It may not seem like a big deal to most people when they see signs like the ones above – I mean isn’t it nice they even have family restroom lounges available in malls and airports now a days so that parents and children have the space to take care of their needs together in relative privacy? But when you are an LGBT family or a single parent (straight or LGBT) raising children on your own — these kind of heteronormative signage can reinforce feelings of being different, excluded or invisible.
And to take it one step further it continues to emphasize heteronormative ideas to the dominant culture that this is the only kind of family that exists. One that includes a man, a women and a child (or children). Same-sex families and single parents are excluded from this Norman Rockwell fantasy. This continues to teach everyone that any kind of situation outside of this “ideal” is wrong.
It is time we start moving towards a more inclusive society. Especially in the most typical of activities like shopping at your nearby mall.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we saw all the images below lined up to show when a family restroom lounge exists– really showing all Americans that in the United States everyone is truly welcome.