Archive for the 'restroom panic' Category

You cis people really are *obsessed* with toilets, aren’t you?

May 1, 2009

tgwc_sign_bbc_164x150Having read queenemily’s latest about the so-called ‘bathroom bill’ (link here) over at QT, I was initially tempted to drop in a snarky comment along the lines of “Well never mind, we can always go to Thailand instead” (obscure reference to a news story last year about trans only toilets in a school in Thailand).

But having had a not-so-great week, healthwise, I didn’t know if I had the energy. I just don’t see what new points can be made: as I said (somewhat bitterly) in another bathroom panic post – one of mine, this time – in January 2009 (link here):

I mean, far better that trans people run the risk of harassment and assault than cis people face up to the discomfort they feel at having to examine their own privileges and assumptions about the gender binary, normativity, prejudice, discrimination, ableism and so on and so forth…

Also, given that my first post on the subject (link here) from September 2008 has the highest stat count of anything I’ve ever posted here at BoP, and is still getting hits, well, I can’t help but wonder why it’s only ever cis people who seem so fixated on which bathroom the rest of us use.

The fact is that whole ‘bathroom panic’ has really become a meme of its own, almost an urban myth. So let me ask you cis folks a question.

Has anyone ever come up with irrefutable proof – court case reports, police records, press reports, just one thing – to show that even one trans woman has ever attacked or otherwise assaulted a cis person in one of “their” restrooms?

And while you’re scratching around trying to find me just one single shred of evidence of the horrible murderous things that we’ve done to you in “your” sacred spaces, may I also recommend you stop by at GallingGalla’s LJ and read her take on the New Hampshire case too? She’s telling it like it is and is way more on track with it than I am right now. Link here. Go. Read it.

Right. I’m off to buy a bottle of wine, go home and just chill a little.

I’ll be back in a while, no doubt, my interleckshual batteries recharged and all that – in the meantime, do let me know when you find that proof, won’t you? Because I tell you what – there are a lot of trans women would really like to see it.


Previous toilet (non-)humour on this blog:

Gender neutral toilets head south

January 14, 2009

sign above door of gender neutral toilet - click to embiggenI’m still not entirely sure why so many discussions about being trans always come down to either what’s inside our underwear or which toilets we use. And, having been made aware on numerous occasions by a variety of cis people that These Are The Things That Matter, how could I not mention this piece in The Sentinel, about Staffordshire University Students’ Union nightclub introducing gender-neutral toilets alongside the existing facilities offered to women, men and people with disabilities?

sign on door of gender neutral toilet - click to embiggenIn passing, there’s a video version of The Sentinel’s largely hysteria-neutral report here. It’s worth a look, if only to get an idea of how utterly mundane and unremarkable the subject matter really is. Certainly not worth getting your knickers in a twist over, that’s for sure.

Students’ Union president, Fee Wood, said: “It is known that public toilets are gender separate and are often difficult to negotiate for transgendered or androgynous people.”

“This often leads to embarrassment, harassment, or even assault by others who are offended by the presence of a person they interpret as being of the other gender.”


Fee added: “There have been quite a lot of people using the new toilets.”

“We had one complaint from a girl on the first night, but overall the feedback has been positive.”

I don’t know if I can really add anything more to my post of last September (“Toilet signs ‘too PC’”), which was about the introduction of gender neutral toilets in the basement of Manchester University students’ union building. In that thread, we talked about political correctness; but I think my main concern was, and is, for the safety of trans users of the facilities. Not the safety of cis users who are, I think, talking out of their privileged backsides when they spout the old tropes about trans people just being men who want to use women’s restrooms, and won’t somebody think of the children, and all the other misplaced and pearl-clutching comments that are wheeled out every time the subject comes up.

I mean, far better that trans people run the risk of harassment and assault than cis people face up to the discomfort they feel at having to examine their own privileges and assumptions about the gender binary, normativity, prejudice, discrimination, ableism and so on and so forth…

…*rolls eyes*…

Coming to a restroom near you. Soon.
Get over it…

(Cross-posted at Questioning Transphobia)

Trans people are a bit like spiders

October 28, 2008

Courtesy of Student Direct, here’s an update to my previous post, “Toilet signs ‘too PC'”:

toilets with urinalsFlushing Transphobia Away

Toilets were back on the agenda for Manchester students last Monday with the University of Manchester Students’ Union playing host to a debate on its new non-gender facilities.

