The Good Night Out Campaign and LGBT+ anti-violence charity Galop have produced a guide for ensuring all-gender toilet access in hospitality venues
Good Night Out Campaign, an organisation which helps nightlife venues understand and prevent sexual harassment and assault, and LGBT+ anti-violence charity Galop, have created a simple guide that will help venues make customers feel safe and comfortable using toilet facilities, regardless of their gender identity or gender expression.
The toolkit helps venue operators understand and address the following issues, and also contains a glossary of terms applicable to this subject:
why gender can be an accessibility issue
the myths and realities when it comes to safety and bathroom access
the dangers of exclusion and the benefits of having inclusive facilities
what your legal responsibilities are to prevent discrimination
what your options are to make your toilet facilities more accessible
The all gender access toolkit comes in PDF form and is free to download. While writing this article I read the document and found the following two quotes a stark and moving illustration of the difference an inclusive toilet policy can make to customers’ enjoyment of a night out and general wellbeing:
“A group of guys got their phones out and started filming me in the gents at a pub once, crowding around and laughing, making comments about my body and asking if I was lost. I was terrified. It makes you feel like you don’t belong anywhere, because I’ve had the same questions in women’s toilets too. It makes me feel super anxious about drinking while I’m out and about, and if you need help you can’t rely on staff to get it” – M, trans man, London, 24
“One of the first times I went out in femme attire, it was a venue with a majority cis, straight audience and I was really anxious. I remember feeling incredibly reassured when I went to the toilet and saw it was for all genders. I reapplied my lipstick at the mirror, and a person smiled at me and said they liked my makeup. This may seem small, but it was a big ‘gender euphoric’ moment!” – j, gender non conforming, London, 27
With preparations for post-lockdown reopening being made across the country, this is a perfect moment for venues to take stock of their inclusivity policies, and make sure they are fit to welcome customers regardless of gender identity or gender expression.
The Good Night Out Campaign is an excellent resource for venues wishing to be safe spaces for all. You can visit the website here.