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Transgender woman told by Sainsbury’s to use disabled toilet

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  1. Sarah Brown 8 Jul 2011, 1:11pm

    I live in hope that one day those cis people with weird hangups about trans women will realise that you can’t catch Trans from a toilet, and leave us alone.

    1. burningworm 9 Jul 2011, 6:14am

      When i was 16 I worked in a retail store. A trans woman asked to use the toilet. We had locks on the toilets and as i got closer to the loos i turned and asked which toilet. Another member of staff with the same person but without any of the reasoning opened the womens toilet. When you don’t know you don’t know.

      I was mistaken as a 16 year old. The member of staff used poor judgement.

      LGBTQi we’re in this together.

  2. theotherone 8 Jul 2011, 1:11pm

    Sainsburys seem to have a problem training their staff.

    I had one claim that i obviously had a Learning Disability and that my Partner was actually my Carer.

    In another one I heard staff loudly declare that they didn’t want to come near me or they would catch AIDS

  3. Hang on, try and see this from the staff view. Staff members aren’t trained in diversity and equalities to any great extent in training firstly.
    Secondly, if there is a complaint (and let’s face it many women WILL feel uncomfortable with someone they feel shouldn’t be in the female loo) then the staff have to act upon it. Sadly, people are ignorant.
    Thirdly, may I ask if a trans woman was sitting on the loo and a man came in to use it would they not feel uncomfortable.

    People are ignorant but they’re not hateful and it’s important to realise that there is transphobia out there and lots of it, but it’s as equally important to realise that some people aren’t transphobic – just ignorant.

    1. theotherone 8 Jul 2011, 1:25pm

      So seeing Transpeople as Disabled isn’t phobic?

      1. Ok, we don’t know exactly what went on. Whether the lady was asked to use the disabled loo because of a complaint, or because of transphobic reasons.
        For all we know (and as unlikely as this may seem) she may have been asked to use the disabled loos in future because the female loos were broken. We simply don’t know.

        We can’t accuse people of transphobia when we do not know the full story.

        Also, there is terrible training with regards to equalities and diversity in this country. We should be ashamed of ourselves on that score. We pride ourselves on being multi-cultural, diverse and tolerant but instead we are actually quite ignorant.

        My suggestion would be not to villify a possibly ignorant staff member but perhaps email Sainsburys and ask them why this happened and perhaps suggest that training should be given to their staff.

        1. theotherone 8 Jul 2011, 1:43pm

          so you are saying that it’s OK to deny goods and services to people if the training’s not spot on? So if you got punched in the face for being Queer you wouldn’t be offended if the person just hadn’t had the correct training?

          1. Not quite the same thing is it thats a stupid comparison.

          2. theotherone 8 Jul 2011, 1:56pm

            No actually it’s not hamish – both are breaking the law.

          3. So they may be breaking the law but one is obviously on puprose and one may just be someone being put in a situation and not being adequatly trained to deal with it alot of people have never met trans people and therefor not know what is unacceptable and what isn’t

          4. theotherone 8 Jul 2011, 2:06pm

            So phobia is aceptable is it?

            Sorry – it’s the Law. Are you telling me that Companies would allow their staff to not know the law?

            Phobia, it would seem, is only phobia if you say it is.

          5. Thats the whole argument wether or not it is phobia or just ignorance obviously companies should train there staff properly but people on here are blaming the staff members for this. If I was put in a difficult situation would try and resolve it whilst causing the least of a problem as possible, if you didn’t know what it was like to be segregated for your gender identity then you might assume it would not be such a problem.

          6. OrtharRrith 8 Jul 2011, 2:16pm

            Ok so it’s not the exact same thing it’s close enough. Both are breaches of the law, even if one is a physical assault. As already mentioned, standing up in a court of law and saying “sorry but I didn’t know it was illiegal to hit/abuse/murder/deny said person” isn’t a defense. The seriousness of the crime will dictate the punishment obviously, and no one is saying that what happened to this person is as serious as someone being punched for being gay or trans. But the fact remains it is still illegal.

          7. theotherone 8 Jul 2011, 2:18pm

            You know Hamish I’m sick of people like you finding excuses for Transphobia.

            Would you accept being segregated because of your sexuality or Gender Presentation? Would you accept being labelled as ill? No? Well don’t blinking well say it’s OK to do it to other people!

          8. I know its illegal but its the job of the company to train you if you where to point out you hadn’t had training to deal with situations regarding equality it wouldn’t be you in the firing line but the company who didn’t train you.

          9. And here it is, I’m Transphobic now obviously. I’m not saying its right to be segregated I mention that its a terrible thing in one of my comments however I am merely pointing out before you go on one at Menderin, to have some empathy for people who may not ever come across trans people.
            If you call everyone who just doesn’t know better a bigot you alienate people and don’t educate them therefore being counter productive.

          10. theotherone 8 Jul 2011, 2:27pm

            so it’s not Phobic to think people are ill? Oh come on Hamish!

          11. When did I ever say I thought Trans people were ill or do you mean using the disabled toilets, what reason did the staff member give for this Trans women to use the disabled toilets could it have been to save her the embarrassment of having to use the male restrooms and also wanted the other customers to stop complaining to them.
            As well while we’re on discrimination I work with people with Learning disabilities and they don’t much like being called ill either, its called disabled.

          12. theotherone 8 Jul 2011, 2:37pm

            I apologise if my use of language offended you, I was trying to be ironic but to return to the main point…

            So they had every reason to stop them using the female toilets other than that they where a freak…

          13. If a customer complains as a staff member you have to sort out that complaint this could lead to problems if people were unsure of what was acceptable and what wasn’t. The staff member did not say it was there belief that they shouldn’t use the toilets, other customers may have complained about it, psychological studies have been done which shows that people (especially the british) will do all sorts to avoid confrontation, including go against there moral beliefs about sexuality or gender identity, however the same study shows that often people are more likely to confront people if they know the right procedure for the situation.