Approximately 40 students turned up to ‘The Big Debate: Toilets and the Union’, which also gave students a chance to voice their opinions, although none of the panel speakers argued against the new toilets.

A media furor has surrounded the toilets since it surfaced in the national press that one set of toilets in the basement of the Steve Biko building had been de-gendered and traditional ‘male’ and ‘female’ symbols replaced with temporary signs reading ‘toilets’ and ‘toilets with urinals’.

Dissenting voices amongst the student body have criticized the fact that students had not been consulted on the decision. Women’s Officer Jennie Killip spoke with dismay that objections to the toilets have manifested themselves in destructive ways, saying that, “signs have been ripped off these safe places.”

So reassuring, isn’t it, to see that transphobia is alive and well amongst the student population. Really bodes well for the future, doesn’t it, that such depressingly reactionary people – who may well grow up to be our civic and political leaders – are able to carry out such mindless acts of transphobic violence without hindrance.

toiletsChallenging such transphobic attitudes was at the top of the agenda on Monday. First speaker Rebecca Dittman from The Gender Trust highlighted the history of transgender people “who have been in society for- forever really” and the problems which they face. “There is still bigotry, there is still hatred, but things are changing.”

You reckon? When your fellow students are reacting with such hostility to what was – let’s face it – little more than a very tentative gesture? Changing in what way, exactly? Are you seriously implying that things are changing for the better? Tolerating hate crimes is going to make things better how, exactly?

Ruth Pearce, trans rep from the NUS Women’s Committee, emphasized that non-gender toilets would not pose a threat to the other toilet users. “We’re not a threat to women – trans people are a bit like spiders. They’re more scared of you than you are of them.”

Oh thanks, Ruth. Thanks very much. I’ve heard of – and experienced – some dehumanising and objectifying bullshit in my time, but that really takes the prize. I can’t believe you said that. And when you use the word “we”, are you saying that you’re trans, too? Either way, with friends like you…

“Trans people are a bit like spiders”. Wouldn’t that be convenient, eh? Those poor cis people with their (apparently justifiable) nervous dispositions could whack us with a rolled-up newspaper, or turn on the taps and flush us down the drain – or if they were feeling really well-disposed to us, they could trap us in an upside-down glass and chuck us out of the window.

Out of sight, out of mind. And wouldn’t everybody’s lives – and we’re talking about real women’s lives, of course – be so much more comfortable without those troublesome trannies around, with all their totally unreasonable and unrealistic demands for equality with other human beings. I mean, why can’t they just know their place, like all the other insects and creepy-crawlies…

…*shakes head in disbelief*…

Misrepresentations of the facts in the media were also criticized, as some reports assumed all Union toilets would become non-gender. “There are and always will remain gender toilets for those who prefer to use them,” assured Natalie Heppenstall from the University of Manchester’s LGBT Society.

Heppenstall was also keen to stress that these were not uniquely “trans toilets” as has been misconstrued in the media, citing the benefits for students with children and disabled students with care-assistants of the opposite sex.

Also, added Pearce, “We’ve now got an extra toilet if there is a queue.”

Apologism taken to new depths. But I suppose it merely continues the whole sorry, misguided fiasco. I’m just thankful that I’m too old and too uneducated to attend university. The groves of academe? You’re welcome to them, if this is your idea of equality for trans people.

“Toilet signs ‘too PC'”

September 30, 2008

The restroom panic about Tanya White was reprehensible, and we know the appalling treatment of Roz at London Pride was equally unnecessary – and the subtext of this latest panic attack (via The Manchester Evening News) makes me question, once again, non- trans people’s groundless and faintly absurd fixation that they are going to be assaulted by massed throngs of trans people if they don’t keep us out of public toilets.

toilets with urinalsToilet signs ‘too PC’

STUDENTS say new signs on toilets at their union building might be making their WC just a ‘bit too PC’.

The traditional sign on the door of the Gents has been temporarily replaced with one that says ‘toilets with urinals’.

