About The Project

Safe Bathrooms Club is a directory of businesses and organizations who have committed to providing safe spaces and bathrooms for everyone regardless of their gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, race, age, or disability status.

This map is both a resource for people who need to pee, and a platform for businesses and organizations to demonstrate their stance as allies to the LGBTQIA community and fight discrimination together and publicly.

There are now close to 200 businesses and organizations listed with new places being added daily. We are accepting map submissions from businesses and organizations nationwide.

Add to the map by filling out this form.

Why it’s necessary

There are now multiple states who have passed legislation that removes protections for people in the LGBTQ community and sanctions discrimination. These laws endanger people who are trans and gender non-conforming by requiring them to use the bathroom which corresponds with the sex assigned on their birth certificates.

Some of these bills allow business owners to refuse service to people whose actions “violate deeply held religious beliefs,” which is frighteningly broad.

Preparing for possible harassment and violence in the bathroom is the norm for many trans and gender non-conforming folks. The bathroom bills and anti-LGBTQIA discrimination laws have now put an already marginalized and vulnerable group at greater risk for violence, assault, and murder. Now with no legal protection from the state, these individuals need to know safe places exist, while business owners and organizations need a place of visibility and solidarity.

Someone on Reddit compared this map to the Negro Motorist Green Book which was a travel guide published annually from 1936-1966 that provided black travelers with resources that would help them avoid discrimination on their road trips.

Not only did they pioneer this concept, but distributed it nationally without the help of social media. Unfortunately, it is still not safe to be black in America, and nearly half a century later, there is still a need for a map of this kind. Racism is far from over, and trans women of color are the most vulnerable. In 2014, 80% of hate crime homicide victims were people of color, and 50% were trans women of color. Until we are all free, none of us are free.

The LGBTQIA civil rights movement would not be a movement at all without the decades of work, bloodshed, and dedication laid down by the black community. For all POC, we want to acknowledge your precedence, power, and ongoing experiences of oppression and violence.

Our hope is for this map to be a safe space for anyone who needs it, whether one’s quest is for a restroom or for an establishment that does not tolerate discrimination and harassment based on the way one looks.

How to join the club

The businesses and organizations listed with us have stated publicly that their bathrooms are safe despite the discriminatory laws now in place.

To join Safe Bathrooms Club and get listed on the map, you must provide documentation that shows your stance as an ally. It’s important that people using the map are able to see some kind of social proof that holds the businesses and organizations accountable to being represented as a safe place.

This can be a statement made on social media or your website, a photo posted of an all-gender/unisex/gender neutral bathroom sign, an inclusive mission statement, or non-discrimination policy.

Here are a few good examples.

You can also send us a statement of support for the LGBT community or opposition to discriminatory legislation, and we will post it on our website for you. Email it to us at emilyrwaggoner@gmail.com.

If you own or work for a place that would like to join us, you’re our hero. Fill out this form and we’ll be in touch to get you on the map.

If you have a favorite spot that you think should be in the club, send us an email at emilyrwaggoner@gmail.com and we’ll reach out!

How to get involved

Submit businesses to be added to the map!

Share Safe Bathrooms Club with everyone you know. Our reach only goes so far and we need your help getting the word out!

Purchase an all-gender bathroom sign from our friend Avery’s clothing shop, Deconstruct, and check out his other gear while you’re at it.

Be an ally out in the world and wear an #illgowithyou button. Send us a picture of yourself with your pin on, and we’ll share it!

We love getting pictures of signs that people have put up in their offices and storefronts to display their civil disobedience. The courage and cleverness do wonders for our spirits. Send those along too and we’ll share them on our Instagram.

Want to say hello or have any questions? Send us an email: emilyrwaggoner@gmail.com

Who we are

We are River Luck and Emily Waggoner, and we are North Carolinians now living in Boston.

Emily and River

That’s us!

River is an actor, model, activist, musician, artist, and grad student who happens to also be transgender. His pronouns are he/his/him.

Emily is a UX and UI designer who likes hand-lettering, calligraphy and reading Harry Potter. Her pronouns are she/hers/her.

Why we started Safe Bathrooms Club

Emily:

“I am cisgender, and my bathroom activities are largely unregulated by the government, which is a privilege that many others do not share. I also have the privilege of using the bathroom in peace without fear of harassment or violence.

I didn’t recognize these privileges until last summer when River and I took a road trip to North Carolina, and I saw firsthand the struggles that he goes through just to pee in a public restroom. There were multiple occasions where neither of us felt that he would be safe in the bathroom, so he would have to hold it until we found another spot.”

River:

“Ever since I was 4 years old, I have dealt with bathroom harassment because of my appearance. From then until I transitioned two years ago, I have been told I was in the wrong restroom (presenting as female pre-transition). My hair has always been short, and I've always worn mostly 'masculine' clothing. I have been escorted out of restrooms both as a child and an adult on more than one occasion, and so have several of my gender non-conforming friends. Masculine women face this all the time, and so do feminine men. More than anyone? Trans women. Now, I try to avoid public restrooms all together unless there is a family restroom, all-gender, or unisex option. It isn't worth the hassle or fear of violence.”

After HB2 passed a few weeks ago, we were distraught and afraid; many of our friends in the LGBTQIA community live in North Carolina and are directly affected by this legislation.

Our good friend Avery who owns Deconstruct in Greensboro, NC, began re-posting Instagram photos of businesses in North Carolina who had put up signs and messages opposing HB2 and welcoming everyone to use their bathrooms. We saw these and were excited and encouraged to see that businesses weren't caving, but were speaking out. We thought plotting them on a map would be a neat way to visualize the support while acting as a resource for our friends at the same time.

Here is some of the coverage that the project has gotten:
Buzzfeed, CNN, BBC, Marketplace, Mic, and The New York Times.

We’re accepting submissions nationwide, and recently added the first Texan toilet paper roll to the map!

We’ve also gone beyond Google maps thanks to our friend DJ Hartman who has helped us build this website.

Interested in bringing Safe Bathrooms Club to your state? Send us an email and let’s make it happen!