Menu Home

All You Need to Know about SEA’s All-Gender Restroom!

July 18, 2023

By Kate Yeoman, Communications and Marketing Intern

The Port of Seattle and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) have committed to leading national and regional efforts to achieve equity and social justice in all aspects of our work including new facility design. The goal is to mirror the diversity of our community, provide services to anyone who uses public facilities, and ensure a high quality of life for all users. 

All-Gender restroom opening

One major milestone towards that goal is SEA’s first all-gender restroom opening this week. Located between Gates D1 and D2, this multi-user, all-gender restroom is one of the first of its kind to be introduced in a North American airport.

The Port consulted with local LGBTQIA+, community and faith leaders, and Port Employee Resource groups during its design and implementation phase to help identify the goals and priorities of this restroom facility. It was important to prioritize making travel as safe and comfortable as possible, while increasing restroom amenities and accessibility to those working at the airport and the traveling public. The ultimate goal was to create a restroom facility that is inclusive and accessible to people of all identities, abilities, and circumstances.


All-gender restroom facilities are not new; you may have encountered similar designs at a concert or outdoor fair with non-gendered portable restrooms and shared handwashing stations that are used by everyone. Seattle has multiple examples in eating establishments around the city. This all-gender restroom will have similar features and more: 

  • Space can be used by any person regardless of age or gender
  • Full-height locking doors and walls frame each stall with no gaps to maintain privacy for every occupant 
  • Stalls that are 50 percent larger than code requirements and equipped with self-closing doors, storage hooks and shelf, and grab bars
  • A shared handwashing station for all users
  • Multiple baby changing tables
  • Multiple vanity areas with full-length mirrors
  • A separate, private urinal room
  • A wheelchair accessible family restroom that includes a toddler seat and changing table

The features and design of this restroom bring a bright and modern look and feel, as with all of our airport upgrades. One of the best features is a 45-foot-long, salon-style art wall outside the restroom. This wall features 22 artworks by 12 artists, all part of the LGBTQIA+ community. This art wall creates a welcoming and dynamic entrance to this restroom facility, and just a great art focus for those walking by on the D Concourse. Learn more about the creation of this artist spotlight in the video below.

This restroom is just one of many restrooms being added or renovated as part of Upgrade SEA’s Restroom Renovation Project. This all-gender restroom is a brand-new, additional restroom facility that was added to the D Concourse as part of phase four of this five-phase project. It did not take away any gendered facilities; it’s an additional restroom option for travelers. 

Keep reading to find answers to all your questions about SEA Airport’s first all-gender restroom.

What to expect!

This restroom has features that can accommodate ALL users: 

  • One large, dedicated family restroom with baby changing table located near the entrance, adjacent to the corridor
  • 10 large single-person stalls
  • Two wheelchair accessible stalls
  • All stall walls extend to the floor, with no gaps, and locking doors to ensure privacy
  • A separate and private urinal room is clearly marked behind a frosted sliding glass door
  • All spaces share a centralized sink area, grooming stations, and baby changing tables
  • Water fountain and refill station
  • Shelves, hooks, and doors that swing outward to help accommodate your luggage
  • An entrance with artwork created by LGBTQIA+ community and ally artists

Where is it located?

This all-gender restroom is located in the Main Terminal on the D Concourse after security near Checkpoint 5. It is nestled in between Gates D1 and D2. 

Who is it for?

It’s for everyone! This all-gender restroom provides safe, accessible, private, and convenient restroom facilities for everyone. It provides essential spaces and services for parents, people with disabilities, caretakers, and people of all gender identities. It also benefits people who identify as transgender, non-binary or gender non-conforming, those who need the assistance of a caregiver of a different gender, and parents with children of a different gender.

This restroom also makes it easier and less stressful for people who have not had a safe or convenient place to go to the bathroom in the past. Traditional gendered restrooms may not accommodate people who feel uncomfortable or unsafe using gender-specific bathrooms or who have experienced harassment because their outward appearance may not conform to cultural expectations for a specific gender. The goal is to make sure there is a safe space for everyone!

Why is it needed?

The implementation of this all-gender restroom reflects the needs, values, and diversity of the community of which we live in and serve. This additional restroom was created with the hope of creating a safe and inclusive space for all people.