And the sign on the Ladies now simply says ‘toilets’ in a move to make the lavatories more inclusive for trans-gender students.

The signs on the toilets in the basement of Manchester University students’ union were changed after a meeting of the union’s executive in the summer.


toiletsJennie Killip, women’s officer at the students’ union, put forward the idea of installing the new signs after receiving complaints from trans-gender students about the facilities.

She said: “The idea is that trans-gender people feel more comfortable using their student union.”

“Trans-gender people can face violence and abuse when they go into toilets and we wanted to provide a place where they can feel comfortable.”

“I have had complaints from people who said we didn’t have any facilities for them.”



Minutes from the union’s executive meeting in July said: “The women’s officer asked if any action could be taken following the directive from the council to look into gender-neutral toilets in the union.”

“After discussion, the women’s officer felt the solution would be to change the signs on one set of toilets in the building to `with urinals’ and `without urinals’ with explanatory signage.”

“She felt the basement would be the most appropriate area to trial this. This was agreed.”


And leading the charge of the gender-specific brigade:

Second-year literature and linguistics student Jane McConnell, 19, is a news editor on the Student Direct student newspaper.

She said: “While these signs might be appropriate for people with different sexualities in the community of the University of Manchester, I also think that many people from different religious and ethnic groups are going to feel uncomfortable using these facilities.

“I think they might believe the university union aren’t reflecting their beliefs and choices and that they are going to feel very uncomfortable using these toilets.

…But it’s perfectly acceptable for trans people to feel uncomfortable, is that what you’re saying?

And your comments about people from different religious and ethnic groups are a red herring in this context as the report clearly states that the signs have only been changed “on one set of toilets in the building“.

Note also that these toilets are in the basement, so we don’t know what access there is for disabled people, be they trans or other.

But the last part of Ms McConnell’s quote is really very special:

“Even though they’re just two signs, at the end of the day, toilets should be for women and for men specifically, not for both.”

Because as everybody knows, there is only the gender binary. Male, female. Man, woman.


And the 1 in 4000 who are gender dysphoric (or is it 1 in 1400?) – well, we just don’t count, apparently.

And you a journalist an’ all; maybe you need to work on your researching skills a little more before launching into thoughtless op-ed pieces like that?

And is this anonymous person (below) actually not a student but in fact a retired colonel from suburbia?

Another student, who did not want to be named, said: “This is ridiculous.”

“It is just too much political correctness.”

“I can not believe they are changing the signs – everybody knows the traditional male and female toilet signs.”

“It could lead to some confusion.”

Too much political correctness“? I wonder what the recognised maximum limit actually is. Y’see, Nonny, actually it’s attitudes like yours which continue to drive the need for political correctness, as you call it. Tell me –

– What’s too politically correct about providing public toilets which don’t add to trans people’s existing concerns about their gender identities?

– What’s too politically correct about providing public toilets where trans people don’t feel they’re going to be humiliated, verbally abused and possibly even physically attacked by non- trans members of the public?

What is your problem exactly, hey Nonny?


ETA, 28 October 2008: Updated – see Trans people are a bit like spiders

Police confirm there was no trans violence at Pride London

September 17, 2008

Via Facebook, Roz has passed on the link to this article in Pink News:

A senior Metropolitan police officer has apologised for the confusion over an incident at Pride London earlier this year.

Commander Steve Allen said that “deep upset” had been caused to the trans community by earlier reports, based on a joint response to the incident from the police and Pride organisers and distributed to the press.


“It is clear that members of the trans communities and the officer found themselves involved in a set of circumstances for which the trans communities were not responsible. […] They were clearly the victims. It has been claimed that the demonstrators assaulted stewards – examination of CCTV evidence demonstrates that these claims are mistaken.”

Christina Alley, one of the trans people who witnessed the event, welcomed Commander Allen’s “gracious and comprehensive” apology.


“It is a gracious and comprehensive apology, setting the record straight about the peacefulness of the trans protesters, committing to a thorough investigation of the attacks on two trans people in the toilets, and to trans awareness training for all LGBT liaison officers within the Police Service.

This is a definite step in the right direction – not that any of this should have happened in the first place – and we are hopefully now that much closer to a meaningful resolution.