          14. Hamish, you are right they do have to sort it ut if they have a complaint, and the correct procedure would have been for the staff member to seek advice from a more senior member of staff if he/she was unclear of the correct protocol for dealing with that situation, and this would have hopefully avoided a situation where the customer was treated less favourably.

          15. Paddyswurds 9 Jul 2011, 12:58am

            Perhaps “she” just looked like a man in drag as most of these people do, no matter how hard they try.

          16. Shut up Paddyswurds!!

          17. Paddyswurds 10 Jul 2011, 9:34pm

            ……..Says the bucket mouth……

        2. Sigh….Any complaint against a transwomen using the appropriate toilet facilities for their true gender would be based on…….hmmm what could it be? Transphobia maybe?
          Any action by a company against the transwoman based on that complaint would be upholding transphobic views.
          In any event there is no evidence any complaint was made……you are making stuff up to justify active discrimination against transfolk.
          All of it is transphobic. If you wonder why trans people get so defensive about it it’s because we get it from both the straight community and the gay community….all the time……this case being one small example. We are collectively over it, we are calling it out when we see it and we are seeing it here.

          1. Do you have any idea of why the staff member did point out the difference. I’m merely pointing out that we don’t know the full details of the story and until then there is no point jumping on the bandwagon.
            Obviously it is wrong to ask a trans person to use a different toilet so your not getting it from the gay community, my response was in response to theotherone who jumped down the throat of Menderin for merely mentioning that we don’t know all the facts.

          2. Mostly just jumping in on the back of Hamish’s comments and providing a morsel of sustenance for him…but only. Yess: I agree that always playing the phobia card can be counter-productive; and yes, i also agree that occasionallythere are aspects to a story we don’t know the answer to.

            However, i have worked on this issue many times over and have been heartened, generally, by the reaction of large companies. By and large they know the law and get it.

            One issue i have here is: if a trans woman uses the gender appropriate loo for her and a member of staff says no and…the trans woman politely asks why and asserts her legal back-up for doing this…then any sensible staff member would involve senior management…wouldn’t press on with their particular view.

            Given the amount of diversity training now available, i’d be surprised if the staff hadn’t received some guidance. But even supposing this staff member hadn’t, i’d say it is foolish in the extreme -{see next post}

          3. was going to add:

            its foolish in the extreme to press on with a particular view when a member of the public suggests you don’t understand the position.

            i’d also add that this whole issue goes so much deeper than i think you’ll ever understand. I had a confrontation in a Leisure Centre a few months back with an idiot member of the public…basically, a bloke who threatened to hit me if i went into the women’s changing area.

            The centre backed me up. The local police had words with the guy and warned him that any repetition would lead to him being charged.

            But still, for weeks, months after, i felt shaky going back to the centre. Humiliation, embarrassment doesn’t cover it. It turns spaces you thought safe into spaces 100% unsafe.

            My own tesco are glorious on this issue…might test out my local sainsbury to see what happens. :)

          4. Paddyswurds 9 Jul 2011, 1:00am

            ….could you please define transphobic as you see it applied in this case?

      2. Ben Foster 9 Jul 2011, 8:46am

        Sainsburys are in the wrong the whole way.
        1. Just because somebody complains doesnt mean the complaint should be upheld. they should have reminded the complainant about the 2010 Equality Act.
        2. No excuse for a company as huge as Sainsburys not to train their staff and sack any who refuse to accept diversity rules.
        Incidentally how long was this poor woman in the loos for? The complainant had time to make a complaint and have it acted on before she was done. That was fast!
        And how did the complainant know she was trans? In women’s toilets the business is private in cubicles. Even a pre-op isn’t revealing anything to anyone. Women wash hands and comb hair etc. fully clothed.
        Also, it occures to me that the trans lady is 55. I’ve seen plenty of ‘real’ women in that post-menopauise age who don’t look all that feminine. What if they did this to a mature woman who happened to have a bit of a facial hair problem and a deep voice?

      3. stephanie collins 19 Jan 2013, 8:37pm

        Thank you so much for including an article about my using the lavatory at Walton-on-Thames Sainsburys.

        Kindest regards


    2. OrtharRrith 8 Jul 2011, 1:37pm

      Ignorance of the law isn’t a viable defense. It doesn’t stand up in a court of law and won’t stand up here.
      You can’t refuse a transperson access to a service provided to the public on the grounds that that person is trans.
      Personally I feel pretty uncomfortable when bigots and transphobes enter the loos, but as far as I know; no one has yet to suggest THEY use the disabled loos…

      1. de Villiers 8 Jul 2011, 1:41pm

        As I understand this, Sainsburys did not refuse to provide a service. It asked that the service be provided in a particular way. That said, I am unsure as to the legality of that other than that separate but equal is permissible in English and European Union law.

        1. that is discriminatory. Er…and i write that as someone who both writes about equalities issues on a regular basis and who takes companies to court for breaching the Equality Act.

          Providing the same service differently is discrimination. Period.

          1. de Villiers 8 Jul 2011, 8:08pm

            It is my understanding that the treatment has to be less favourable in comparison with a comparator and that less favourable is not the same as being different.

          2. true. But different very often is less favourable – and being required to use different loos, espesh where that requirement is intrinsically humiliating is decidedly less favourable.

      2. Arguably the law wasn’t broken. An alternative was offered (for whatever reason).
        I also hasten to argue that people don’t usually focus on bigotry and ignorance whne they’re going to the toilet – just their business.

        1. theotherone 8 Jul 2011, 1:45pm

          So the fact that I still, after nine years, hide in the toilets until everyone has left before I come out of the cubical has nothing to do with bigotry.

          I’m glad you’ve cleared that up for me.

