Channel 4 now has “gender neutral” toilets at its London headquarters.
The new signs basically tell visitors “you’re welcome” – whether you’re Arthur, Martha or somewhere in between.
Very trendy, you might say. Political correctness gone mad, perhaps.
Some people are really not happy about it.
One person tweeted: “Blokes have nasty toilet habits so [it is] not fair [that] women have to put up with their nastiness.”
Reading the reaction from some you’d be forgiven for thinking the end of the world had just been announced.
I’ve lived with a few men over the years and their backsides produce the most horrible smells known to the human nose, but it’s hardly nuclear war.
So what’s all this fuss really about?
We Brits have been using gender-neutral loos for years.
Anywhere with a single toilet – like a church or seaside café – has “gender neutral toilets”.
It’s called “the bog”.
Don’t forget festivals, where you use the cleanest khazi you can find.
It seems to me that people don’t a problem with gender-neutral toilets at all.
They have a problem anytime someone does something to help transgender people.
Because every time someone does something to make life just a little bit less difficult for the trans community, some people make a massive deal out of it.
A post shared by Paris Lees (@paris.lees) on Aug 16, 2017 at 11:40am PDT
Many trans people don’t use public toilets because they’re frightened of abuse.
I felt nervous too when I first transitioned and didn’t blend in as well as I do now.
I know friends who don’t identify as men or women who hold it in when they’re out and about – till their bladders hurt.
They just don’t feel safe in the gents or the ladies.
Why should anyone have to feel afraid to go for a wee in 2017?
Many trans people avoid gyms for the same reason.
I haven’t been swimming since I transitioned ten years ago.
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I like my body but I guess I just haven’t felt that comfortable.
We also know that almost half of trans kids in Britain have attempted suicide.
Trans people face bullying, family rejection and being attacked in the street.
I wish people got as upset about those issues as they do about their imaginary fears about gender-neutral toilets.
Sadly some people feel the need to, well, piss on our chips anytime someone does something nice for the trans community.
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A post shared by Paris Lees (@paris.lees) on Aug 11, 2017 at 10:03am PDT
But I’m not just a fan of gender-neutral toilets because I’m trans – they’re a great idea full stop.
Some women worry that gender-neutral toilets might make them unsafe and I can understand.
I’m not sure it would work in a busy nightclub, for example.
But when they are designed properly, it’s not a problem.
As a journalist and presenter I’ve had to use the loos at C4 many times.
And I can let you in on little secret: the “new” loos are the same bloody bogs that have been there for at least five years.
A post shared by Paris Lees (@paris.lees) on Jul 23, 2017 at 12:18pm PDT
It’s just a corridor of private cubicles, each with their own loo, mirror and sink.
All C4 have done is stick a sign on them saying that they are gender neutral.
No one had an opinion on them till a few days ago. So what’s the big deal now?
They’re just as clean as they were last week. Just as private. And just as safe.
In fact, they’re much nicer than most the public toilets I remember growing up.
I bet Alan Carr is in there all the time having a cheeky little poo.
So can we drop all this fake outrage please and save it for important stuff – like running out of toilet paper?
A post shared by Paris Lees (@paris.lees) on Jul 2, 2017 at 1:33am PDT