UCSF Installs New Gender-Inclusive Restroom Signage

Changes Made to Existing Single-Occupancy Restrooms

By Mitzi Baker

A worker installs new gender-inclusive restroom signage on a door
Kevin Clark of UCSF Facilities Services installs new gender-inclusive restroom signage. The signage no longer contains pictograms and words for a man or woman or family. Photo by Susan Merrell

UC San Francisco has installed hundreds of new signs on existing single-occupancy restrooms to identify them as being gender inclusive.

The previous signage on single-occupancy restrooms had pictograms and words for a man or woman or family. These have been replaced with signage without gender or family symbols. The only word used on the new signs is “restroom.” Those single-occupancy restrooms that are also accessible continue with the symbol for accessibility. 

Locate the Restrooms

Restroom signage of a triangle inside of a circle and a wheelchair pictogram on a triangle inside of a circleUCSF is committed to identify gender-inclusive restrooms for all, to ensure safety and comfort to our campus and UCSF Health community. UCSF Facilities has compiled a list of the gender-inclusive restrooms by location.

 “At UC San Francisco, we want to affirm that individuals have the right to use facilities that correspond with their gender identity without fear, harassment or inconvenience,” said J. Renée Navarro, PharmD, MD, Vice Chancellor of Diversity and Outreach. “We are strongly committed to creating and sustaining a campus environment that affirms, supports, and values all members of our community.”

The replacement of the restroom signage follows guidelines the UC Office of the President released in June 2015. Those guidelines call for providing gender-inclusive facilities in UC-owned buildings. 

The guideline’s first phase, which UCSF has accomplished, requires existing single-occupancy facilities on owned property to be signed as gender inclusive, said Clare Shinnerl, Ed.D., associate vice chancellor of Campus Life Services. There are no plans or requirements to change signage designations on gender-specific multistall restrooms, according to Shinnerl.

New construction and major renovations will require gender-inclusive facilities on every floor, said Michael Bade, associate vice chancellor of Capital Programs & Campus Architect. UCSF is constructing many new buildings and all will comply with the guidelines.

The respective Facilities Departments of campus and UCSF Health changed the signage in the buildings that UCSF owns. The changes impacted 149 single-occupancy restrooms, including 77 on campus and 72 at UCSF Health.

A new restoom sign with a wheelchair pictogram is shown on a door
The new, gender-inclusive signage for an accessible restroom. Photo by Susan Merrell

“By removing traditional gender barriers, we improve spaces to be safe and welcoming to everyone,” said Jon Giacomi, executive director of UCSF Facilities. “We are proud to be on the forefront of providing inclusive restrooms.” In addition, the gender-inclusive signage will make it clear what facilities are available for adults with children of a different gender as well as caregivers to persons of a different gender, Giacomi said.

The restrooms program also provides a starting point for people to have a conversation about gender-inclusiveness at UCSF, Navarro said.

“I think even a small movement like this creates a bigger space for transgender and gender nonbinary individuals,” said Christina Quiñonez, a capacity building assistance provider at the Center of Excellence for Transgender Health. She has lived in her identity for more than 20 years. “Now that these restrooms are available, it makes people wonder if we have staff who work here and are part of the UCSF community. It definitely opens up conversations, and I am glad we are talking about it now.”

For more campus news and resources, visit Pulse of UCSF.