          1. de Villiers 8 Jul 2011, 3:05pm

            I think you have misread my post. Your sarcasm is misplaced.

          2. theotherone 8 Jul 2011, 3:54pm

            I was replying to mendirin my dear :-)

        2. Bollocks! :)

          How’s about this. A restaurant provides food for everyone…but food for persons of colour is only served in a small roped off area at one end.

          Presumably, in your world, this would not be discrimination. Ditto treating gay persons in similar fashion.

          I repeat: providing the same service differently is discrimination. And either you have suddenly gained a dazzling insight into the law or I and the courts i resort to when i am pissed off by organisations have been misapplying the law for yonks.


          1. de Villiers 8 Jul 2011, 8:10pm

            Your sarcasm is equally misplaced. It may be dazzling for you to parade your particular legal knowledge with words such as “bollocks” and “pissed off”. I would expect you use less unpleasantness when writing your legal documents.

          2. de Villiers 8 Jul 2011, 8:14pm

            Similarly, asking a male to use a different toilet to that of a female appears (to a non lawyer) to provide an equal level of service differently to persons of different sexes. To ask a transexual to use a third category of toilet appears, again, to provide an equal level of service, differently. What here would be the less favourable treatment?

          3. de Villiers 8 Jul 2011, 8:18pm

            Also potentially in relation to dress codes. Men and women may be required to meet different standards. A male may be unable to wear long hair for work unlike a women for whom that may be permissible.

          4. Paddyswurds 9 Jul 2011, 1:05am

            @Jane Fae…
            …. Bollox you…..Your comparison is ridiculous as a black person is clearly a black person, whereas a tranny could just look like a creep in drag and more often than not, do.

          5. i choose my words to match the level of person i am talking to. I have no probs in being elegant when dealing with legal persons, but i have no time any more for the sort of weaselly transphobia parading as even-handedness on here.

            Perhaps its unfair to lump you in with twonks like paddy…you are a good deal more polite. However, there is a big difference here in approach. You’re coming to this as a technical legal issue.

            I am coming to this as someone who has not only dealt with the pain that countless real trans men and women have talked to me about, but as someone who has faced abuse and who has campaigned on it.

            The law is a tool, which i will use to campaign against bigotry. Not all bigotry comes wrapped up in rude language. In fact, the worst is delivered in tones of sweet reason and loads of guff about technical detail.

            Perhaps that is not your intention and if it ain’t, my apologies. Otherwise not.


          6. This is the same as asking a gay man to use the handicapped facilities because a staff member does not consider him a real man. I know this has happened. I’m sure you would regard this as discrimination. Transwomen regard the same thing happening to us as discrimination. So does the law.

          7. de Villiers 9 Jul 2011, 2:11pm

            > i have no time any more for the sort of weaselly transphobia parading as even-handedness on here.
            I approach this as a non-lawyer, with no prejudices and as someone who is even handed and open-minded, albeit with a sympathy to right-leaning politics and ideas.
            For myself, I have yet to see a proper link between the segregation of which you spoke and the differing treatment of men and women as I had described. It is not a big difference, as a matter of perception, to move from differing but equal treatment of men and women to differing but equal treatment of persons who are trans.
            It also is not unreasonable to approach issue of trans discrimination with a greater caution and lack of intuition than matters of race, sex and sexuality. It is far more difficult to see the wrong in, say, a sports-centre refusing to allow a gay person into the changing areas than refusing to allow a trans person.
            This area of discrimination appears to be more complicated than sex and sexuality.

          8. OrtharRrith 9 Jul 2011, 3:28pm

            Okay lets put it this way. I am a transwoman but the way the law works isn’t that it labels me a transwoman – there’s nothing on my driving license, my birth certificate or any other legal document that states Trans, Just as there is nothing that states a gay person is a gay person.
            My legal documents – every single one of them – simply states Female, and that’s what the law recognises me as. So for someone to say “yeah but you are also trans and so should use the disabled loos” IS exactly like somone saying to the afore-mentioned black person that they should not sit with the white folks in the restaurant. Don’t agree? Think about it.
            Person type A tells Person type B they can’t come in because they are type B. If we are actually saying that “type A” equals white and “type B” equals black, then everyone agrees that it’s discrimination. If you then swap white with cisgender, and black with transgender then it’s STILL discrimination, nothing has changed. By telling Stephanie Collins

          9. OrtharRrith 9 Jul 2011, 3:35pm

            By telling Stephanie Collins that she can not use the ladies toilets because she is transgender, then the member of Sainsbury’s staff discriminated against her. By suggesting that transpeople use the disabled toilets instead of the toilets of their aquired gender, that is segregation as well as discrimination. Just as it would be if you told a black man he can’t use the same toilets as the white folk. The law recognises that fact.
            Simple enough for you?

          10. de Villiers 10 Jul 2011, 8:16am

            > Simple enough for you?
            It is not persuasive. And your patronising tone does not lend itself to encouraging me to understand.
            There is already differing treatment towards men and women. The issue of a black man being treated differently to a white man is an irrelevant comparator insofar as white and black man share the characteristic of being male and should be treated equally as males. The accepted starting point is that the differences between men and women allow differing treatment which would not otherwise be permitted.
            Second, sitting at the back of a restaurant or at the back of a bus implies a clear value judgement about the worth of that person – that they are not of sufficient value to be seen in the restaurant or to sit at the front of a bus. In other words, that they should be hidden from view. It relates to a very public display of disapproval.

          11. de Villiers 10 Jul 2011, 8:23am

            Providing toilet or changing facilities, however, requires segregation or rather separation of men and women and the providing of similar but different facilities. The provision of separate facilities implies no value judgment, whether positive of negative, of men or women. Similarly, requesting that a trans person uses different toilet or changing facilities implies no negative value judgment on them.
            The provision of different facilities recognises the particularly personal and private nature of getting undressed and being unclothed. In those circumstances, I can appreciate the objection that a person might have for a person who has a different physical sex to themselves sharing such intimate and private space during a state of undress.
            The mere swapping of colour with gender, as you have sought to do, is entirely unhelpful given that persons of different colour may not be treated differently whereas persons of different gender may, and may be required to be, treated differently.