Offering these facilities also acknowledges and accommodates people who may not identify as strictly female or male. These restrooms create a safe and welcoming environment for people of all gender identities, including transgender, non-binary, and gender non-conforming people. Additionally, it offers accessible spaces for caregivers and parents to assist a person of a different gender. 

What if I don’t want to use it? 

That’s OK! We understand that not everyone is comfortable or wants to use this type of restroom There are many other nearby alternatives like family restrooms and men’s and women’s restrooms on every concourse.  Here are other options:

  • Men’s and women’s restrooms right next door by Gate D1
  • Men’s and women’s restroom down the corridor by Gate D5
  • Coming soon: Family restrooms (with extra space) for any gender and people with disabilities by Gate D3 are a series of family restrooms being developed for anyone and any gender, who needs that extra space, including families and people with disabilities

How is it funded?

In general, airports are funded by airport users and the fees, rent, or leases in place with airlines, tenants, and travelers. No taxpayer dollars were used for this facility improvement. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) policy dictates that all revenues generated at the airport must be spent at the airport. Any remaining funds after the payment of annual expenses and debt obligations are reinvested at the airport. 

The funding for this project comes from a combination of an Airport Development Fund, Future Revenue Bonds, and an FAA Grant. Since 2019, SEA Airport has received $21 million in FAA grants for terminal restroom renovations. Most recently, SEA was awarded a $10 million grant through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Act (BIL) Airport Terminal Program that will be put towards Phase 5 restroom updates.

How was the community involved in developing it?

It was essential to get input and collaboration from the community that travels through SEA Airport and uses its facilities. The development team involved members of the LGBTQIA+ community, local faith leaders, and Port stakeholders and leadership from the very early stages. We listened to feedback and needs in stakeholder focus groups and toured other all-gender restrooms across the country for design examples and inspiration. After gathering all the feedback and coordinating efforts with the teams, the project team and contractor began building this truly trailblazing facility. We appreciate everyone who helped make this concept a reality.

Is it accessible?

Along with two designated stalls that are wheelchair accessible ADA compliant, the all-gender restroom features stalls that are 50 percent larger than traditional stalls. In these stalls, you will find grab bars on either side that you can use to help yourself off or onto the toilet. There’s also a shelf on the back of each stall where you can store a purse or bag. The additional space in the stall allows you to pull your luggage in and provides more room to maneuver.


How does it benefit everyone?

All-gender restrooms increase capacity through universal design. For instance, you may have noticed the persistent line for the women’s restroom while the men’s room is empty. This specific restroom will provide private stalls, as well as a private urinal room, so more people can use the restroom without a wait.

Is it only for those in the LGBTQIA+ community?

No! All-gender restrooms will make the airport restroom experience better for everyone. Focusing on inclusivity and accessibility where there is a dedicated safe space is part of the design of this type of restroom. Everyone has the right to a restroom that accommodates their basic human needs. These are just some of the groups of people who benefit the most:

Transgender, non-binary, and gender non-conforming people will have a safe and private space to use the restroom. They have not had that in the past and have experienced judgment, harassment, violence, and anxiety about which restroom to use. We want to create a safe and welcoming place.  

Parents will have an easy and safe space to care for a child of any gender without the anxiety of which restroom to use.

People with disabilities and their different-gender caregivers will have fewer barriers while using the restroom, an easier choice, and enough room to move around.

Elderly adults with caregivers of the opposite gender won’t have to worry about which restroom to use and will have the space to assist.

Maintenance and cleaning will be easier and more convenient because cleaning can be done by employees of any gender. Restrooms will not have to be completely closed and emptied when maintenance or custodial staff from the opposite gender need to work on the room. This restroom is also innovative in design for maintenance needs, ensuring the upkeep can be done behind the scenes while the restroom is open.


What is the future for all-gender restrooms at SEA? Are there more planned?

SEA will continue to renovate existing restrooms to make them more accessible and provide more comfort for all visitors. This design of the all-gender restroom will be evaluated in order to be more inclusive and accessible in the future. For more information on upcoming renovations at SEA, visit Airport Capital Projects.

Related to All You Need to Know about SEA’s All-Gender Restroom!

Back to Top