While I was going to the University of Dijon, in France, during my junior year abroad in the 1960s, I had an interesting experience choosing which bathroom I would use.

First I entered the restroom to the right of a staircase leading to the dining hall. There was no entrance door closing off the restroom. A young man was combing his hair at the mirror.

“Whoops,” I thought, and rushed to the other side of the staircase to enter the other restroom, which I presumed was the ladies’ room.

There, I saw another young man at a sink. “Hmmm,” I thought. “I guess both of these restrooms are for everyone.” I proceeded to use a private cubicle, and for the rest of the year never worried about which restrooms I could use. All were open to everyone.

Fast forward to today. Fifty years later, we Americans are still uptight about restrooms, and we are grappling with which one a transgender person should use. Why not simply have unisex restrooms as they do in France? Urinals as well as toilets could be in closed booths, affording men more privacy than they have now.

And here is the best thing: Women would not have to wait in long lines leading into the women’s room, while there is no line in front of the men’s room. This tactic avoids discrimination, lawsuits and long lines.

Victoria Adams


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