Dallas Mandates Open-Gender Restrooms

Open-Gender Restrooms
Restroom sign that has a graphic symbol and the word "Restroom" | Image by John Arehart/Shutterstock

Previously undisclosed “gender transition protocols” designed by the City of Dallas require that all government restrooms be open-gender restrooms, available to anyone without regard to biological sex.

The protocols document, obtained by The Dallas Express through an open records request, outlines the steps City staff are to take if an employee decides to undergo a ‘gender transition.’

“The City supports you,” the document explains, adding that employees are encouraged to “openly be who you are and bring your true, most authentic self to work.”

“This means that, while maintaining professional expectations, you may express your gender identity, characteristics, or expression without fear of negative consequences,” the document continues.

The protocol raises a potential question that an employee may ask: “I am concerned about which restroom an employee will or should use. How do I know if I will be safe with them in the restroom with me?”

As an answer, the protocol document claims, “All employees have a right to safe and appropriate restroom facilities, including the right to use a restroom that corresponds to the employee’s gender identity, regardless of the employee’s sex assigned at birth.”

The document does note that “[s]ome City facilities have single-user, all-gender restrooms, which are available for use by any employee, regardless of the underlying reason. Currently all-gender, single-user restrooms are not available in several municipal buildings; however, some locations have family restroom facilities.”

Regarding other facilities, the protocol states, “All employees have the right to use locker rooms or other sex-segregated facilities that correspond to their gender identity.”

“Ultimately, the decision should be left to the transgender employee to determine the most appropriate and safest option,” the protocol asserts.

Additionally, “Denying an employee access to locker rooms and/or restrooms which correspond to their gender identity” is listed as a form of discrimination or harassment, potentially justifying disciplinary action up to termination.

The prevalence of open-gender restrooms elsewhere in the country has recently been tied to a number of alleged safety concerns.

Late last year, several female students were reportedly assaulted and punched by a biological male who identified as transgender in an Oklahoma high school. Similarly, a 5-year-old girl was allegedly attacked by a transgender-identifying male in a Georgia public school.

On May 25, an Oklahoma mother sued the school district after her 15-year-old daughter was allegedly assaulted violently in the restroom by a biological male student who was allowed to use the women’s restroom despite a state law against the practice.

The lawsuit detailed that the girl was “attacked and severely beaten by a seventeen (17) year old male transgender student in the designated girls’ bathroom,” leading to “severe physical and mental injuries.”

However, some suggest that it is more dangerous for trans-identifying people to use the restroom that aligns with their biological sex.

One 2019 Harvard study claimed, “Transgender and gender-nonbinary teens face greater risk of sexual assault in schools that prevent them from using bathrooms or locker rooms consistent with their gender identity.”

Furthermore, the National Center for Transgender Equality asserted, “Transgender-inclusive policies are not a safety risk” and suggested that “forcing transgender people to use private bathrooms when other people do not have to is isolating and reinforces the idea that transgender people are somehow harmful.”

The City of Dallas gender transition protocol also requires that all employees use the “preferred pronouns” of a transitioning employee, regardless of what they might “believe in,” as reported by The Dallas Express. Employees who do not use a transgender-identifying colleague’s preferred pronouns for any reason including sincerely held belief risk disciplinary action, up to and including termination.

In addition, the City requires employees to undergo mandatory training if someone on their team chooses to undergo what the document calls “a workplace gender transition.”

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