Ponyville Ciderfest is determined to do everything in our power to provide a comfortable, inviting, and safe environment for every single one of our guests. To this end, we are proud to follow BronyCon’s lead in offering a Gender-Neutral Restroom option to our guests. Gender-neutral restrooms are restrooms that can be used by anyone, regardless of gender, sex, or gender presentation.

All the restrooms on the 2nd floor have been designated as gender-neutral restrooms.

Gender-neutral restrooms will help fans who are transgender, genderqueer, or otherwise don’t feel they fit into the categories of “men” and “women” feel less anxious when doing their business. Many people take conventions as an opportunity to dress as the gender they identify with, especially if their home situation doesn’t allow for it. Having gender-neutral restrooms allows these attendees to feel just as safe and welcome at Ponyville Ciderfest as everyone else.

We also have a lot of families at Ponyville Ciderfest, and parents might want to accompany their children into the restroom for safety reasons. There’s an awkward age where a child who is a different gender from their parent is too old to be brought into a restroom for their parent’s gender, but too young for a parent to feel comfortable letting their child out of their sight. It can be stressful for a parent to wait outside a restroom while their child is using it alone, and gender-neutral restrooms allow them to ensure their child’s safety, regardless of whether their gender aligns with their child’s.

There are many other scenarios that gender-neutral restrooms make less awkward. For example, some people like to cosplay as a character of a different gender and may not feel comfortable using the restroom for the gender they’re cosplaying as. An attendee with a disability who needs assistance may not have any friends of the same gender with them. Or a cosplayer may experience an urgent costume malfunction that requires a mirror, a sink, and help from a comrade of a different gender to fix.

For folks more comfortable using single-gender restrooms, there are also plenty of single-gender facilities throughout the convention center.

What do “transgender” and “genderqueer” mean?

Transgender is an umbrella term to describe anyone whose gender identity (a person’s concept of self as male, female, both, or neither) does not match their assigned birth gender. (Cisgender is the complementary term, describing anyone whose gender identity does match their assigned birth gender.)

People whose gender identity is different from their biological sex, or the secondary sexual characteristics they developed at puberty, may decide to transition. Transitioning is the process some transgender people go through to live as the gender they identify as, rather than the one they were assigned at birth. This may include personal, medical, and/or legal steps, and it varies from person to person. For example, not every transgender person wants to or can undergo medical procedures, so their physical appearance may not reflect general expectations of how men or women look.

Someone who is genderqueer does not identify with traditional gender distinctions and instead identifies as both, neither, or a combination of male and female genders. They may use gendered or gender neutral pronouns (or both), and their appearance may conform to or play with traditional gendered styling. Both their pronouns and styling may change to reflect shifts in how masculine or feminine they feel.

If you are unsure of what pronoun to use for someone, your best bet is to politely ask, in private if possible: “Hey, what pronouns do you use?” If you use the wrong pronouns for someone, apologize and move on; there’s no need to dwell on the mistake.

Isn’t a gender-neutral restroom more dangerous than a single-gender restroom?

Absolutely not. Gender-neutral restrooms are used by people for the same purposes as single-gender restrooms: to relieve themselves, fix their appearance, change their child’s diaper, whatever. The only difference is who they are meant for: everyone.

The idea that restrooms that are for multiple genders would cause an increase in assault or harassment ignores two key facts: assault can (and does) occur in single-gender restrooms, and signs won’t stop someone of a different gender from committing a crime they are intent on.

Attendees should be free from harassment no matter what restroom they use, and our policies treat harassment in gender-neutral restrooms exactly the same as in single-gender restrooms. If you experience harassment of any kind at Ponyville Ciderfest, no matter where or by whom, find a staff member and report it.