Official stewards who were running the toilets at Trafalgar Square announced that I, and any other transgender or transsexual woman, had to use the disabled toilets and was not allowed to use the regular women’s toilets.
Roz then rounded up a group of other trans people to protest – and the stewards promptly radioed for police backup – “HALP! HALP! OMG! WE’RE BEING ATTACKED BY AN ARMY OF FIERCE TRANNIES! HALP! HALP!” The single police officer who came to the rescue – and who, apparently, was an LGBT liaison officer – said that trans women would only be allowed in if they produced their Gender Recognition Certificates! I mean, seriously, wtf???
Bit of a tactical error pulling a stunt like that on Roz, though – she had been involved in drafting the Act and knew full well that it did not take away rights that existed before it.
As the saying goes: It’s always about the rest rooms, isn’t it?
(Curtsey to Rebecca for the wake-up call)
Afterthought: Interestingly, at the Trans Community Conference I attended on Friday last, all the toilets were unisex. This was in the Met Police HQ building at Earls Court, btw…
Further update: Roz has received a “Public Statement on the Incident at the women’s toilet at Pride involving a Trans woman” from a Pride HR Director who has, it seems, been specially appointed (by whom?) to handle this issue.
Roz adds that the Met Police are being very helpful – as well they should…
Every day, in every way, I grow more and more cynical about the increasing numbers of arrogant fools who simply presume to know what trans people think and want, without actually bothering to find out for themselves. Talk to us, not at us and maybe you’ll even learn something.
Because, y’know, we’re all just sitting around polishing our nails and plucking our eyebrows while we wait for them to deign to share their superior knowledge of us.
When we’re not too preoccupied with just actually getting through the day in one piece without facing yet more transphobic hate speech, discrimination and all-round harassment from any one of 60 million random passers-by, that is.
Further, further update: Roz says that the Pride apology is conditionally accepted (link here) – and also that the Westminster Police have issued a press release (link here to the full statement as published at Pink News). She adds that:
We dispute some of the facts in the statement and will make further representations in due course. We are being advised by GALOP on this. We encourage people in London to attend the public meeting on 29th.
The whole thing is an absolute shambles and, as yet, I can find no reason to change my opinion and make plans to attend next year – not that staying away is a particularly useful response, either…
I wish myself I was back at home
But there’s nothing safe in watching TV
(Lyrics from “Lovers Town Revisited” by Billy Bragg)
©2008 Helen G