Younger generation more supportive of gender-neutral bathrooms

Gender-neutral restrooms are getting a lot of attention since a 2016 North Carolina law was passed. Photo by Jocie Nelson.

Gender-neutral restrooms are getting a lot of attention since a 2016 North Carolina law was passed. Photo by Jocie Nelson.

District residents and visitors took a short time away from walking their dogs and watching the Smithsonian Folklife Festival to voice their opinions in the debate against North Carolina’s law restricting transgender people from using the bathroom where they are most comfortable.

Julien Doe, 42, a father of one, supported gender-neutral bathroom access, however, said he wouldn’t want his daughter using those same facilities.

“Some things a 10-year-old little girl shouldn’t see,” Doe said.

Ed Leclair, 62, does not have children, but he works with them and is confident in everyone’s ability to keep themselves private in a bathroom.

In March, North Carolina passed the law stating individuals could only use the bathroom that corresponded with their biological sex at birth.

David Owens, 45, disagreed with Doe. Owens, a father of four, expressed support for gender-neutral bathrooms and said his was “not afraid” of his children using the same ones.

Teenagers were more open-minded than their parents.

Pace Bongiovanni, 15, knew little about the North Carolina law, but said the government shouldn’t regulate bathrooms.

“I don’t think they should prevent it,” Bongiovanni said.

Juliet Smith, 18, was angry about the North Carolina law.

“People are ignorant and don’t treat people as they should,” Smith said.