Hey yall! It's me, Allison Weiss, your friend and confidante.
If you follow me anywhere on the web, you know I care deeply for LGBT rights and consider myself a champion of the cause. I've been lucky enough to acquire an incredibly supportive fanbase over the past 10 years of making music, many of whom come up to me at shows and say things like "I finally told my parents I was gay because of you!" and "You saved my life by coming out!" You can see why I'm so personally moved and feel it's my duty as a "public figure" to use my platform for the greater good of my community.
Which brings me to the purpose of this long letter!
I recently started an organization called OUR Restroom with my friend and fellow activist Kristin Russo (Everyone is Gay, The Parents Project). OUR stands for "One Unisex Restroom", and we have a very simple, and specific mission: to help restaurants, bars, and other businesses understand why taking the gender markers off of single-stall restrooms can be so helpful to so many people. You can watch this little animated video (also below) for a quick and easy intro to why this is important:
The long and short is that many transgender and gender nonconforming people (if you don't know what those words mean, you can learn all about them over here) feel unsafe and anxious every time they have to choose between going into the men's or women's room, and OUR Restroom has a super easy solution: if businesses have single-stall restrooms, they can just take off the gendered signs! (Also bonus prize: It also helps parents whose kids are a different gender than themselves, those who are caretakers for elderly or disabled people, and means less waiting in lines!)
Once OUR Restroom launches, users will be able to visit our site to tell us about businesses in their area that have gendered, single-stall restrooms. Then, we'll send the businesses information, call them up, and do whatever it takes to convince them to change their signs to say "unisex". We've already converted a local business here in Eagle Rock, and in doing so learned a lot about super fun stuff like international building codes and the sometimes arbitrary decisions made by building inspectors.
A month into our existence, it has become clear that we'll be doing more than educating, this will be a fight to change legislation in many states across the USA. You know what though? It's not just us who support the cause! Laws have already been passed in Philadelphia PA, NYC, Austin TX, Seattle WA, and Washington DC that REQUIRE single-stall restrooms to be unisex. Hell yes!
So here's the part where you find out how you can help! OUR Restroom has FOUR DAYS LEFT in a fundraising campaign we're running through IndieGoGo. You can donate to our cause and help us kick off our first year of work right here: www.OURrestroom.com. In exchange, we've got all sorts of cool prizes like a compilation album (featuring musicians like Jenny Owen Youngs, Vivek Shraya, Ingrid Michaelson, myself, and more), adorable t-shirts and bandanas, a gorgeous poster, and so much more. If you can't afford to donate, a simple social media post to your friends would be incredible.
Thank you so much for reading this super long letter, and thank you for helping me on my quest for equality. You can learn more about the work, share, and support right over here: OURrestroom.com
For any press inquiries or to see how you can help beyond donating, contact us here.