  4. But this person is NOT a woman, so why s/he/it should use women’s toilet? A very simple question. The decision of the Sainsbury’s supermarket was absolutely right and stop moaning about nothing!!

    1. OrtharRrith 8 Jul 2011, 1:29pm

      Go flush yourself.

      You may not consider a transperson the gender they present, but the law does, and guess what… that trumps your closed mind and bigotted view point.

      1. Please may I ask where this is evidenced? I think it’s a grey area at least.

        1. theotherone 8 Jul 2011, 1:47pm

          You know mendirin you should just come out as the rabid Tranny hater you are.

          What’s a ‘grey area’ – legal definitions or medical ones? Please show me why you know far more than anyone else.

          1. What the hell? You don’t know the first thing about me you two bit pi*s-stain. Keep your comments to yourself.
            I’m asking for evidence, if you’re too psycho to provide the evidence to me then shut your mouth.

          2. Don’t bother getting angry Menderin Transphobe is there new favorite word anyone who tries to be impartial or even learn things about this story is apparently Transphobic

          3. theotherone 8 Jul 2011, 7:17pm

            No Hamish, saying discrimination is OK is, after all, not Phobic.

          4. Did I ever say discrimination was ok…. no, discrimination is never ok but training needs to be put into place as it is for all other minorities to help people deal with equality issues when they come up.

        2. OrtharRrith 8 Jul 2011, 1:53pm

          Sorry what? You’re questioning the Gender Recognition Act of 2004 and the Equalities Act of 2011?
          I assure you there is no “grey area”. The law recognises transgender people and does so as the gender they present – there is some difficulity with those trans people who do not recognise as either gender. You’re not even required to have had any surgery for the law to recognise you.

          1. theotherone 8 Jul 2011, 1:56pm

            I think these people are just Phobic idiots trying to dress as sane and reasonable individuals.

            The Law is a ‘grey area’ indeed. Ha!

          2. I’m not questioning anything. I’m asking – I think that’s reasonable.

            I’ll go and read the act – thank you. That’s all I wanted.

        3. Equality Act section 7.

          And yes: given this comment, i am beginning to come round to the suspicion that you are a bigoted troll.

          Trans persons have legal status and legal protection. Get over it.


          1. theotherone 8 Jul 2011, 6:44pm

            now now Jane, you’re just picking on people who want to ask questions, find out about this story and discriminate against Transpeople.

          2. Oh f*uck off

      2. Paddyswurds 9 Jul 2011, 1:09am

        ….Unless a tranny wears a label somehow, how is anyone to know she is Trans. Most trannys seem to look just like a man in drag and could be assumed to be a perv perving in the womens toilet. The whole Transphobia thing is clearly a hoax on that basis. In otherwords how are we to know??

        1. OrtharRrith 9 Jul 2011, 12:22pm

          Go away Paddy, your not wanted here.

          You’ve been told before that people find the term tranny offensive, yet you continue to use it. You’re just a tired, offensive, and yes transphobic; old queen with no manors.
          I’m not interested in talking to you on those grounds. You go out of your way to insult transpeople and I’m not gonna play with you.

          1. Paddyswurds 9 Jul 2011, 2:45pm

            ….typical intellectually bereft ignorant response from someone with no valid argument.

          2. Paddyswurds 9 Jul 2011, 2:49pm

            …..oh and i’m going nowhere, pet. If you don’t like my comments don’t read them. My avatar is fairly easy to see so, “Horseman pass by”, to quote a fellow Irishman.

          3. Paddyswurds 10 Jul 2011, 9:52pm

            ………”old queen with no manors”. As a manor is an English thing, something to do with Cockney slang, I as an Irish person wouldn’t be expected to have one. However one suspects that your spelling is as bereft as your intellect and that what you meant was Manners.
            As for your “old queen” jibe, well that is just the usual tranny homophobia slathered with ageism. One presumes you don’t expect to get old…..on second thoughts an old tranny…. euwww!

        2. Perhaps you’d know some is transgendered instead of cross dressing by the pronouns they use, their name, the washroom they walk into… I find those tend to be good giveaways. Though politely asking what pronouns someone prefers is better than assuming someone is a “perv perving in the womans toilet”.

          And why people assume that is beyond me. Women and men, cis and trans can do those things. Being cis and of the same gender doesn’t stop the risk of that happening in the washroom.

          Considering both of the above paragraphs, even if you don’t know if someone is a transwoman in the washroom, why does it even matter cares?

          I get the cultural mindset that women are raised with to be cautious; spent the first twenty one years of my life as one. However, I’m not sure that’s a helpful mindset , particularly since most of the time it’s someone you know.

          And as an aside to “trannys seem to look just like a man in drag”, unless we transmen are doing drag, we look like men. We FTM’s do exist.

    2. theotherone 8 Jul 2011, 1:30pm

      The Law would see them as a Woman, they would be defined by the Medical Establishment as a Woman, they would define themselves as a Woman.

      I take it your belief is more valid than any of these people or institutions? You must be r-e-a-l-y smart.

      1. I have never professed to my belief being anymore valid than anyone else’s. I’m merely enquiring and asking questions. I’ve not once been offensive to any trans men or women on this thread and certainly have no issue with them.

        My question is: when does the law recognise a trans woman as being a trans woman? Is it when they themselves come to the realisation they’re the opposite gender? Or is it when they have been deemed as transgender by a medical professional. I’m asking because I’m curious. That’s all.

        If you can’t enter a debate like a reasonable adult then that’s your issue.