ETA: There doesn’t seem to have been any response from either Capita or SFM as yet. Perhaps they’ve been delayed in the post…


My previous posts on the subject are here (newest first):

Pride (in the name of love)

September 5, 2008

Roz Kaveney reports on her blog that she’s at last received a response from Pride London regarding the shameful treatment she received at this year’s event.

So – was it worth the wait? Roz doesn’t seem to think so, and I’d have to agree.

I will say no more about this at this point than that I am unhappy with it. It does not seem to address some of the crucial questions I and others have raised with Pride, notably their failure publicly to retract public remarks accusing us of assaulting security staff – something that the Metropolitan Police have clearly stated did not take place – and it does not really answer the question of how a Health and Safety Officer came to make an unlawful and unilateral decision to bar us from the toilets in the first place. I would also dispute some of the interpretations of fact here – in the interests of transparency, I will consult with people before posting and sending a detailed response, and deciding what actions follow.

Wading through the corporate jargon in the response, it seems that at least a couple of Pride London’s points definitely need further clarification:

Items 2 and 3 refer to the appointment of a diversity response expert and a diversity response team. Very nice, too. But what, pray, are these good people actually going to do for their money, hm? Oh, and spot the victim-blaming sideswipe tucked away in Item 3, too.

Worryingly, it’s the question of how this year’s discrimination can be avoided in future, that seems to have been given only the most cursory coverage.

Item 5 covers the “[s]tipulation that all stewards receive Trans awareness training from a recognized organization”. Setting aside the obvious question of why this wasn’t provided previously, my interpretation is that this training will be half-hearted at best. Maybe I misunderstand, but “documentation that can be presented to stewards as part of their training by our respective contractors” sounds as if the training will consist of no more than giving the stewards an A4 printout, which they’ll be expected to read and understand for themselves. Nothing about, say, a practical tuition session for stewards – and Item 6 makes it very clear that Pride themselves won’t be offering training.

I come away from all this with the overwhelming sense that Pride London would really rather that trans people just, y’know, stayed home, really. Because we’re obviously making unnecessary work for them, and complicating matters. I’ve said before that I’m ambivalent about the inclusion of ‘T’ in LGBT(QI), and Pride’s response makes me wonder if they, too, have similar reservations, albeit for different reasons.


8 September – Edited To Add:

Roz Kaveney sent a message to the members of the Facebook group, Stop Transphobia at Pride, as follows:

Subject: Personal statement by Roz Kaveney

Paul Birrell of Pride has confirmed that the Health and Safety Officer responsible for the offensive and unlawful decision to force transwomen to use the disabled toilets was supplied by Capita. My view is that the next step is to make a formal complaint both to Capita and to SFM, the security firm who provided the toilet stewards – the fact that the police and Pride have acknowledged that there was no assault on the stewards by the demonstrators makes it easier to do this. I have a legitimate complaint against both companies which I will pursue – the EHRC have already offered to help with this.

As far as Pride itself goes, my view is that our attitude should depend on how Diana Taylor’s role works out. I have for some time been uncomfortable with the necessity of acting as figurehead as one of the two people with an actual complaint. It seems to me that Diana’s appointment is enough of a response to my complaints that I can finally accept Pride’s apology and hand matters over to the broader trans community to deal with – I would suggest, and I am open to suggestions on this, that I formally do so at a public meeting between Diana in her new role and the community. Depending on everyone’s convenience, this might be at the next TransLondon meeting next Tuesday or at some other date subsequently to be arranged.

I would like to emphasize – because I know some people have been unhappy with my role in all of this – that I chose, back at the beginning of this, to take my personal beef over what happened to me (and also to the other woman, the one who was assaulted) and turn it, for my part, into an opportunity to get redress for the community as a whole. I have tried to be as transparent as possible in the processing of my complaint and thus to be accountable; I know that some people, and not only the anonymous P.R.I.D.E. mob, have felt that this is not accountability enough.

In respect of my complaint against the Met and now my complaint against Pride itself, I am only too glad to hand further consideration on to the relevant groups – for the moment, at least, I will have to pursue a personal complaint against Capita and SFM because that is the most convenient way to proceed.

