Women’s privacy and safety is at risk from a clothing chain’s decision to remove separate male and female changing rooms, transsexual activists have warned.
High street fashion retailer Topshop says the change is part of its “commitment to equal opportunities”.
But transsexual Miranda Yardley said the policy “doesn’t feel safe to me”, and criticised the store for “becoming another victim of the trans lobby”.
‘Changing room I decide’
Topshop’s move made headlines after it was criticised by a transgender artist for “not letting me use the changing room I decide”.
Travis Alabanza claimed ‘gendered changing rooms’ are “dangerous” and “put queer and trans shoppers at risk”.
However, Yardley said the transsexual community “makes out it is very welcoming and accepting, but if you don’t conform with their views then they can make life very difficult”.
Yardley affirmed transgender rights, but said a move should not be made which “negatively affects the privacy and safety of girls and women”.
“Women of all ages must be able to feel safe in areas like changing rooms. This policy doesn’t feel safe to me.
“Topshop has become another victim of the trans lobby, jumping into action to appease the demands of a minority.”
Debating the issue on ITV’s Good Morning Britain, India Willoughby – who is transgender – also challenged the change, saying a supporter was “talking as if equality only applies to people who call themselves ‘trans’”.
Willoughby added, “what about the equality of the people who have been the core business customers of Topshop”?
The activist suggested women would feel uncomfortable with merely curtains separating the rooms from the rest of the changing area.
Critics speaking out
But women’s groups, therapists, doctors, academics, campaigners and transgender activists have challenged politicians over the idea.