Gender neutral toilets & the "unisex" tag

I posted this on the mailing list, but I’d like your feedback too.

Let’s have a wee talk about how should one map gender neutral (and gender segregated) toilets. There is a unisex=yes for toilets which looks like it might be the number one tag to use. The bog standard meaning of “unisex toilet” is a gender neutral toilet, i.e. not segregated into separate male & female facilities.

Many smaller public toilets are single occupancy and hence unisex, many larger public toilets (e.g. in shopping centers) are segregated. Social conservatives are mostly losing the battle on same-sex marriage, so their new target is trans people, and they’re proposing “bathroom laws” to limit trans people’s access to public life. Some organizations are making their toilets “gender neutral” in response. So there are probably a lot of gender neutral public toilets, and it’s very useful for some people to know where they are.

But I don’t think that’s how “unisex=yes” been used in OSM. The wiki page says “unisex=yes” is a shorthand for “male=yes female=yes”. The JOSM validator used to suggest that replacement, until I filed a bug. iD’s preset has 3 mutually exclusive options, Male, Female and Unisex, it won’t let you add both male=yes female=yes.

If I see “amenity=toilets unisex=yes”, I would think this is a gender neutral toilet. If I see “amenity=toilets female=yes male=yes” I would think gender segregated. Big difference.

I propose that we start viewing “unisex=yes” on toilets as meaning “gender neutral toilet”, which is different from “male=yes female=yes”, which is “gender segregated”. “unisex=yes” is currently used for hairdressers, and this is in keeping with that. Most unisex hairdressers are not gender segregated.

Thoughts? Feedback? Anything I’m missing? Is unisex-yes tag being used by many projects? What do they interpret it as? It’s good not to force things.

A year ago Micah Cochran’s suggestion would be along these lines, but some changed to toilets:for:unisex=yes (etc.)

I am doing this as part of the “Diversity Quarterly Project”, which for the quarter is gendered toilets. Plenty of toilets have no male/female (and/or unisex) tag, and we should add those tags.

In the mailing list, the gender_segregated = yes / no key was proposed.

If there is one toilet for men and one for women, then why not adding two nodes?
If there is a unisex toilet, then why not using the unisex tag for all genders on the same node?
Seems only a thing of detail mapping, isn’t it?

Edit: spelling

2)The unisex = yes tag has the value “for both genders”, but does not mean that both genders are not segregated.

I agree with You, but the definition of the unisex = * tag is currently unclear.

I don’t think that “unisex” is unclear in OSM; it’s just confusing that it means something different to what “unisex” normally means in English and not what is meant here. If someone wants to start tagging this with some other tagging I’d happily render it on (that’s an example with “M” and “W” for separate male and female).

amenity=toilets + gender_segregated=no can be rendered with a special icon.

OK, but there are only 30 of them currently:

The tag was recently introduced. This is normal.

I am familiar with people of both common sexes who prefer to use a toilet exclusively for use by their gender (Unisex) in an all gender toilet.

I’ll never repeat them here. But there are definitely * people * who not only want to ask “can I use that bathroom,” but “who else should use that bathroom.” They’re the reasons why. They’re the unflattering things.

Gender-inclusive toilets benefit gender-conforming people, too. They’re safer for families with children, as parents will be able to accompany other-gender children to wash up without fear.

Another option is to write a proposal to clarify the “unisex=yes” tag as only applicable to features that are truly unisex.

I wish to approach this from a different angle.
Why do you want to mention the gender tag? Can we do this without even mentioning gender, or not even mentioning gender-neutral & unisex?