We met Darby Morris at this year’s Chicago Disability Pride Parade and really enjoyed hearing her story, so we’ve invited her to do a special guest post for the JJ’s List Blog. Enjoy!
One stall restrooms can be big road blocks to a variety of individuals, primarily for the reason that people have been taught to see themselves as one half of a gender binary. The last time I, a cis (not transgender) female, went into an exclusively men’s multi-stall restroom was when I was a small child, during times when the only person around to take care of me was my father. One stall restrooms are different and I often choose to frequent the men’s restroom if it’s a one stall. What’s the point in standing in a long line outside the designated women’s restroom when the men’s restroom is no different and is designed for only one individual at a time? Why not just use the men’s single stall restroom? Here I must pause, for this is a blog for JJ’s List, a website designed primarily for individuals with disabilities. What, you may ask yourself, does this possibly have to do with having a disability?
Prior to this past June I thought there were no connections at all. That is, until I visited a restaurant called Tasty Dog in Oak Park, Illinois with my family. As the daughter of a wheelchair-bound mother with Multiple Sclerosis, I immediately recognized the wheelchair accessible entrance and found a table where my mother could join the friends that my parents were in town visiting. Thinking wheelchair accessibility to no longer be a problem for the venue, I relaxed and went about the daily routine of eating a meal with my mother. We went up to the counter to order something to eat, sat down and had a great conversation with our friends. We ended up chatting so long that my mother eventually had to use the restroom, again not surprising. I walked to the one stall bathroom to open the door for my mother and see if she needed my help. She did not, so I left her to use the restroom in privacy and return to join our friends at the table. Soon there was a female standing outside the door waiting for my mother to finish using the restroom. Seeing the woman, my father suggested that I let her know that it might be better for her to use the men’s, so I went over and told the woman. She was very kind, thanked me for the information, and used the men’s room.