ALA Council

ALA New Orleans: Comment from a cis-gender male who was prevented from using gender inclusive restroom

  • 1.  ALA New Orleans: Comment from a cis-gender male who was prevented from using gender inclusive restroom

    Posted Jun 26, 2018 05:14 AM
    If you don't have time to read anything else this morning please read the paragraph highlighted. - my highlighting   Thanks ...  Ann

    Begin forwarded message:

    From: "Myers, John" <>
    Subject: Re: [glbtrt-l] Latest version of Gender Inclusive bathroom resolution
    Date: June 25, 2018 at 11:25:58 PM CDT


    I am catching up on list traffic. I would like to share my experience in the hope that it furthers the conversation with ALA administration, with Council, and with prospective venues.

    I am a cis-gender male. Around 2 pm on Friday, June 22, I was waiting in line for the Opening Session, approximately opposite Hall I-2. There were a pair of bathrooms nearby. One was labeled W and the presumably M labeled bathroom had been designated as any gender with an ALA placard. I attempted to enter this bathroom to use the facilities. There was a female convention center staffer just inside the door who blocked my entry, stating words to the effect, "No, no, you can't use this. Security said this was for women only." I pointed out the obvious signage, to which the staffer reiterated that I could not use the bathroom and directed me to take the escalators to use a male bathroom on the 2nd floor. I elected to return to line where my place was being held, in hopes of finding more amenable accommodations once inside Hall F.

    While getting seated in the Hall, I was discussing the incident (and need to find a bathroom) with others when Megan and then Ana Elisa were in hearing and I was able to convey this to them. 

    I will add that it is one thing to have a cognitive awareness of an issue and quite another to experience it viscerally. For that education, I am grateful. The momentary and single inconvenience I experienced is nothing in comparison to the ongoing potential for difficulty or worse every time a transperson needs to use public facilities. This is an issue of profound import to basic human dignity -- a statement which might well be incorporated into the resolution. [I realize these ought to be obvious, but they bear affirming.]

    Please add my name in support of the resolution.

    With apologies for the lateness of this contribution,
    John Myers

    John Myers, Catalog & Metadata Librarian
    Schaffer Library, Union College
    Schenectady NY 12308


    On Mon, Jun 25, 2018 at 8:07 AM, Ann Symons <> wrote:
    To my knowledge this is the first time since we have had gender inclusive bathrooms that this has happened.  ALA staff has been involved in ensuring that our members are not harassed .   This apparently was the work of one rouge self identified bathroom monitor/convention center staff.  To my knowledge the harassment was not specifically aimed at the trans community but at anybody using one particular restroom.   We will improve our gender inclusive access - even if we have to make our own signs and put them up [which we have done in the past].   No member should feel in danger at ALA and we, as the RT, will continue to work for the safety of all ALA members.

    Thanks for your support.


    Ann K. Symons
    GLBTRT Councilor

    On Jun 25, 2018, at 7:57 AM, Debbie Krahmer <> wrote:

    It's so disappointing that ALA hasn't improved their gender neutral bathroom access. I'm trans and the president of the Eastern New York chapter of ACRL, and I was looking forward to representing my chapter at Mid-Winter... but if there's security and people getting harassed at the bathrooms, why should I put myself in danger? It's hard enough travelling while trans, I don't need to be harassed at my professional conference. :(

    You can put my name down as a supporter--Debbie Krahmer. 


    Debbie Krahmer
    Preferred Pronouns: My name/no pronouns
    Associate Professor in the Libraries
    Accessible Technology & Government Documents Librarian
    304 Case-Geyer
    Colgate University

    On Mon, Jun 25, 2018 at 8:50 AM, Ann Symons <> wrote:

    On Jun 25, 2018, at 7:47 AM, Benjamin Thomas Bradley <> wrote:

    Hi Ann,

    I'm fairly new to ALA and GLBTRT, but if I can I would like my name--Benjamin Bradley--added as a supporter of this resolution.

    Thank you for your work on this.

    Take care,

    On Mon, Jun 25, 2018 at 7:01 AM, Ann Symons <> wrote:
    Based on information from ALA conference services re our contracts and input from ALA members and councilors - this is the latest draft of the ALA Council resolution. 

    If you have any comments, please send to the list AND TO ME.   We will discuss this in ALA Council Forum this morning.

    The resolution has to be filed with the resolutions committee this morning.   Changes can be made on the floor of Council at Council III.

    If you would like to be a seconder or supporter of this resolution, please e-mail me.


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    University of Maryland
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