San Francisco opens SRO bathrooms to all genders

San Francisco is making it less stressful and safer for transgender and nonconforming residents living in single room occupancy hotels to use the restroom.

The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved legislation to require single-stall bathroom facilities inside SRO hotels be available for all residents, regardless of gender identity.

Additionally, the new law will require new signage to show the new requirements.

Mayor Mark Farrell signed the legislation on Wednesday at City Hall. Farrell said the new law backs up a previous law in 2016 that the board approved requiring all new public buildings have at least one gender neutral restroom.

Farrell said the U.S. Department of Education announcement this week that they will stop investigating complaints in regards to transgender students not able to enter restrooms that match their gender identity, is a step the wrong direction.

Clair Farley, the mayor’s senior advisor transgender initiatives, said transgender and nonconforming people know the stress, anxiety, violence of accessing bathroom that matches their gender identity:

“No one should have to bare the stress of the simple act of using the restroom, and no one should to worry about facing the stress of going to the bathroom they call home.”

Nearly 60 percent of transgender respondents to a survey by the National Center for Transgender Quality, said avoid using gender-specific bathrooms because of harassment.

The new law would also allow caretakers or personal attendants to enter the bathrooms as well.

Farley said:

“The all gender SRO ordinance will extend our existing protections and ensure that the rights are extended to our full community.”