Why Liverpool’s City Council is fighting for gender-neutral toilets

By Sarah Almond

After a barrage of anti-trans messages were plastered across Liverpool, the city’s council has approved a motion in support of trans people to stand in solidarity with the community.

The cross-party motion was passed on September 19, 2018 as soon as a group of gender critical women known as Liverpool’s ReSisters stuck stickers on the statues on Crosby beach with ‘Women Don’t Have Penises’ written on them.

Cllr Harry Doyle for Knotty Ash is one of the councillors who pushed for gender-neutral toilets. He said: “We class it as a hate crime. Whilst it might not have been physical, the intent was to instill fear within the LGBT community, particularly targeting Trans women.

48 per cent of Trans people don’t feel comfortable using public toilets and so what we as a council can do to alleviate and address those anxieties is to promote the use of gender neutral toilets –  individual toilets with their own washbasins et cetera.

In the city, we actually have lots of them. Think about disabled toilets, these aren’t used for specifically men or women they are used by both sexes. What we have proposed is nothing new or different; it’s just a wider roll out of these facilities.”

Following the torrent of abuse from the Liverpool ReSister’s, 20 year-old Pia Licerio, a transgender woman from Southport, spoke out on how she feels towards the automatic negative stigma on trans women wanting gender-neutral toilets.

Councillor Nina Killen shared her insight with understanding both sides.

With this debate still ongoing, the message that the Labour party are continuing to put forward is one of acceptance and positivity.

“I accept the needs to protect everyone, but some people forget that trans women are part of that too.” – Cllr Harry Doyle

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