SANTA MARIA, Calif. - Here in California, the state is gearing up for its own change to bathroom laws at public places and businesses. Starting March 1st here in California, all single-user bathrooms must be gender neutral.
That means if you don't have one of the "All-Gender Restroom" signs up, you could get in trouble. Allan Hancock College was ahead of the curve when they changed all their single-user restrooms to "All-Gender" back in June.
Transgender student, Annabeille Des-Abeilles-Bourdons and her Hancock College group, Queers and Allies, was instrumental in getting all the single-user restrooms changed to all-gender restrooms on all campuses,
"In regards to transgender people, needing a bathroom to use is more about safety," transgender student Annabeille Des-Abeilles-Bourdons said.
That was well ahead of the California law that will go into effect on March 1st.
"I'm actually fortunate enough to have amended my birth certificate so that I can use the ladies bathroom but those who aren't as fortunate as me would need to use the men's bathroom even if they look exactly like me," Des-Abeilles-Bourdons said.
The new law will make any men's or women's bathroom, that has just one stall, gender neutral - and that goes for any public place or business.
"For people my age, understanding transgender issues was hard, but you sit down with these students and they say we just want a safe place to go to the restroom and it's really kind of hard to argue with that," Allan Hancock College President Dr. Kevin Walthers said.
Des-Abeilles-Bourdons is one of 20,000 Hancock students that now have access to these restrooms. When the idea was proposed to Hancock administration, they listened.
The new law states that city inspectors have the right to make sure places and businesses are complying.
Sean Larsen will have reports at 5/6 pm on KCOY 12 Central Coast News.