PrideFest ensures bathrooms aren't an issue

Posted at 10:14 PM, Jun 09, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-10 06:24:33-04

MILWAUKEE -- Friday kicks off the 30th year of PrideFest in Milwaukee. Organizers say their bathroom policy has been gender-neutral for the last 29 years.

"Here at the festival it was never an issue for me," said Jessica Baker.

Jessica Baker is transgender and she's never had to think about what restroom to use.

"It was just male-female and I went in the one I felt right in.  Now we have to spell it out and say yah that's the way we are," explained Baker.

"It has always been our policy to not be the bathroom police and let folks feel comfortable identifying as they do," explained Jorna Taylor, Milwaukee Pride Board of Directors.

Event coordinators can't take gender identifying signs down, but they can put up some of their own.  

"This year we have these great little purple signs that you'll see around the grounds to know that this is a place where transgender folks and anybody is welcome to use that bathroom," said Taylor.

There are single stall restrooms available to those who would rather not use communal facilities. 

"If you don't feel safe going into a bathroom of your choice we have escorts that will go in there with you," said Taylor.

More than 30,000 visitors are expected to attend PrideFest and most will use a restroom. Organizers say there's no reason anyone should feel uncomfortable.

"What we're dealing with now is the fact that a lot of people that never had to think about who's in the bathroom with them," explained Baker.

PrideFest is June 10-12.  You can find a lineup of events at