I’ve been having many conversations with my friends over the past couple of weeks about “The great British Toilet versus Transgender debate” and the rights the government’s plans to change the law to define gender and how we as British people use the toilet!
The UK Government, or more precisely the Tory party, are pursuing a change to the Gender Equality Act of 2010 to make Women only spaces safer. IE: Toilets
This is what the government want to do, quotes from this article: What would changing the Equality Act mean for trans people and single-sex spaces? | Equality Act 2010 | The Guardian
“What would changing the Equality Act mean for trans people and single-sex spaces?
Kemi Badenoch (the current Secretary of State for the Department for Business and Trade, October 2023) is considering amending the act to define people’s sex as biological sex in England, Scotland and Wales
A controversial attempt to overhaul one of the hallmark pieces of equalities law is being considered by ministers.
As they prepare to press ahead with a lengthy and convoluted process, we examine what the reforms would mean for trans people and those advocating for sex-based rights, as well as the motivations behind the move.
What do ministers want to do?
A significant change to the 2010 Equality Act is being pursued by the government, which would redefine “sex” to refer specifically to a person’s sex at birth. That would be designed to make it legal for those who are transgender to be banned from single-sex spaces and events, such as book groups and hospital wards.”
So, what’s going to happen with bathrooms?
The Government want to ban trans people from the bathroom of their chosen gender. I’ll come on to why this is going to fall flat on its backside in a moment.
On discussions with groups of friends over the summer, the general consensus of these friends is that, if this government do actually manage to change the law it’s going to make it harder for them as cisgender people to go about their normal lives.
Not just into bathrooms either, however many are concerned about this, because they see this as an infringement on their rights to vilify a small section of the community. But they also see that changing rooms in shops and other public single sex space will also be effected as well.
The question I am being asked a lot in these conversation is, just how many trans people exist? As well as how this is actually offending anyone using the bathrooms?
When they are presented with the true figures, not those in the Daily Fail, they begin to understand that trans people are not a danger to them in the bathroom.
For those that don’t know the number of Transgender people living in the UK is roughly 262,000 people (male to female, female to male and non-binary), out of a population of 67.33 million. This equates to about 0.34% of the UK population. Your unlikely to meet a Trans person in your daily life!
Quite a few of them were also concerned about how many places are converting their toilets into shared spaces instead of single sex toilets, but understand that this is ultimately because any change in the law will make the venue responsible for policing these policies! IE: if the government manage to change the law then the bar/restaurant owner will be the one responsible for policing these changes and most don’t want that responsibility or perceived hassle around this!
While many of my female friends understand that shared bathrooms are actually safer, mainly because legislation is such that things like CCTV can actually be installed is shared bathrooms, buy they also feel that because they’re rights have been infringed that shared bathrooms have been forced on them.
They’re not angry at the trans community for this, but are angry at the government for proposing/trying to changing the law.
They also think that trans people are being demonized.
Even the elderly people I’ve talked to (65+), some of which are pro trans and conservative voters, have said that they think the government is wrong in pursuing this matter. There are also others who think the opposite and I also value their opinions.
They’re also concerned at the media and governmental bias of anti-trans rhetoric, especially when the Trans population is so small.
When asked if they have a problem with me as a transgender woman, all of them back me up!
They do not see an issue with me, their Transgender friend, using the bathroom at the same time as them, in shared or single space bathrooms.
Will genetic women be questioned, or possibly denied access to the woman’s bathrooms
One of the biggest concerns of the women I have spoken to, and this has been at great length on this subject, isn’t that they are sharing the bathroom with a trans woman is that if the government pushes through a change in the law then, where will the line be drawn and how will it effect them?
Will they be asked if they are “eligible” to use the female bathroom?
What if you’re a slightly masculine woman, will they be challenged?
What if you have features which aren’t deemed feminine, will they be challenged?
Will these women be asked their Gender Identity? How will they prove this?
Documents aren’t reliable as means of gender confirmation and also don’t reflect birth gender, so how will anyone prove their birth gender?
Will you have to have a DNA test before using the bathroom in your local pub?
Will public bathrooms be advertising for the new position of Genital Inspector? If so, then surely this is an infringement on people’s human/civil rights!
Will the premises they are using have bathroom bouncers?
How will any change in policy be policed?
I have friends and acquaintances who aren’t a perfect size 8, will they be asked in about gender before they get to pee?
If you’re not a tory housewife, will you be allowed to pee?
