds of Americans and majorities within every political ideology and age group oppose these laws,” Ducar wrote.

“The more we rely solely on politicians to discuss the meaning of trans rights, the more we risk political polarization around a minority identity. Instead, it’s crucial to depoliticize gender — to get politicians out of our bathrooms — and to emphasize how confident — determination is fundamental to our fundamental rights — to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” Ducar continued.

Most of those who replied to the original tweet supported the opinion shared by the sign.

“In other words, let the people live,” wrote @ezreedr.

“Let my people go! To the bathroom,” added @EvanGrayM.

“Omg I was so angry and then…yay!” @tweetersaidwhat replied.

news week has reached out to Humber College and @ETori for comment. The synagogue’s bathroom guideline sign is delighting the internet

Rick Schindler

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