By Alex Temblador
Juli Metcalf Ghazi, the owner of Pure Pizza of Charlotte, North Carolina, took a look at her customers and employees and their families one day and noticed just how diverse they were. However, she realized that there was one aspect of her restaurant that could be changed to welcome every single type of family: the bathroom.
Ghazi realized they needed a gender-neutral bathroom so as to make sure that all of her customers felt welcome at Pure Pizza. This idea was, in part, also brought on after she attended a public city forum about the possibility of adding LGBT protections. Unfortunately, the LGBT ordinances did not pass.
“The public forum turned into a sad display that was diluted by ‘who’s in the bathroom next to me,'” Ghazi said. But that didn’t mean that Ghazi couldn’t do her part in protecting all types of families at her restaurant.
She told Huffington Post: “I started looking around and with our own team of people that we employ. We have single dads, single moms … we have employees in the LGBTQ community. Within our own little team we have our own needs for why we need a gender-neutral bathroom.”
After designating a UniSex bathroom, Ghazi placed a sign above the sink that laid out the many type of families that would benefit from the gender-neutral bathroom.
Ghazi said that there have been a lot of wonderful feedback from this sign and the gender-neutral bathroom. In particular, she has received a lot of thanks from dads with daughters who sometimes find it difficult to accompany their daughters who need to go to the bathroom.
Though her city did not pass the LGBT protections, Ghazi plans on sharing the positive feedback that she has received from such a sign at the next forum. A city should protect LGBT families, single parent families, single moms, families with disabilities, and aging parents, but when they don’t, it’s refreshing and heartwarming to see restaurants and their owners take a stand and say: we welcome ALL families.