Deconstructing Binaries—in partnership with Georgia Equality, Charis Books & More, TILTT and JustUsATL—is a community-based public art project that explores and challenges mainstream binary visual representations of gender on public restroom signage. Deconstructing Binaries seeks to explore the social concept of gender and to bring awareness to the multiplicity of gender identities by encouraging businesses and public places to actively support a diversity of gender identities. Inspired by a sign from the Parsons School of Design that reads, “Anyone can use this restroom, regardless of your gender identity of expression,” Deconstructing Binaries promotes a culture of gender inclusivity as a form of social justice for all.
A public, moderator-led Open Conversation was held in April 2014 at Charis Books. The discussion explored the complexities and damaging consequences of contemporary society’s binary approach to gender identity. Encouraged by our understanding that the arts are a transcendent language for communication and social change, among those present were five professional visual artists, tasked with absorbing the thoughts and opinions of community members and translating them into their medium of expertise. Following the conversation, the artists created critical works of art in response to the open dialogue. A panel discussion and exhibition of the Deconstructing Binaries artworks occurred in June 2014 at Poem 88 in partnership with Atlanta Pride’s Stonewall Month programming.
The artists have also granted Deconstructing Binaries the right to reproduce their original work on purchasable bathroom signage. They are excited for reproductions of their work to be displayed throughout Atlanta—and beyond!—in public facing bathroom entrances, so as to continue to challenge community members to consider our societal need to be inclusive of all individuals. Purchase your gender inclusive bathroom sign here!