close icon

what are you looking for?

close icon

badges you can earn


earn editorial badges by uploading a number of stories.
  • 1
    writer
  • 10
    senior writer
  • 20
    sub - editor
  • 50
    editor
close icon

Sign Up


use your university email address to create your account.

Username already exists, please use another email address.

Please ensure all fields aren't empty









 
  • Please Select
  • Abertay University
  • Aberystwyth University
  • Anglia Ruskin University
  • Anglo-European College of Chiropractic
  • Arden University
  • Arts University Bournemouth
  • Ashridge Executive Education
  • Aston University
  • Bangor University
  • Bath Spa University
  • Birkbeck University of London
  • Birmingham City University
  • Bishop Grosseteste University
  • Bournemouth University
  • BPP University
  • British School of Osteopathy
  • Brunel University
  • Bucks New University
  • Canterbury Christ Church University
  • Cardiff Metropolitan University
  • Cardiff University
  • City, University of London
  • Courtauld Institute of Art
  • Coventry University
  • Cranfield University
  • De Montfort University
  • Durham University
  • Edge Hill University
  • Edinburgh Napier University
  • European School of Economics
  • Falmouth University
  • Glasgow Caledonian University
  • Glasgow School of Art
  • Goldsmiths, University of London
  • Guildhall School of Music and Drama
  • Harper Adams University
  • Heriot-Watt University
  • Heythrop College, University of London
  • Imperial College London
  • Keele University
  • King’s College London
  • Kingston University
  • Lancaster University
  • Leeds Beckett University
  • Leeds College of Art
  • Leeds Trinity University
  • Liverpool Hope University
  • Liverpool John Moores University
  • London Business School
  • London Metropolitan University
  • London School of Economics and Political Science
  • London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
  • London South Bank University
  • Loughborough University
  • Manchester Metropolitan University
  • Middlesex University
  • Newcastle University
  • Newman University, Birmingham
  • Northumbria University
  • Norwich University of the Arts
  • Nottingham Trent University
  • Oxford Brookes University
  • Plymouth College of Art
  • Plymouth Marjon University
  • Plymouth University
  • Queen Margaret University
  • Queen Mary University of London
  • Queen’s University Belfast
  • Regent’s University London
  • Robert Gordon University
  • Rose Bruford College
  • Royal Academy of Music
  • Royal Agricultural University
  • Royal Central School of Speech and Drama
  • Royal College of Art
  • Royal College of Music
  • Royal Conservatoire of Scotland
  • Royal Holloway, University of London
  • Royal Northern College of Music
  • Royal Veterinary College
  • School of Advanced Study
  • Scotland’s Rural College
  • Sheffield Hallam University
  • SOAS, University of London
  • Southampton Solent University
  • St George’s, University of London
  • St Mary’s University, Twickenham
  • Staffordshire University
  • Swansea University
  • Teesside University
  • The American International University in London
  • The London Institute of Banking & Finance
  • The Open University
  • The University of Law
  • Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance
  • Ulster University
  • University College Birmingham
  • University College London
  • University College of Estate Management
  • University for the Creative Arts
  • University of Aberdeen
  • University of Bath
  • University of Bedfordshire
  • University of Birmingham
  • University of Bolton
  • University of Bradford
  • University of Brighton
  • University of Bristol
  • University of Buckingham
  • University of Cambridge
  • University of Central Lancashire
  • University of Chester
  • University of Chichester
  • University of Cumbria
  • University of Derby
  • University of Dundee
  • University of East Anglia
  • University of East London
  • University of Edinburgh
  • University of Essex
  • University of Exeter
  • University of Glasgow
  • University of Gloucestershire
  • University of Greenwich
  • University of Hertfordshire
  • University of Huddersfield
  • University of Hull
  • University of Kent
  • University of Leeds
  • University of Leicester
  • University of Lincoln
  • University of Liverpool
  • University of London
  • University of Manchester
  • University of Northampton
  • University of Nottingham
  • University of Oxford
  • University of Portsmouth
  • University of Reading
  • University of Roehampton
  • University of Salford
  • University of Sheffield
  • University of South Wales
  • University of Southampton
  • University of St Andrews
  • University of Stirling
  • University of Strathclyde
  • University of Suffolk
  • University of Sunderland
  • University of Surrey
  • University of Sussex
  • University of the Arts
  • University of the Highlands and Islands
  • University of the West of England
  • University of the West of Scotland
  • University of Wales
  • University of Wales Trinity Saint David
  • University of Warwick
  • University of West London
  • University of Westminster
  • University of Winchester
  • University of Wolverhampton
  • University of Worcester
  • University of York
  • Wrexham Glyndwr University
  • Writtle University College
  • York St John University

By creating an account you agree to the uni news Terms and Conditions, and agree to receive marketing communications.

close icon

subscribe to uni news


get the latest articles straight to your inbox.

Why gender-neutral toilets are so important to transgender people

Using a public toilet for most people is not a big deal. But for transgender people, it can be complicated and it can be very dangerous.

Trans people often experience derogatory remarks and dirty looks, as well as bodily harm, when they use public toilets.

According to the Equality and Human Rights Commission: “Trans people face discrimination at every level. Existing evidence suggests that transgender people experience, and are badly affected by transphobia in a wide range of forms. This includes bullying and discriminatory treatment in schools, harassment and physical/sexual assault and rejection from families, work colleagues and friends.”

