A Florida man’s campaign for equal placement of changing stations in men’s bathrooms has captured the attention of city council legislators all over the country.
“As men, as fathers, we’ll continue to squat until there are changing tables. But also, we’ll continue to squat and show sensitivity towards our children,” Donte Palmer, 31, said in an interview with the New York Daily News.
Palmer was exhausted one Saturday afternoon in September after running errands all day with his children. The father of three found himself in an all too familiar predicament when it became evident that his one-year-old son, Liam, needed to be changed.
He found the closest men’s restroom, squatted down on the floor with his son laid across his lap and changed the baby’s diaper.
Palmer’s 12-year-old son Isaiah, who also serves as his diaper changing helper, thought the situation was entertaining and started snapping photos.
After looking at the pictures, Palmer decided he would post the photo to his Instragram and paired it with a detailed caption outlining why the visual was so troubling for him.
“This is a serious post!!! What’s the deal with not having changing tables in men’s bathroom as if we don’t exist!! #FLM#fatherslivesmatter clearly we do this often because look how comfortable my son is. It’s routine to him!!!! Let’s fix this problem! I Kaepernick drop a knee to this issue!” he wrote.
He tagged the Shaderoom and made the hashtag #Squatforchange. The rest was viral history.
Now while the idea of co-opting kneeling in order to call out police brutality is not ideal in this situation or any other situation that has nothing to do with police brutality, Palmer’s call to action struck a chord.
Father’s all over the country contacted him to say they could relate to the ordeal, even posting their own #Squatforchange photos to their social media timelines.
Palmer’s photo has over 8,000 likes since the Shaderoom reposted the photo last month.
Palmer also wants mother’s to know that he would never take away from the important, crucial aspect they play in their children’s lives and upbringing. But he says that father’s are just as crucial and deserve the same access to wellness in securing clean changing stations for their children.
“This is not an issue where I want to put mothers down. Mothers are superheroes,” Palmer told WFMY.
But, people are paying attention, and the ones who can affect direct change, like city legislators, have contacted Palmer to work with him to provide changing stations in men’s restrooms.
Most recently, Baltimore City Hall installed a changing station in the men’s restroom ahead of a diaper duty bill hearing.