A trans woman has spoken of her humiliation at being wrongly told it was illegal for her to use the female toilet in her local pub.

Katrina Harte, 46, began her transition several years ago and is awaiting her final surgery.

She told the Sunday Sun she had visited the Briar Dene pub, in Whitley Bay, North Tyneside, since she was 18 and had been supported by staff and regulars when she began living as a woman.

But she was told four weeks ago by a member of staff she could no longer use the women’s toilets and would have to use the disabled toilet as it was “against the law” for her to use the women’s facilities.

Harte told the newspaper: “They told me it was against the law, but I have never heard of any such law.

“I just felt sick and betrayed. It is hard enough for transsexuals to find pubs to drink in.”

She added: “I really want to keep drinking there. It’s a friendly pub and over the years I have put a lot of money in their tills. I thought I had found somewhere I feel comfortable.”

Harte said she has not been to the pub since the incident and accused the Briar Dene of discrimination.

A Facebook group has been set up to support her. It currently has 260 members.

Briar Dene and its parent company Sir John Fitzgerald Ltd did not comment.