        1. OrtharRrith 8 Jul 2011, 4:12pm

          The law does not require you to be undergoing or have undergone medical treatement to be recognised as a transgender person. IF you are attempting to aquire a Gender Recognition Certificate and then to change your birth certificate, then the law requires certain criteria to be met – living full time, desire to remain in said gender role, etc. etc. but you do not need a doctor to confirm to the law you are what you say you are – if you follow me?

        2. Can’t comment on the UK as I live in Australia but UK laws offer better protection than Australian laws ATM. Once a person lives full time as a woman they are under both laws I believe to be treated as a woman. That included toilets.
          In Australia drag queeens and crossdressers almost always use the female facilities as well. Fundamentally (in Aus) if you are bona fidi presenting as female (not soliciting or commiting some other offense) at the time then you use the female facilities.
          It is simply too dangerous to do otherwise. Using male facilities would likely result in bashing rape or murder. As has often happened.
          For a transwoman two years transitioned there is not a lot of excuse for denying them appropriate access to toilet facilities…that’s female….

        3. you are NOT “merely inquiring”. You are stating in various posts what you believe the law to be.

          in one post, you state that you think it is a grey area.

          Sorry…but as someone who researches several subjects a day, if i was merely asking questions or merely inquiring, my posts would go roughly.

          “Gosh. That’s interesting. I didn’t know the law worked that way. Can someone explain the law to me.”

          Difficult? Not!

          You are rapidly emerging from this debate as not just a bigot but a coward too. You do seem to have a base view of what the law is or ought to be. You’re framing your questions in such a way as to give support to that view. You aren’t asking truly open questions.


          1. Paddyswurds 9 Jul 2011, 1:12am

            ……. huge chip and shoulder comes to mind there old chap……

          2. You’ve got me wrong. Clearly your research on the subject has clouded your objectivity.

            I do have an opinion but I certainly don’t see how it’s offensive or bigoted.

            Perhaps the real problem is that you’re too sensitive.

    3. It? Seriously…it? That is so disgusting. A transwoman is a type of woman…not born that way but a woman never the less. And here we are, yet again, on a gay website defending our own identity yet again. This is as offensive as saying to a gay guy that they just haven’t met the right woman yet……disgusting.

      1. Gwen, Sottom is a troll, I believe. Ignore his/her nastiness. It’s not worth a response.

    4. Angela S. 8 Jul 2011, 4:55pm

      Flaunting your own bigotry, Sottom??
      I rather share going to the ladies with several trans women, than one bigot…
      I’m convinced that most are a lot more safe to be around, which I would not be confident to say from most bigots…..

    5. Take your head out of the bucket of sand that its burried and learn ,this whole journey is dificult enough without the (s/he/it) comments being thrown about ,We are human beings with ,no diferent to anyone else on the planet ,just that the fact somewhare down the line mother nature dropped a dirty great spanner in the works and screwed up our gennes ,Its totaly out of order for anyone or any place to disciminate on how we should behave and what toilets we can use ,The whole part about transitioning is to be able to intergrate with society and that meens we use the apropiate toilets the fit our gender ,the last time I looked it was 2011 not 1911,its called modern times

    6. How ignorant are you?

    7. Actually sottom you are wrong she is a woman just one thats had the misfutune to be born into a male gender body. she didn’t ask to be that way no different from any other person across any section of society that doesn’t fit into whats considered the norm. I read these comments and replys and it is quite saddening to see a lot of people aussiming what did and didn’t happen. and for some to sprout thier own distorted views.i work in a supermarket and yes Sottom they do accept me fully as the female that i am. there will always be misunderstandings and when a complaint is made by a customer it has to be acted on sadly the truth is at times the individual having to handle the complaint is not always adequately trained to handle these situations and can be embarressed themselves they are not being automatically transphobic. also as a pre op transsexual myself i that i have a right to voice when i’m being discrimanted agaisnt but will only do so when all other communication has broken down

  5. Commander Thor 8 Jul 2011, 1:36pm

    I think the standard retort should be “You should use it yourself – stupidity is a disability.”

    Misquotation alert: Stupidity is a mental disability, but this does not mean that physical or other mental disabilities are stupidity.

  6. Paula Thomas 8 Jul 2011, 1:55pm

    There is a point that nobody seems to be touching on. There are usually an extremely restricted number of disabled loos (ie 1). So what if someone with disabilities needs to use the disabled loo and can’t get in because a person who doesn’t need to use (bigotry of staff aside) is using it?

    1. DJ Sheepiesheep 8 Jul 2011, 2:22pm

      Exactly. And by the way, “Disabled” isn’t a gender.

      1. theotherone 8 Jul 2011, 2:29pm

        I think this also shows just what people think of those with disabilities.

    2. Paddyswurds 9 Jul 2011, 1:17am

      Exactly, and what is wrong with using the cubicle in the mens. How would the staff at Sainsburys know the person was a Transwoman by the way?

      1. Michelle Gould 9 Jul 2011, 2:39am

        You are so narrow minded because we have been using the gender room we are for years. Just because some our ugly in your eyes mean we are not. Tell that to your (definition, by your standards) XX phenotypes who get asked by your view of not being feminine enough for you even though they are 46XX

      2. Michelle Gould 9 Jul 2011, 2:40am

        The problem is we get attacked there when we come out of it

      3. a) Because it’s the men’s and we are not men.
        b) You men really smell….I mean big time…and no self respecting woman would want to be caught dead in there.
        c) It’s full of men……men who rape, men who bash and men who kill. Try googling the trans day of remembrance for those transfolk who have been murdered,,,,,by men.

        1. Thats a bit generalistic not all men rape bash and kill.

          1. Women don’t bash rape and kill transwomen… do. No, not every man, not even most men but never the less those who do are almost (note almost) all men. Transwomen feel incredibly unsafe anywhere near a men’s loo for that reason as would any woman.

