John Waters unveils all-gender restrooms named in his honor at art museum

John Waters unveils all-gender restrooms named in his honor at art museum
PEN American Center / Wikimedia Commons

Renowned filmmaker John Waters has had the honor of all-gender restrooms being named after him. According to LGBTQ Nation, Waters attended the restroom unveiling at The Baltimore Museum of Art last week where the bathroom entrance now reads, "The John Waters Restrooms/All Gender."

Speaking earlier this week, Waters recalled his reasoning for requesting the bathrooms be named in his honor in exchange for him donating the vast majority of his private collection to the museum after his death.

"Public restrooms make all people nervous," he explained. "They're unpredictable, sometimes attract perverts, and they're fueled by accidents — just like my favorite contemporary art."

While speaking at the museum's unveiling, Waters detailed his reaction to learning about the bathrooms being named after him. He also revealed he hadn't included an all-gender preference when he requested for the museum to name the restrooms in his honor. "My deal was just that the bathrooms would be named after me," Waters said.

The gender-neutral concept is said to have "just naturally evolved." However, he also insists it "was a plus."

"When I heard the new restrooms could be remodeled for all genders, I was even more excited," Waters said to the crowd of guests who attended the unveiling. "I could be part of a much-needed public elimination upgrade. Finally, we could all go to the bathroom together in full privacy. That's what I call progress!"

The unveiling follows the museum's previous statement announcing the completion of the restrooms. "The Baltimore Museum of Art is proud to name its new gender-neutral restrooms for the incomparable artist/author/actor/filmmaker – and now BMA Trustee – John Waters," the museum said in its statement.

Trans-activist Elizabeth Coffey also weighed in with her reaction to the unveiling as she praised Waters' support of exclusivity.

"As with most of John's things, you have to look at the subtext," she said. "He knew what he was doing. Even though [it comes across as] 'ha ha ha, let's name the bathroom after me,' he was getting the Baltimore Museum of Art to make gender-neutral bathrooms because he is in support of it, and that's so important. I might be the figurehead, but he is the energy behind making it happen, and I think that's extraordinary. He didn't have to do it.

"He supports inclusivity. He has never supported exclusivity…This is about John doing his part to make sure that people are included in a space where he has some control. And if we all did that, we could all make a difference."


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