The program was initiated by Martin Yang, who works at Beijing Gender Health Education Institute (BGHEI).
The bathrooms have been introduced in bars, cafes as well as an international school and Beijing’s U.N. Women office.
Each establishment joining the program receives an ‘all gender toilet’ label for the door, certification from the program and is included on BGHEI’s digital map of trans-friendly places.
Adam’s, a prominent gay bar in Beijing’s trendy Sanlitun neighbourhood, was among one of the latest to adopt an all-gender lavatory.
Yang was prompted to act after a transgender friend was ejected from a women’s restroom. ”Our main goal with this project is to raise public awareness about gender diversity and equality issues,” Yang said.
Other LGBT activists in China have welcomed the move. There are signs that attitudes to transgender are changing in the country and reassignment surgery can be found in places like Shanghai. Traditional attitudes prevail, however, and transgender people are still diagnosed as mentally ill under the Chinese Classification of Mental Disorders.