          2. Gwen.. Actually women do. There was that case in the US recently where 2 teens females bashed a trans woman in the toilets of a restaurant (i think).

            Cis people are just uncomfortable with trans people. Its so very alien to them, far more alien than even homosexuality. I asked about this at work. I asked if the women at work would be more comfortable sharing a toilet with me (a gay man) or a trans woman. Every one said me.

            Oh and trans women still smell like men, no amount of hormones post puberty or surgery can change that. Im very in turn with my nose and i can smell XY a mile away, trans or not.

            However there is no excuse for the mistreatment of trans people, they have it harder than almost any other group even even before the opinions of others are taken into account.

  7. Rich (original) 8 Jul 2011, 2:16pm

    Next time someone will kick “her” ass for sure!

    1. Biscuit Marketing 8 Jul 2011, 2:45pm

      That’s certainly not warranted. She just needs retraining in the acceptable treatment of trans people – hopefully, Sainsbury’s will devise a new training plan accordingly.

      1. Its Rich he’s a troll I think he was referring to the Trans women. Ignore him.

    2. Staircase2 8 Jul 2011, 3:24pm

      Ooh – thats rich coming from you, Rich – how original….
      (btw that was all a lie- I don’t think you’re original at all…I was just trying to be clever :) )
      You are, however, reported…..

  8. HelenWilson 8 Jul 2011, 2:47pm

    If this ever happened to me I would hope I was brave enough to squat down and pee outside the loo. Treat me like a animal and I’ll act like one….What we need is direct action to highlight this issue.

    1. theotherone 8 Jul 2011, 2:54pm

      good idea but I don’t want to get pee on my shoe.

    2. de Villiers 8 Jul 2011, 3:07pm

      > Treat me like a animal and I’ll act like one
      Are you serious? You would throw away your own sense of propriety because of the faults and errors of others? If others sought to treat me like an animal, I would try to respond in the most dignified manner possible.

      1. theotherone 8 Jul 2011, 6:49pm

        ‘You would throw away your own sense of propriety because of the faults and errors of others?’

        I’m sure the same was said the the Suffragettes.

        Ladies should behave like Ladies even when they’re being punched in the face.

        The law has been changed, penalties exist and still it is ignored – the time for Direct Action is coming close.

        1. de Villiers 11 Jul 2011, 10:54pm

          I suppose that’s a matter for you. I, for one, do not consider that urinating on the floor is a way to attract dignity.

    3. helen, helen! I’m SO with you on this….

      sadly, as you are probably aware, i am likely to be on my back for the next few weeks…but any time you fancy some direct action, drop me a line…


  9. Did the staff think the transwoman was a man in drag? Maybe they were just trying to protect their clients from possible predators.

    1. The predator arguement is a common one but it’s simply not true. It simply never happens…..If a guy wants to sexually assault a woman he doesn’t have to get dressed up in drag to do it. He just walks in there and does it. Besides try running in heels!

      1. Cathy Butler 8 Jul 2011, 3:50pm

        Added to which, if the staff member was trying to protect women from predators, why did she accost this poor woman only as she was coming *out* of the toilet?

      2. Paddyswurds 9 Jul 2011, 1:21am

        Only last week a man from Eastern Europe was sent to prison in Ireland for raping a woman in a toilet and he was in drag.Google it.

        1. Michelle Gould 9 Jul 2011, 2:52am

          OK compare that to how many Janitors cleaning the toilet for doing the same thing. Focus please

        2. From Poland? Wearling womens underwear?
          I’m sorry, but I can hardly see that as drag…
          Having a drag performer, drag queens, CDs and trans women in my aquantances and friends ring, I can tell you that there are very big differences between the various people.
          BTW, all the draq queens I know happen to be gay, while the men in a very bad taste of drag during the carnaval time are all straight..

    2. OrtharRrith 8 Jul 2011, 3:26pm

      There have never been any cases in the UK or the US of blokes dressing up in drag to enter the womens loos and then attacking unsuspecting members of the public. It’s an urban myth purpetuated in the US by transphobic political parties to deny equal rights and protection.
      You are far more likely to find irrefutable proof of the Yehtee.

      1. no. its not 100% urban myth. I talked to a lawyer recently who regularly works cases in the criminal system in the UK. SHe said she was interested by this…and did a search through cases, and found one such case in five years.

        But still, your point pretty much stands. Rapists don’t rape women “because” they wear certain clothes. Its a power thing.

        Abusers don’t tend to dress up to invade female space. Most of the time, its just too much of a giveaway. And the abusers tend to be either “disorganised” (not the cold calculating psychopaths of popular fiction) and so unlikely to ever get their act together to do so: or the opposite…they are psychopathic, in which case they will mostly be too arrogant to go this route.

        Much of the time, too, the “defending women” argument comes from blokes. I have discussed this over and over with women’s groups, and nine times out of ten, women are just pissed off with it.

        Women – surprise! – are very good at self-preservation.


        1. theotherone 8 Jul 2011, 6:52pm

          one in five years? They would have a better chance protecting women from Rape by bursting down the door of their flat and arresting their boyfriends and Children by arresting Daddy.

    3. Doesn’t really matter if they thought she was just in drag or not you don’t need to have had the op to be counted as a women.

      1. Paddyswurds 9 Jul 2011, 1:23am

        So every drag quen in the country i entitled to be thought of as a woman? I think not.

        1. Michelle Gould 9 Jul 2011, 2:44am

          If you met me as a transsexual you would never know so why call all of us drag queens because we are so far from that

        2. No there are certain things that are required I’m not sure exactly what they are but I know you have to live full time as a women.

