Implement the *option* of gender-neutral toilets in every public space across London.
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Back in November 2017, Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, discussed plans to increase the number of gender-neutral toilets in London to acknowledge transgender, non-binary, and intersex people. I want to commend the mayor on his inclusive attitude and the provisions laid out in the New London Plan. Institutions, particularly universities and arts venues, have been implementing the introduction of gender-neutral toilets, therefore making their spaces accessible to a diverse spectrum of gender identities. However, countless places open to the public are not making their spaces accessible: shopping centres, cinemas, gyms, and train stations. These are just a few of the many locations in which there is no safe option for transgender, non-binary people, and intersex people to use the toilet facilities.
The experiences of violence that take place in gendered toilets on a day-to-day basis are all too real and make the implementing of gender-neutral options urgent. There are many people who, by society’s standards, do not pass as the gender they identify as or have physical attributes of both genders, which inevitably makes navigating Male/Female designated spaces extremely difficult. I am a non-binary trans person. I have been physically and verbally assaulted in public toilets due to the aforesaid difficulties. This is not an unusual story. Unfortunately, many of my transgender, non-binary, and intersex friends have also experienced violence and harassment in gendered toilets.
Let it be understood: the implementing of gender-neutral toilets is in no way an attempt to dismantle Male/Female toilet spaces, neither is it a project to take over disabled toilets. By having the option of a gender-neutral toilet, we can feel secure doing what should be natural and private.
There have been positive discussions about increasing the number of gender-neutral toilets in public spaces, as was made evident by the Mayor of London in 2017. However, it is impossible to chart the progress of these plans. By signing this petition, we are asking the Mayor of London to create an open dialogue with transgender, non-binary, and intersex people, so we can have a clear timeline for the application of his proposal for change. Also, by signing this petition, we ask that the provisions laid out in the New London Plan be implemented in at least all Greater London Authority owned or managed buildings urgently to set an example for the rest of the city.
My work as an artist involves the performance installation, Urinal Residency, which I launched with Live Art Development Agency in July, 2018. The ongoing project aims to inspire an open conversation between the government and trans, non binary, and intersex people.
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