Kemi’s proposals have come amid the Tories cracking down on the rights of transgender and non-binary people

BY NIC CROSARA, IMAGE BY WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

It is an alarming time to be transgender or non-binary in the UK right now. In recent months, it has been reported that the government intends to ban trans students from using the correct bathrooms in school and is considering making changes to the Equality Act to make it easier to exclude trans people from single-sex spaces.

And on 13 August, in a Telegraph article, Kemi Badenoch, the women and equalities minister, laid out her plans to stop non-residential new buildings from having gender-neutral toilets. The draft proposals would mean that single-sex toilet facilities in any new buildings would have to be provided for both men and women.

In the article, Kemi laid out what “best practice toilet design” should look like, and she argued that women should have “exclusive access to public toilet facilities reserved specifically for them” and that “men should have the same”.

Talking to PinkNews, Kemi’s shadow cabinet counterpart, Anneliese Dodds suggested that this announcement serves as a distraction saying: “Rather than focusing on the cost-of-living crisis facing families or tackling the biggest ever NHS waiting list, Conservative minsters are instead appointing a toilet Tsar to decide how many toilets buildings have.”

She also told the publication: “Rather than focusing on the cost-of-living crisis facing families or tackling the biggest ever NHS waiting list, Conservative minsters are instead appointing a toilet Tsar to decide how many toilets buildings have.”

The rise of moves against the rights of transgender and non-binary people in the UK is truly harrowing. It’s important to remember that it is just not the trans+ community that is impacted by the rise in anti-trans movements. There have been multiple reports of cisgender women facing harassment in public bathrooms due to being falsely read as transgender amid the rise of anti-trans rhetoric.

The attitudes and arguments surrounding trans exclusion from bathrooms also echo our not-so-distant past where lesbians and gay men were met with similar treatment when accessing single-sex spaces.

Want to have your voice heard? Why not write to your local MP to raise your concerns.

@niccrosara

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