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Nov 13, 2019 1:15 PM ET

🚽The Degenderator • A campaign for all gender bathrooms 🧻 A cute animated figure replaces flawed gendered bathroom icons and funds the distribution of inclusive signs for free

🚽The Degenderator • A campaign for all gender bathrooms 🧻 A cute animated figure replaces flawed gendered bathroom icons and funds the distribution of inclusive signs for free

iCrowd Newswire - Nov 13, 2019


The Degenderator Sign and Kinetic Figure Installed on a single-person bathroom

A campaign to help de-gender all bathrooms, to help people feel welcome and safe. 100% of proceeds are funneled into making more signs and giving them away. 


The cutest bathroom buddy ever to grace your eyeballs.

  • Runs 24+ months on included AA batteries hidden in legs!
  • Made from impact-resistant ABS plastic, Like Lego® bricks. Strong!
  • 20cm(8”) tall, but less than 2.5cm(1”)in thick. Stays close to the wall!
  • Automatically resumes motion after interference from curious fingers
  • Can be mounted with included high-strength mounting tape or with screws through detachable plate. Convenient!
  • Also stands on feet for use as a desktop toy!
Rectangular, unambiguous, legal— The perfect bathroom sign.


  •  ADA Compliant with tactile lettering and braille, legal for public use in entire USA, Canada, and the United Kingdom.  
  • Satisfies requirements of US cities and states with all-gender mandates. (See map)
  • Reversible for installations in both accessible and non-accessible restrooms.
  • Uses Sara Hendren’s better International Symbol of Access (ISA) as now required by New York and Connecticut (and permitted in the rest of the USA)
  • Made from the same black impact-resistant ABS plastic as the Degenderator, for a perfect match that will resist decades of cleaning.
  • Standard US door sign dimensions of 6”in(152mm) wide and 8.75”(222mm) tall, should fit perfectly over most old, gendered signs. Specification Sheet
  • Mountable with included high-strength mounting tape, silicone adhesive, or both for ease of installation. Simply mount with inaccurate side facing the wall!
Impact-Resistant Polycarbonate Locking Cover

Why are we doing this?

The real world consequences of segregated restrooms:

  • 60% of transgender Americans have avoided using public restrooms for fear of confrontation Source 
  • 30% of transgender and GNC people have eaten or drunk less to prevent the need to use the bathroom. Source 
  • Rates of urinary tract infections and kidney damage are very high in these marginalized communities as a consequence of restroom avoidance. Source 
  • Transphobic bathroom bills (now defeated) contributed to a 2x increase in calls to Trans Lifeline, a suicide prevention hotline. Source 
  • All gender bathrooms benefit everyone, resulting in shorter lines, and better access for families and people with attendants.

Single-User vs Multi-User Restrooms

  •  Single-User restrooms have one toilet, one sink, and a locking door. Most coffee shops, all airplanes, and your house have this type of bathroom.
  •  Multi-User Restrooms (airport, office, school, etc) many flimsy stalls with huge gaps around the doors, often urinals without any kind of partition, and shared sinks.  

To de-segregate existing single-user restrooms all it takes a new sign and the installation of menstrual supplies and a small wastebasket in both newly-desegregated rooms.

Everyone benefits from all restrooms being gender neutral, but multi-user bathrooms have architectural problems that make de-gendering very complex. Enhancing stall privacy and enclosing any urinals are the minimum improvements required for most of such bathrooms. Simply changing a sign is not enough to make multi-user facilities safe and comfortable for all users. More information here.

All-Gender Signage is required in much of the US. 

While all restrooms should be gender neutral, increasing numbers of US states and cities have mandated that all public single-occupant restrooms be all-gender facilities. CaliforniaNew MexicoVermontIllinois, Washington DCNew York CityDenver, SeattlePhiladelphia, and Austin have laws now, and more laws are passing every month. Thanks to plumbing code changes, 39 additional states will require such signs starting in 2021. Based on some rough math, 10 million+ businesses must de-gender their facilities—but most have no idea. Compliance with these laws is very low, this project strives to spread awareness to business owners that they are out of compliance, and make it easy for them to fix the issue by getting new signage. 

