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App helps to find safe toilets for the transgender community31st of October 2012
A new app designed to help transgender and gender-variant people find washrooms when out and about is now available from Apple.
TranSquat uses the phone user's GPS location to search, add and share locations of safe washrooms. There are currently around 4,000 safe-to-use washrooms in 400 cities in the US, UK and Canada listed on the site.
According to transgender developer Billy Bolt: "Sometimes finding a safe, discreet and comfortable restroom can be a challenge or a safety issue. If we go into one bathroom, we might get beaten up. If we go into another, we might get yelled at."
Easy access to gender-neutral bathrooms is crucial in the light of recent anti-transgender violence and washroom discrimination according to Jack Harrison of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.
"People get stopped and asked if they're in the right bathroom. People are attacked. There is a kind of gender policing going on," he said.
Research by the Task Force has revealed that 26 per cent of transgender students have been denied access to bathrooms in schools and colleges. And 22 per cent of employees have reported a similar experience in their workplaces.
Discrimination against the transgender community can have a devastating effect on the individuals concerned, according to the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. A survey of transgender people conducted by the Task Force in 2011 found that 41 per cent of respondents had attempted suicide.