    4. I met a transwoman in the ladies at a cinema in Nottingham; she was evidently worried about coming closer to me than necessary, so I smiled and struck up a conversation with her about the film we’d been to see. Her relief that I treated her normally was tangible.
      All it takes is for people to treat others as they’d like to be treated. It’s that simple, it’s not a matter of training, it’s a matter of humanity. It’s not Sainsbury’s job to train their people about the law of the land, but it is their job to train people in diversity with regard to their customers and their colleagues if they’re proved lacking in that area.

      1. Angela S. 8 Jul 2011, 5:03pm

        Well said, Eleison!!!

      2. That’s actually a very nice posting – its a pity everybody didn’t share that attitude

  10. Staircase2 8 Jul 2011, 3:22pm

    I think its time there was a legal position on the matter of toilet use.
    Personally I never think twice to popping into a female toilet if the men’s toilets in a restaurant or bar are full up.
    That was the liberating thing about going out clubbing – in gay clubs everyone uses all the toilets.
    I personally find the notion of having separate gender toilets a bit odd.
    Although I can understand how women might feel intimidated with the idea of having men in their space.

    1. Sigh….again…..transwomen are not men. And there is a legal position. It it illegal to deny transwoman access to appropriate toilet facilities…..that’s female facilities….not handicapped….

      1. Paddyswurds 10 Jul 2011, 1:12pm

        ……”Sigh….again…..transwomen are not men”
        If the DNA of a transwoman were to be analysed in a blind test it would clearly indicate a male, like it or not. The y choromosome cannot be eradicated no matter how you try with hormones or surgery.

    2. @staircase: surely you mean the other way round? The womens nearly always has a ridiculous queue because of the stupid laws about how many stalls are required! I’ll happily use the gents when ours is queued to the eyeballs!! But I’ll make it plain why I’m in there!

    3. Cathy Butler 8 Jul 2011, 3:48pm

      There *is* a legal position – which is that trans women should not be denied goods and services on account of their trans status – which in this case, means access to the female toilet. The law is crystal clear on that.

    4. Reported for transphobic hate.

    5. theotherone 8 Jul 2011, 6:53pm

      yeahyeahyeah phobic crap yeahyeahyeah

      1. Hey steady on, you are over reacting to Staircase2 here. The simple fact is most women DO think of trans women as men. It may not be right, but they DO think that. Its that fact and the general attitude women and men have towards each other that causes this.

        1. OrtharRrith 10 Jul 2011, 5:47pm

          Where are you getting this information from? Because that’s far, far from any experiance I’ve ever had.
          I have never been treated as a man by any woman I have encountered, and neither have any of my trans friends.

  11. What disgusting treatment! I can’t believe it. This woman is a woman just like any other. I don’t expect other woman had to be ‘approved’ to simply use the toilet.
    I can only think a member of the public drew it to the attention of staff when they left the toilet, hence this poor lady only being stopped on her way out.
    If there was a complaint, the staff member should simply have reassured the complainant that all was well and certainly not stopped the transwoman. I can’t imagine how embarrassing and upsetiing that must have been for her. She’d clearly used the toilet and caused no more harm than any other woman so what was the problem?

    1. Paddyswurds 10 Jul 2011, 1:20pm

      ……”I can’t believe it. This woman is a woman just like any other.” Which is utter rubbish. DNA would say otherwise and your comment is an insult to women. Thisperson would and could never produce offspring for a start. Taking gallons of hormones daily to try looking like a woman does not make one a woman and to argue otherwise is deluded. Just because you fell that you are a woman born in the wrong body does not in any way make you a woman or conversely man as evidenced recently by the failed efforts of Chastity Bono to become a man.

      1. However there brain structure would say they are female as that is often what causes trans feelings having the brain of the opposite gender to your body so it depends what’s more important DNA which everyone has mostly the same or your brain which is individual to everyone.

      2. Oh Paddy, you’re back to trans-fail again, then? I was really starting to believe that you might have gained a little more tolerance, but then I saw this comment thread.
        I’m not sure whether this comment makes me twitch more as a trans woman or as a biologist. I’ll answer it as a biologist because I’ve already suggested resources that you can use to tackle your wider ignorance regarding trans people.
        OK. Do you know your own chromosomal type, Paddy? Do you avoid gendering people until they’ve had a DNA test? Is gender *really* about DNA? No, Paddy, it isn’t. Non-biologists sometimes use chromosomal type to mean “biological sex”, but biologists don’t. We use it as a *proxy* for sex, just as we use primary or secondary sexual characteristics or behaviour, where these are more easily measured, but there is *no basal definition* of biological sex, just as there’s no standard definition of species – these are arbitrary concepts that are only meaningful according to context. [Cont]

      3. DNA is a molecule that carries a code; that’s all. If parts of that code are suppressed in their expression, they are irrelevant. The parts that you’ve decided define “men” are irrelevant in AIS individuals, and they are similarly irrelevant in trans women. Trans women are not deluded – we don’t believe we’ve somehow managed to change our chromosomal type – we just recognise that it doesn’t have to be relevant to our gender. And while many of us make alterations to other, more readily noticeable, proxies for sex, that’s to aid others in working out how we identify – it doesn’t change our identities. Gender is a psychosociological concept, not a biological one; identity is experiential, and doesn’t need to be validated by science; nor can it be. So you’re right, in a way – taking hormones does not make a trans woman a woman – she’s *already* a woman; hormonal changes only serve to reaffirm her identity for the benefit of an assumption-prone society. [Cont]

      4. You claim that Iris’s comment is “an insult to women”. Oh Paddy – you, a male-identified person, do not get to decide what is insulting to women. As a woman, I find insulting your suggestion that a woman is less than a woman if she cannot produce offspring – how nice of you to define women according to our reproductive capacity, and to ungender any woman who is unable to produce a child while you’re about it. I find insulting your idea (expressed in a separate comment) that, to be treated acceptably, women should make “an effort” to look like *your* conception of what a woman should look like. But an acknowledgement that trans women are women – how *empowering* that can be to women, what a perfect expression of the old feminist maxim, “biology is not destiny”. [Cont]

      5. I don’t intend to respond to your other comments on this thread, Paddy, because I know you’re capable of finding the answers on or in the writings of Julia Serano, both of which I have already directed you to. Suffice to say that, having seen you post helpful and articulate comments elsewhere, it always comes as a terrible disappointment to see you behaving like a bigoted troll on trans-related threads.

