By Erin Reimel. Photos: Getty Images.
Yelp's rolling out a new feature on its website and app in order to make it easier for transgender, gender non-conforming, intersex, and non-binary individuals to find and access public restrooms: Users will be able to see if an establishment offers gender-neutral bathrooms—individual stalls that anyone can use regardless of their gender identity—and soon, they'll be able to search for them, too.
The feature is crowdsourced, which means it might take some time before the listings are comprehensive and accurate. But to get it going, business owners can take action by editing their profile to indicate if they have gender-neutral restrooms. Meanwhile, Yelp will also prompt users checking into or reviewing an establishment to mark if it has them or not.
There's recently been a national move toward changing gendered restrooms to gender-neutral facilities. In 2015, major cities started switching the signage of public restrooms to be more inclusive, and last May, former president Barack Obama sent a letter to schools receiving federal funds mandating that students should use the bathroom corresponding to their gender identity.
Unfortunately things took a step back last week when President Trump revoked Obama's directive. Yelp's new feature is a direct response to the new administration's order, according to Rachel Williams, Yelp’s head of diversity and inclusion.
“People in this company were so incensed by what’s going on in our country, and to potential employees and customers, that they wanted to do something to support,” Williams told TechCrunch. “The product team got it done within a couple of days. They dropped everything to add this feature. I’m overjoyed and proud.”
Yelp is also one of the 53 companies to sign an amicus brief in support of Gavin Grimm, a transgender student whose school denied him the right to use the boys' bathroom. His landmark case will soon be seen by U.S. Supreme Court.
Fifty-nine percent of transgender adult Americans have avoided using a public restroom in the past year, according to a survey from the National Center for Transgender Equality, making features like this incredibly important. Hopefully, the new rollout will also serve as an incentive for businesses to start providing gender-neutral restrooms everyone can access.
This story originally appeared on Glamour.
More from Glamour: