Mom Took Her Disabled Teen For Pizza and Cried When She Saw the Bathroom. Now the Owner Explains Why
A North Carolina pizza shop is known for offering 'za that uses ingredients from local farmers, while offering dishes that fit a variety of dietary needs —and their latest business move only bolsters the sense of inclusiveness they've created.
Pure Pizza recently put up this sign in their restaurant, noting their gender-neutral bathrooms are for a diverse group of people:
The letter, signed by owner, Juli Ghazi, reads:
"We have a unisex bathroom because sometimes gender specific toilets put others into uncomfortable situations.
And since we have a lot of our friends coming to see us, we wanted to provide a place for our friends who are:
- Single dads with daughters
- Single moms with sons
- Parents with disabled children
- Those in the LGBTQ community
- Adults with aging parents who may be mentally/physically disabled
Thank you for helping us to provide a safe environment for everyone."
Ghazi tells WCNC News she put up the note after a teen, who has a disability, came to her restaurant for lunch with his mom. When she saw Pure Pizza had a unisex bathroom, she couldn't help but get emotional.
The woman told Ghazi she didn't feel “comfortable” taking her teenage son in the ladies room and was grateful to see the gender-neutral restroom.
Since then, Ghazi says she wants to bring awareness about what she feels is the truth behind most unisex bathrooms:
“My hope is to shine a light that it's not 'dirty perverts' or 'molesters' eager to hang out in a unisex bathroom, but individuals that have legitimate reasons to be there, and for others to find compassion rather than animosity.”
When it comes to school settings, however, people seem more divided on the concept.
For instance, a California elementary school completely eliminated their boys and girls bathrooms last September, making them all gender-neutral. In a poll Independent Journal Review ran about the issue, 66 percent believed elementary schools should separate kids by gender, offering only boy and girl restrooms.