When it comes to breaking the law in Miami, no place is sacred. The greasy claw of crime will dig its fingernails in anywhere. Churches and synagogues? Be damned. Schools and hospitals? Fair game.
That apparently doesn't stop at the bathroom door. Our classy city's latest claim to fame: The least queer-friendly, most hate-crime-prone public restrooms. According to safe2pee.org — a site that maps secure spots for transgender folks to tinkle — Miami has the fewest safe toilets of all major U.S. municipalities.
On the safe2pee.org homepage, the group calls "harassment, violence, and discrimination" in the loo "a very real problem facing many in our society." It allows users to post addresses of gender-bending potties, where GLBT ladies and gents can squat freely together. Some are not marked with girl/boy signs. Others are labeled unisex.
Cities such as San Francisco and Las Vegas have more than 100 "gender-free" listed venues, which are mostly restaurants and bars. In Miami, however, there are only three. (That doesn't include Miami Beach.)
It would be a stretch to call the three listed johns in the Magic City intentionally queer-friendly. The list includes toilets at an Amoco gas station on NW 36th Street, a CVS in Pinecrest, and an office building on SW 57th Avenue with "no receptionist." Three pretty, um, shitty options.
As controversy rages in Gainesville — over allowing transsexuals to use either sex bathroom — Riptide thought we'd pay the trio of Miami powder rooms a visit. We hoped to congratulate each business on its courageous social activism. But the gas station no longer existed and the office was empty.
When a woman at the Pinecrest CVS answered the phone, she sounded bored. "How many gender-free bathrooms do you have?" we wondered innocently.
Chomping a piece of gum, she answered, "Gender what?"