Will there be an increase in verbal/physical abuse from other women because you don’t meet the criteria above or look like a stereotypical norm?
Of course these won’t happen, but this question’s beg to be answered.
The thing that the Conservatives seem to not understand is that in the current system Trans Women can go into the woman’s toilets and most trans women look like women.
If you force people to use the toilets of their birth gender then trans men will be forced to use the woman’s toilets, then how will you be able to tell the trans men from real men? I know some of you reading this will say “Well, how do you tell the trans women from sex offenders dressed as women”.
Look, as a woman in the woman’s toilet you are more likely to be attacked by another woman than a trans woman!
The crime statistics back this up and more of this can be found in my transgender myths vs reality page and see the links below.
If you force trans men to use the women’s toilet then you are actually making the situation worse because cisgender men will be able to use the women’s toilets easier and all they have to say is “I’m a trans man”!
What about those with a Gender Recognition Certificate?
I’ve been asked this a few times, “Well, you’ll just get a Gender Recognition Certificate won’t you?”
If you read the Daily Fail then you’ll believe that Gender Recognition Certificates (GRC) are easier to get than potted meat at your local supermarket!
Really? Think again!
Once I’ve told the very same people what’s involved in getting a GRC they have been absolutely shocked at how hard it is to get a gender recognition certificate for a gender change.
Most think you just fill a form in online and that’s it, but once they are given the information, they are also shocked at how hard it is. People think its easy because the media has portrayed the GRC as a 10 second document swap.
When in reality the process takes many years, requires a medical diagnosis, involves many professional people and then a decision by a board of doctors. Only when this has been completed can you apply for a GRC.
Just the waiting list to see the Gender Specialist can take 5 years.
This 5 year wait is for the first appointment!
Not to get treatment, not to get hormones, not to get gender affirming care and absolutely not to get a gender recognition certificate. The GRC is the last thing you’ll be able to get on a journey which involves lots of time, effort, speaking to medical professionals and surgeries.
Those I’ve spoken to were also very shocked when they’ve been told about the issues that I’ve had just trying to get my doctor to give me basic mental health help.
The last time I went out with for dinner with a group of female friends, I took one of my other trans friends with me, and when she told them about the problems that she’d have they were even more shocked because they weren’t just getting the opinion of one person or the actions of one doctors surgery.
Some might say, “Good its hard, to put people off, or give them time to rethink their decision”, but its difficult for other reasons. One of them being that the medical system is routed in the mid 20th century. Much of the NHS treatment/legislation for Transgender patients in the UK was written in the 1970’s and 80’s.
Conclusion. What’s going to happen? What’s already happening!
The commentary by the Conservative Party, Prime Minister and other MP’s has also lead to an increase in the media and online social media hate towards the Transgender community and misinformation and hate has increased around the whole bathroom issue.
Misinformation is rife on this subject and this is only set to get worse because the same old BS is repeated in the media and online again and again and people are unwilling or unable to educate themselves on such matters.
If we continue to have a Tory government they will forge ahead regardless, this is what they believe in, and after the Tory party conference in 2023, this was laid clear for all to see on what Rishi Sunak and the party stance was on transgender people. How they clapped at Rishi Sunak’s comments like performing seals!
If a change is made to the Equality Act of 2010 which forces Trans people to use the bathrooms of their assigned gender at birth then this situation will get worse, not better!
Not just for Transgender people, but everyone!
This is already happening as the number of women being abused in toilets by other women, because of transphobia is on the increase. The articles below are about women, and transwomen, being insulted and attacked by other women because they either don’t meet their perfect 10, or had attributes the other women considered male! If the law is changed then this is only going to get worse!
I have also found a number of studies, most are in the USA, as their becoming Transphobic central, about the myth that transgender women are a danger to other women in bathrooms.
During my investigation for this article I found many instances where women had assaulted trans women in the toilets
Further reading, related to the treatment of transgender individuals and the laws which govern us all in relation to Equality and Discrimination.
- Equality Act (2010)
- Education Reform Act (1988)
- The Equal Treatment Directive (2004/113/EC) 74
- The Gender Recognition Act (2004)
- The Gender Recognition Bill, Scotland (2008)
- Protection from Harassment Act (1997)
- Public Order Act (1986)
- Sex Discrimination (Gender Reassignment) Regulations (1999)
- Gender recognition and the rights of transgender people (2009)
- Guidelines for Supporting Trans Staff and Patients (NHS 2016)