I hope this is all clear.

Another step forward, and one hopes that our community will accommodate Roz’ wish to hand it over to the appropriate representatives of the community, to progress matters to a meaningful conclusion as quickly as possible.

Roz, thank you for all the work you’ve put into this; I hope that the outcome will exceed your expectations.


My previous posts on the debacle are here (newest first):

Transphobia at Pride – 2nd Open Letter from Met Police

August 11, 2008

Roz Kaveney has published the text of a second Open Letter from Commander Allen of the Met Police in response to the outbreak of rest room panic that occurred at Pride London last month.

Link here

There seems to be an attempt to take responsibility for some of the thoughtless and offensive comments previously made – Cmdr Allen even uses the ‘A’ word:

I offer my personal and sincerest apology that my letter did not have the effect I had intended and upon closer reflection I can see why this caused deep upset to some of the trans communities.

But however well-meant and sincere the letter may be, I do not recall seeing any similar reassessment of the situation by the external contractor(s) who caused the original issue by refusing Roz admission to the women’s toilets in Trafalgar Square in the first place. Perhaps I’ve just not been looking hard enough…

My previous posts on “Toiletgate” are here (newest first):


©2008 Helen G

We’ve only just begun

August 1, 2008

Sarah – who I’m embarrassed to say I’ve been appallingly bad at keeping up with (we emailed once or twice last year) – has posted an update on the continuing fallout from the Pride fiasco (I wrote about it here and here).

In her Live Journal post Pride and Prejudice – the Plot Thickens, she reports on a meeting held a couple of days ago, which was attended by official representatives of the Met Police and various trans people who’d been at the march.

Sarah writes really well and I can wholeheartedly recommend reading her entire piece – but it has to be said that she doesn’t sound very upbeat in her summary :

So in general, a very frustrating meeting. I got the feeling that the Met Police remained frustrated that we haven’t “gotten over this”, that Pride London, despite words of regret, by their actions seem almost unrepentant about what happened, and that we left feeling frustrated that nobody understood why this is a big deal for us, and why it’s important that it’s put right. This feels like it’s only just starting.

I’m afraid that all this just deepens my suspicion of trans people allying themselves with groups whose prime concern is LGB people. Nothing wrong with any organisation doing that, I hasten to add – but it seems almost inevitable that the ‘T-for-Trans’ – when/if it’s added to the LGB acronym – is simply an afterthought, a cynical ploy to present a public image which is just not backed up by the reality.

The HRC/ENDA debacle was – or should have been – warning enough. I’ll say it again: trans people need our own Stonewall (Transwall? Stonetrans?) to fight for our various civil liberties. Although PFC do a truly excellent job and are not to be underestimated, I believe we need a much more public face if we’re ever seriously going to challenge the pre- and misconceptions of the general public.

I’d do it myself if I thought I could make a difference as just one individual. Anybody else?


©2008 Helen G

Who are you calling obsessed?

July 11, 2008

My recent post, Love is stronger than Pride, about Roz Kaveney’s disgraceful treatment by stewards and the police when she tried to enter the public toilets in Trafalgar Square during the Pride march last weekend, drew an interesting comment from Winter, who said:

I think some analysis should be done on what this obsession with toilets says about society.

At an event like Pride with so many genderqueer people in attendance, unisex toilets do seem the sensible way to go because it’s a situation in which the binary gender system (of which gender segregated toilets are a part) has already broken down.

That is actually a very interesting point, and I wonder if we can draw any conclusions about the attitudes of society in general.

But first let me get the obvious bad joke out of the way: if trans* women were more anally-retentive, then maybe they wouldn’t need to use public toilets and all this unpleasantness could be avoided…


Yes yes. Very amusing, Helen. Now will you get on with it, please?

Okay. The first thing is – even though it was only a bad joke – there is a subtext there, and perhaps it was a contributory factor in the Pride incident: If trans* women had stayed out of the public toilets, then there would have been no problem. It only became problematic when trans* women tried to go into them.

In other words, the trans* women’s needs were secondary, unimportant and not worth even considering – or so it was decided by those who were policing the toilets (no pun intended).

