A bathroom policy sign hanging inside a synagogue is making a splash online today thanks to its welcoming message of inclusivity. As Newsweek reported, "A sign posted in a synagogue's restrooms tells people exactly what to do if someone sees someone who doesn't seem to conform to the gender marker on the door—and a picture of it is going viral."
The sign was spotted by Twitter user @ETori, who took a picture of the bathroom policy at her/their parents' synagogue. [Note: ETori's pronouns are listed on Twitter as she/her/they.]
"We Are Respectful," the sign reads alongside nine triangular pictures depicting a diverse group of people. "If you're in a public washroom and you think someone's gender does not match the sign on the door, follow these steps," the sign continues. Step one is "Don't worry about it. They know where they belong." There are no additional steps.
This synagogue's bathroom policy sign reminds me of a sign I saw at The Sinclair in Cambridge, Massachusetts, two years ago. I was fortunate enough to take a picture of the sign while I was there. The sign contained the following message:
IF YOU’RE USING THIS RESTROOM AND YOU THINK A PERSON’S GENDER DOESN’T MATCH THE SIGN ON THE DOOR, FOLLOW THESE STEPS:
1. DON’T WORRY ABOUT IT
THEY KNOW BETTER THAN YOU
There was no step two.
Here's a photo I took showing the actual sign as it appeared in March 2020; note the similarity to the synagogue's bathroom policy sign that's making the rounds today:
The synagogue's bathroom policy sign has been widely praised online as a powerful message of inclusivity.
My friends and family firmly support the message, too. As do I.
"I love this so much," one of my friends told me. "This is the world I want to live in."
"This is incredible and so sadly necessary," said another.
At a time when transgender rights are under attack, this simple but profound bathroom policy sign sends an important message of support and affirmation. These are the values that we should all be striving to embody in our own lives and in our communities. Let's work together to make this world a place where everyone is truly welcome.
Signs like these are a powerful reminder that we all have a role to play in creating inclusive environments—regardless of where we stand on the gender spectrum ourselves. We can all make our spaces more welcoming for everyone, and these signs are a great example of how to do just that.
I think they are both really powerful signs, and I'm so glad to see that more and more people are embracing inclusivity and supporting the transgender community. It's essential that we all work together to create a world that is welcoming to everyone, regardless of gender identity or expression.
What do you think of signs like the one spotted in a synagogue and posted on Twitter or the one I saw at The Sinclair in Cambridge, Massachusetts? Have you seen anything like them before? Let me know in the comments.