Yelp, a website that publishes crowd-sourced reviews regarding local businesses and organizations is adding another feature to filter results of a search through the availability of a gender neutral bathroom. This new feature that was announced last Friday is Yelp’s way of fighting for transgender rights.
Yelp is one of the companies that have signed on a Supreme Court brief on behalf of Gavin Grimm, a transgender boy who was seeking for a right to use school bathrooms that correspond to his gender identity. Other companies that joined include Amazon, Gap, Intel and Yahoo.
This is not the first time that Yelp has spoken regarding a social issue but it is the first time that they are doing something on their platform for social justice support of the LGBTQ community. The gender neutral bathroom filter hopes to help transgender individuals in facing the challenges in finding safe and suitable restrooms they can use.
In its 2015 National School Climate Survey, the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network, an advocacy group revealed that 70% of the 1,600 transgender students they interviewed avoid school bathrooms because they feel uncomfortable and unsafe.
Yelp is inviting all users and business owners to help them identify establishments with locking, single-stall bathrooms that are available for all individuals regardless of gender. Users of Yelp can filter search results based on the data after it is collected.
Yelp decided to settle for gender-neutral label instead of all-gender or gender-inclusive after they have consulted with Human Rights Campaign that advocates for the rights of gays. By using its platform, Yelp will be able to assemble the largest directory of transgender-friendly bathrooms.
Other online sites that have responded to the social issue include Refuge Restrooms, an open-source directory and Safe Bathrooms Club, a directory listing.
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