Serena Freewomyn

Good News From the Toilet Wars

Filed By Serena Freewomyn | October 01, 2008 12:00 PM | comments

Filed in: The Movement, Transgender & Intersex
Tags: bathroom, restroom, transgender

We've had a lot of articles on TBP talking about the negative side of the toilet wars. In fact, toilet issues are one of the most commonly cited concerns about anti-discrimination laws that include gender identity. With that being said, it's nice to hear some good news on the toilet front. I stumbled across this article yesterday on my favorite gossip site, Poponthepopcom:

At the University of Manchester, students now have more options.

The female's bathrooms will have toilets, while the men's bathroom will have toilets with urinals. The student union decided to change the bathroom signs following a number of complaints from transgender students. Out of 35,000 students, there's no word on how many complained.

University rep Jennie Killip said, "If you were born female, still presently quite feminine, but defined as a man you should be able to go into the men's toilets. Transgender people can face violence and abuse when they go into toilets and we wanted to provide a place where they can feel comfortable."

Why is it that other countries are so far ahead of the United States on this issue?

I don't really have a lot to add to this except that I think we cis-gendered people need to do a lot more advocacy work on behalf of the trans members of our community to demand safe bathroom access for everyone. After all, everyone pees. Since my partner is trans, I spend a lot more time thinking about bathrooms than I used to. Whenever I'm in a business that has single-stall restrooms, I take note. It's good to know where my partner can pee safely.

Anyway, a bit of good news amidst all the bad stuff going on these days.


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Well, Everyone Knows that American Male to Female transfolk, are only doing it so we can stalk women in the restroom and watch little girls pee.

I mean haven't you been listening to the religio-facists about this? They have been warning us for years about what sexual predators and perverts trannys are.

Get with the program!!!

Not just the religio-fascists. The feminists as well have been invoking fear of violence to discriminate against mtfs for decades.

Lareingal, could you please give an example of the feminists doing this?

Michigan womyn's Music camp is the current role model, go dip your toes in the trans hatred on their discussion blogs. The Vancouver argument where it was assumed that the presence of transwomen was an act of violence. The writings of Julie Bindel in the Guardian. Sheila Jeffreys, Janice Raymond, all the way through to the feminist blogsphere nowadays.

I know some blogs such as Feministing are very accepting, but the general sentiment of feminism seems to remain pretty hostile. You only have to read "Questioning Transphobia" blog for a while to realise how pervasive the hatred is.

I had to click through to the original Telegraph article to figure out what was going on here, but now that I understand, it is good news indeed.

You're doing better than I am, Erin. I still don't get it.

Why would FTMs want to be able to use the urinal? I don't see the connection with urinals - or with signs for that matter. Did they change the signs or the policy or what? Neither this post or the original one actually tell you that. Just that the women's potty will have toilets and men's urinals and the bathroom signs have changed.

When I was at Uni, I was in International House, the college that had many students from all around the world.

The 2-5th and 7th floors were co-ed, including unisex bathrooms, showers, toilets. The 6th floor was male only, the 8th female only. Dorms and bathrooms.

That was in 1977, for goodness' sake!

I understood the article to mean that people can use the restroom of the gender that they are presenting.

Good post!

I think Bil sounds way too bitchy most of the time. You should commend your writers more than question them. Lame.