But it goes further, because it’s not trans* women who have a problem in using appropriate (ie women’s) public toilets: it’s other people who have a problem with trans* women using women’s public toilets. In Roz’ case it was the contracted steward(s) and the police’s so-called LGBT liaison officer. I don’t know the identities of those two or three people, so I’ll have to leave aside the question of whether male sexism played a part or whether it was even-handed (gender-neutral? ;) ) across-the-board discrimination originating from a combination of men and women.

So it was other people (the steward(s) and the police officer) who believed that trans* women shouldn’t go into a public toilet designated for use by women. Why would they think that? Presumably, it’s because they didn’t consider trans* women to be women. (Real women, that is, I’m muttering sarcastically under my breath).

I’m seeing Othering, discrimination, harassment, bigotry and transphobia – in addition to a complete lack of awareness of gender diversity, not to mention insensitivity and sheer bloody ignorance. And that’s even without irresponsible wielding of powers invested in them as part of their employment at Pride.

There do seem to be some almost mediaeval attitudes to men, or – crucially – people who are perceived as men – entering a women’s toilet. For example, in June, I wrote about an incident which has some parallels with Roz’ experience. Tanya White, a natal woman whose gender presentation was very masculine (she admitted this herself in interviews at the time) was told by hotel security staff to leave a women’s restroom, despite providing official documentation “proving she was a woman”.

And there, for me, was the problem: After “proving she was a woman”, she should have been left alone. Should she have been questioned by the guards in the first place? That’s tricky. She presented in a masculine way and went into a women’s toilet. Had I been in a women’s toilet and someone who appeared to be male walked in, I might be a little curious – but I think I’d have been more disturbed by three male security guards crashing in through the door, apparently in hot pursuit.

Both these incidents seem to suggest that society believes that men, or people who are perceived as men, who enter a women’s toilet are sexual predators. Even though in Roz’ case she transitioned many years ago – and in the Tanya White case, the men who entered the women’s toilet were security guards. And I wonder – how many women are sexually attacked by random strangers when they’re in a public toilet? Particularly in Trafalgar Square in the middle of a gathering of thousands of people, supposedly to celebrate gender variance…

As Winter remarks, ‘the binary gender system (of which gender segregated toilets are a part) has already broken down’- yet the whole girls-play-with-dolls/boys-play-with-guns stereotyping seems to be ingrained in people at a very deep level. We know that the brainwashing begins from the moment the midwife announces “It’s a boy (girl)” – but is it really so deep that the majority of people are completely and utterly oblivious to it? To the extent that they will make a snap judgement about another person’s entitlement (*waves at the privilege debate queuing up outside*) – and even be prepared to defend that indefensible decision with violence? Is/was passing (or not passing) a factor? – and who decides who passes anyway? (Those with the privilege of wielding power, of course). And why this preoccupation with the default configuration of our genitalia anyway? I mean, what next? – can we expect panty-checks at next year’s Pride? I mean – *wrinkles nose in distaste* – it all starts to get a bit essentialist, don’t you think?

There are so many mixed messages it’s hard to unpick them all and come up with a single coherent conclusion. There appears to be absolutely no logic, or rational thought and/or arguments in favour of excluding trans women from women’s public toilets.

I’m beginning to believe it’s all down to that primal fear called transphobia. There is clearly a complete lack of knowledge across a huge swathe of society that trans women are just that: women. Honestly; if you have a deep and enduring sense of being gendered female but, as a result of an accident of birth, you find yourself unfortunately in possession of male genitalia, it does not mean that you are a sick pervert who wants to sexually harass women in public toilets. (And this applies irrespective of whether or not you’ve had “The Surgery”).

Trust me on that one – this trans woman has only ever used women’s public toilets because she needs to pee.


©2008 Helen G

Love is stronger than Pride

July 7, 2008

On the subject of Pride, which I was, here, sort of – Roz Kaveney blogs here about a rather disgraceful outbreak of rest room panic that she experienced at Pride at the weekend.

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.

The whole sorry tale is over at Roz’ blog – and if you click over to Rebecca’s blog, she has kindly provided the contact details for Pride London. Time to start emailng…

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…


Later edit: This breathtaking example of discrimination has been recorded by PFC, and there’s also a petition here.


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.

Link here.

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