The commission conducted a survey which revealed that 62% of respondents “had experienced transphobic harassment from strangers in public places who perceived them to be trans”, and that a majority “had faced harassment in public spaces” which included threats, negative comments, physical, verbal abuse or sexual abuse in public. “Tackling transphobia must be a priority,” the report concluded.

Happy Transgender Day of Visibility. Today is a day for celebrating transgender people and raising awareness of discrimination faced by transgender people worldwide. 🌍 Although I am not trans I do support transgender and think the world needs to be taught more so that people will understand. This is a day to be empowered and give the recognition trans folks deserve!  #happytransgenderdayofvisibility #transgenderdayofvisibility #transgenderday #raisingawareness #standtogether #strongertogether #empowerment #support #supporteachother #loveeachother #transdiscrimination #transgenderdiscrimination #lgbt #lgbtequality #lgbtireland #irishlgbt #lgbtworldwide #lgbtsupport #lgbtawareness #lgbtpride #beyou #beproud #loveall #loveislove #loveisequal

A post shared by Bradley Brock (@teambradleybrock) on

On the 1st December 2016, British Labour Party politician Caroline Flint used parliament’s momentous debate on transgender rights to assert that gender-neutral toilets put women at risk.

Flint said she welcomed the discussion saying, that “we also need to be mindful of creating neutral-gender environments that actually may prove more of a risk to women themselves”.

She justified her statement by shedding light on the conviction of student Luke Mallaband, a 23-year-old man who was caught after secretly recording women undressing and showering at locations around the University of East Anglia in Norwich in 2016.

He was given a curfew and a community order and banned from all female and gender neutral public toilets for three years.

SNP leader John Nicolson backed Flint’s concerns saying: “the point that has just been raised is a matter for criminal law. This has nothing whatsoever to do with transgender equality.”

In a Guardian article published in December 2016, Paris Lees admitted to being one of those women who are afraid of being sexually assaulted in public.

Trans women are women. Photo: @emmottelainea

A post shared by Paris Lees (@paris.lees) on

The writer shared her ordeal when she was harassed in a women’s toilet back in 2009.

A woman came up to her and asked her if her breasts were real. Being a trans woman, she was used to other people questioning her with rude and intrusive comments, but what followed later was indescribable and brought her shame and humiliation.

Some people find it preposterous to suggest that they put many in danger, “if a man wants to physically attack a woman, he can do so anywhere,” states an advocate for gender-neutral toilets.

Not one occurrence of a trans person attacking someone in a public facility has been reported.

“I always get annoyed about the fact that we have gender-specific bathrooms everywhere. What about trans-friendly toilets?,” echoes Stephanie Lin, from South London. “Whenever I come across any gender-neutral bathrooms, I feel overwhelmed and exhilarated as I don’t have to wait for long because of shorter queues.”

Gender-neutral bathrooms would also allow all parents—including trans parents—to escort their children to baby-changing facilities.

“If there were unisex bathrooms everywhere, it would mean complete freedom for us and that would put a stop to harassment and sexism completely,” says Kelly Tyler from London. “It would be like living in la-la land.”

In 2017 Donald Trump’s administration scrapped federal protections for transgender students that had ordered schools in all states in the United States of America to allow them to use bathrooms of their choice.

Victory for transgender students! "A U.S. District Court ruled that a transgender student in Talbot County, Maryland must be allowed to use the restroom and locker room that's 'in alignment with their gender identity.'" To read more copy/paste 👉👉👉👉👉👉👉 – https://freestate-justice.org/federal-court-rules-maryland-transgender-teens-bathroom-and-locker-room-access-is-protected-by-law/ – Or visit CreagerCole Communications’ Facebook Page. We also invite you to LIKE us on FB and follow us here on Instagram – #bathroombill #protecttranskids #transpeoplearenotaburden #genderidentity #transactivism #transgenderidentity #transidentity #transgenderrights #transrights #transrightsarehumanrights #transdiscrimination #transcommunity #transgendercommunity #lgbtqRIGHTS #LGBTQdiscrimination – #CreagerCole #publicrelations #communications #media #LGBTQI #LGBTQ #LGBT #lgbt🌈 #lgbtqPR #creagercolecommunications #lgbtplus #lgbtpluscommunity #WeGetYourStoryInTheNews #WeKnowLGBTQIPLUSissues #WeHelpYouTellYourStory

A post shared by CreagerCole Communications (@creagercole_pr) on

Obama, in his presidency, had instructed public schools in 2016 to allow transgender students to use the bathrooms matching their chosen gender identity, threatening of no federal funding if they pressured transgender pupils into using bathrooms against their will.

Civil rights groups in America condemned Trump’s decision calling it an attack on transgender children denying them of equal rights.

#bathroomrights #anyonebuttrump

A post shared by grrrrrrjess (@grrrrrrjess) on

About 200 people protested in front of the White House by waving rainbow flags and chanting: “No hate, no fear, trans students are welcome here.”

Some celebrities also criticised the move on social media last year, with TV presenter Ellen DeGeneres tweeting:

“This isn’t about politics. It’s about human rights.”

Things are about to change for transgender people living in the UK. An increase in gender-neutral toilets is one of the aims of Sadiq Khan’s “Draft New London Plan”. It will address the concerns of transgender people who face intimidation and harassment in gender-segregated amenities when they are accused by others of “misusing” public spaces.

To those who disapprove of gender-neutral toilets: they’re handy for everybody. Research into the benefits of these provisions shows they reduce waiting time for women, and address the concerns of trans and disabled people.

Comments