As part of our Equity & Anti-Racism work, Hartford Stage is working to create a place where all people feel a sense of belonging and inclusion at our theatre. To work towards this goal, we have added signage in our office, rehearsal hall, and theatre facilities that welcomes patrons, guests, staff members, and artists to use the restroom that best fits their gender identity or expression.
We hope you will join us in our efforts to learn more about gender diversity and create the most welcoming Hartford Stage possible.
What is gender diversity?
Gender diversity acknowledges that there are more types of gender in our communities than the man and woman binary system.
What is gender identity?
Gender identity is one’s own internal sense of self and their gender, whether that is man, woman, neither or both. Gender identity is not related to how a person may look. We respect that one’s gender identity is determined by the individual.
What is gender expression?
Gender expression is the way a person chooses to outwardly share their gender identity via clothing, voice, behavior, or other perceived characteristics. Society often identifies these cues as masculine or feminine – but those perceptions are often dependent on culture.
Why has Hartford Stage added this sign?
In addition to creating a more welcoming and inclusive environment for all, making gender diversity a norm at the theatre is working towards safer practices at the theatre. A core principle for OSHA (Occupational Safety & Health Administration) is that all employees should have access to restrooms that correspond with their gender identity. We expand that idea to also include our patrons and volunteers.
How will this affect my experience using restrooms at Hartford Stage?
The physical restroom facilities have not changed at Hartford Stage – there is still a restroom with multiple individual stalls and a restroom with individual stalls and urinals. The same etiquette for restroom usage remains the same at the theatre.
What else is Hartford Stage doing to be more welcoming and inclusive?
We are continuing to reflect on ways to make our spaces, patrons, staff and artists feel more welcome. You can learn more about our specific plans in our on-going Equity & Anti-Racism Commitments, Practices, & Actions here.
Further learning resources:
- Understanding Gender: https://genderspectrum.org/articles/understanding-gender
- A Guide to Gender Identity Terms: https://www.npr.org/2021/06/02/996319297/gender-identity-pronouns-expression-guide-lgbtq#genderidentity
- OSHA Best Practices: https://www.osha.gov/sites/default/files/publications/OSHA3795.pdf
- Out & Equal Workplace Advocates, Best Practices (Restroom Access): https://outandequal.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Best-Practices-Restrooms-2017-1.pdf
- In All-Gender Restrooms, the Signs Reflect the Times (New York Times) Article: https://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/08/style/transgender-restroom-all-gender.html
If you have questions about these changes or have a resource to recommend, please reach out via our website Contact Us form.