New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) announced Monday the launch of the first government-led citywide ad campaign in the nation on transgender bathrooms.
The new ads feature transgender New Yorkers and appear in the subway, bus shelters, phone booths and in a variety of media outlets — including ethnic and multilingual publications. The ad campaign launched to kick off LGBTQ Pride Month.
"Use the restroom consistent with who you are," the ad says. "Look past pink and blue."
The ad campaign will cost approximately $265,000, a spokesperson in the mayor's office confirmed to TheBlaze.
"While other cities and states are legislating intolerance and taking away individuals’ right to use bathrooms consistent with their gender identity, we are proudly standing with our transgender and gender non-conforming New Yorkers," de Blasio said in a statement.
First Lady Chirlane McCray, the city's honorary chair of the commission on gender equality, echoed her husband's sentiments that every New Yorker has the "right to use the restroom that matches their gender identity and where they feel comfortable and safe."
"Others may advance hateful agendas that discriminate based on gender or gender identity, but that kind of bigotry will never be acceptable here, and we will keep fighting to root it out until no New Yorker feels discriminated against," she said.
According to a press release from the mayor's office, New York City has long had an equal bathroom access policy — including in public schools. But in other places across the country, most notably in North Carolina, the transgender bathroom issue has been one that is divisive and contentious.
In an opinion column for the New York Post, Karol Markowicz speculated why the de Blasio administration felt the need to spend such an exorbitant amount of money on the ad campaign especially if it was a policy that has been in place for several years.
"Could it be that the issue has garnered a lot of national attention recently and the mayor wants to capitalize on that," Markowicz wrote, later speculating that the only point of the campaign is to "massage the ego of our mayor."
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