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National Helpline for LGBT+ Victims and Survivors of Abuse and Violence0800 999 5428

Email help@galop.org.uk

Galop’s statement in response to the Government’s plans to “halt the march of gender-neutral toilets”

On the 6th May, it was announced that new legislation will be brought forward that requires separate male and female toilets in all new public buildings in England. According to the legislation, separate unisex toilets will only be provided if there is space.

Galop has been supporting LGBT+ victims and survivors of abuse for decades. In our frontline services, we regularly hear from trans+ clients who are too scared to use public toilets for fear of being attacked. Many of these clients risk their health by deliberately dehydrating themselves to avoid public toilets completely.

We’ve also seen an increase in cis women who have been harassed, discriminated against and refused entry to female toilets, based on other people’s perception of their gender. The Government’s plans will exacerbate this informal policing of gender non-conforming people and women in single-sex spaces.

These upcoming changes to building regulations are part of a wider Government rhetoric which seeks to reduce the rights and freedoms of trans+ people, and attempts to conflate trans+ people as perpetrators of abuse and violence towards women and girls.

This narrative not only reduces the freedom and safety of trans+ people and puts the wider LGBT+ community at risk of abuse and violence, but also fails to address the root causes of violence against women and girls.

We urge all businesses and public buildings to offer gender neutral toilets so everyone, including trans+ people, has a space they can use without fear.

It’s vital the Government stops framing trans rights and women’s rights as being in opposition, and instead makes it a priority to ensure that every person is afforded equal protection from abuse and violence.

Published: 08/05/24