Who Am I?

Robb Godshaw

My name is Robb Godshaw(He/him), I am a queer artist, designer, engineer, and an adjunct professor of Product Design at San Francisco State University. I have been designing and making mechanical and electronic things for about 10 years. My most well-known work has been a hamster-wheel-standing-desk and some real-life versions of face-distortion filters as public interactive art

I started “work” on this project when I was 8, when after playing with a corkscrew I became convinced both bathroom icons were in fact the same person. I finally tried to build it in 2012 when I was studying electrical/kinetic art at Carnegie Mellon. Other projects got in the way, and I set it aside many times, finally making a working model in 2017. Realizing motors were a bad choice, I strived for a simple, silent, fast mechanism. I finally found it in the form of those waving cat figures that run for years on a battery. A few years, 25 designs, and a trip to China later and I am ready to get these things made.

Recent Historical Precedent:

  • In 2014 Sam Killermann drew a toilet and declared the toilet iconography debate over, having managed to clearly communicate what lies behind the doors of western restrooms.
  • Later in 2014, it took off and a manufacturer began producing the signs, offering them free of charge to qualifying organizations/campuses
  • In 2016, a Kickstarter campaign was launched to produce similar signs to engage in  de-gendering of public restrooms. While the Degenderator team admires their campaign, no affiliation or endorsement exists between the Degenderator and the Degenderettes, just very similar names.
  • 2018, the Stalled! project combines critical design and critical theory where academics (Including architect Joel Sanders, law professor Terry Kogan, and trans historian/activist Susan Stryker) try to design the ideal restroom to suit the needs of as many people as possible.
  • In 2019 Stalled! members successfully amended the 2021 International Plumbing code, which will eventually allow multi-occupant inclusive restrooms to be built without complex variance procedures all over the USA.

How it works:

 Just like the waving Maneki-Neko cats all around the world, the Degenderator uses small pushes to keep a pendulum going for years on the included batteries. See video for more info:

My Process

The process of designing the Degenderator consisted of taking many, many toys apart to see what kind of movements and linkages are suitable for this type of mechanism. I learned enough to design my own versions in 3D design and simulation software, Fusion 360. After printing 25 different versions, i finally had one that was good enough to manufacture. 

25 iterations of prototypes

Where does the money go?

Manufacturing is expensive, nothing can be manufactured at scale without making expensive tooling. In our case, this means the 3D milling of intricate aluminum molds for the injection molding process. 

Total exceeds goal amount due to projected after-campaign sales.

Estimated Timeline

Project Website 


  • Huge thanks to the engineers and artists who helped overcome technical obstacles, including Maria Yablonina and Josh Levine.
  •  Bode Riis, whose videography made this video possible.
  • The team at Constellation who hosted me in Shenzhen and helped me find manufacturers. 
  • Everyone who took time to give me advice and who has shared this campaign! 
We have partnered with specialists to reduce the risk of delays and difficulties
We stand in solidarity with Kickstarters efforts to unionize!

Risks and challenges

The logistical risks are being lessened considerably by using dedicated services for fulfillment and logistics. BackerKit and ShipBob are renowned for their efficiency and ease of use, which will get you your rewards faster. I am working with manufacturing professionals, accountants, and others to ensure everything is accounted for.

The technical challenges of this project have been overcome through iteration and confirmation with 4 separate kinetic toy manufacturers. The 3D printed prototype has been confirmed to work with 4 different brands of waving-toy-specifiic microchips, as well as 3 different coils, and 3 different kinds of AA batteries. 15% of the proceeds are being held as a safety measure in order to account for any new tariffs, sales taxes, duties, or unforeseeable costs. If these costs don’t materialize, the proceeds will be donated to trans advocacy non-profits.

Contact Information:

Robb Godshaw

Tags:    Reward-Donation, Wire, United States, English