        1. Apologies for the formatting issues here – I should really avoid writing my comments in Word, in future.

          1. And, having read some of the other comments here, I should also apologise if my abbreviating your username to Paddy is offensive to you – I shall avoid doing so in future.

  12. I used to work at Sainsbury’s. There was a transgender woman who worked there and I don’t think she had any problems. I was informed about her when I first started, but it was to make sure that I wasn’t going to cause problems rather than to “warn” me.

    Just thought I’d make it clear that it was the employee who was a jerk, not Sainsbury’s.

  13. shuanuana 8 Jul 2011, 5:24pm

    The Equality And Human Right Guidance on Goods and Services to Trans people in order to respond to the Equality Act 2010 does, in fact, suggest that having disabled changing or toilet facilities available for Trans people is a suitable solution.

    The Sainsbury’s staff may well have had equality training, but when the guidance from the EHRC and other national trans organisations offer disabled facilities as a suitable compromise when ‘members of the public’ complain then we can’t really blame them. The member of staff in question may well be following Sainsbury policy which comes from EHRC guidance.

    Its a tricky one.

    1. Secret Squirrel 11 Jul 2011, 11:30am

      Shuanuana, I can’t find any reference to EHRC guidance that it’s appropriate to direct trans folk to disabled loos, and I’d really like to look into this. Do you have a link by any chance?

  14. shuanuana 8 Jul 2011, 5:26pm

    by which I mean – I’m not saying that disabled toilets should be used by Trans people, rather that when the EHRC advises that course of action, and other trans organisations say the same thing, its a bit unfair to blame sainsburys. or that individual staff member.

    1. ye-es…the EHRC is problematic, often. I’ve had run-ins with them on a number of issues and i’d say that the way they approach the law is not always ideal, not always correct…personally, i’d be very surprised if their guidance held up in a court.

      (and i write that as someone who has just had tow of the UK’s biggest institutions falling over themselves to say sorry after i took them to task for a major failing in their procedure that breached the Equality Act…the EHRC guidance might have let them off the hook: their own lawyers thought otherwise).



  15. How did they know she was transgender? Is there a sign pinned to her back? There’s obviously more to this story.

    1. No there isn’t. Some trans women “pass” almost all of the time. Some don’t. Some pass some of the time.

      Interestingly, a common complaint i hear from the dykey end of the lesbian specturm is about being challenged in female loos. So it happens there too.

      However, what usually happens in those cases is the person asserts their right to be there…and the organisation backs off.

      Not what happened here.


      1. Paddyswurds 9 Jul 2011, 1:31am

        Jane Fae….

        …unless you know this person or were there you simply don’t know. This person may in all probability look like and ape or bear in drag as most of them do. 99% of these sad beings are so far from looking like a woman as to be hilariously funnyor as i said simply sad.

        1. Nope. I go by what is reported and as i suggest above, there are two elements to this: the original questioning and the organisational response to someone restating their right to use a place.

          I can see a point to the original questioning: however, if a staff member refused to escalate an issue like this, then they deserve all they get.

          Two other points. I’ve dealt with a lot of these cases over the past two years. Yeah, yeah: give the benefit of the doubt…not!

          most of the time it boils down to lack of training or transphobia at the initial level, which is then either defused or made worse by the organisational response.

          In this instance, Sainsburys appear to be planning to issue an official apology, which sort of suggests they agree that they were in the wrong.

        2. ah. just seen your comment about “most of these poeple just look like a man in drag”.


          You see: i actually gave you the benefit of the doubt and answered this post politely. However, if that is your view then no: you’re not just transpohobic, but misogynistic to boot…however smarmily you cover up your true nature by pretending to be being even-handed or just seeking information.

          End of, paddy. I work with the law in these sort of cases and will happily take action against any company failing to live up to decent standards. I have also, i suspect, caused one or two employees to be re-located or possibly removed from post and, the more i hear from transphobes like yourself, the less sympathy i have with any of them.

          You don’t understand the condition: you don’t understand what its like to live as trans; and you seem to think that bigotry is funny.

          Its not.

          Just grow up.


          1. Paddyswurds 9 Jul 2011, 11:02am

            …you can accuse me of being Misogynistic if you like and you would probably not be a thousand miles from the truth, Given that i was raised by a woman whose life centered around herself to the almost total exclusion of her children. But transphobic…i don’t think so. i have no feelings what ever toward trans people except pity for their delusion and lot. Anything i have said i have said from experience of the world…. all of it not just some dank corner of an English inner city. I will not post placebos just to be PC. I see most trans people as sad and deluded characters who are obviously strangers to a mirror. And trans men i see as particularly sad given the reality of their situation with regard to the whole reassignment surgery thing. You can call me as many names as you can find in any dictionary but that is reality. I simply am not transphobic. It is your perception in an effort to demean what i have to say, which from my point of view is legitimate debate.

          2. paddy there is no point you arguing your not transphobic you blatantly are. As you blatantly don’t actually know any trans people how would you know that they don’t look like naturally born women maybe you just don’t notice the ones that do.

          3. Paddyswurds 10 Jul 2011, 1:24pm

            ……your insistance on using the racist term “paddy” is indicitive if your intellectual capacity. My tag is Paddyswurds and I would appreciate no being referred to in racist terms, “jock”.

          4. Paddyswurds 10 Jul 2011, 10:09pm

            ….how the fcuk would you know who i know . I knew trans bofore you came out from under the heather. I have travelled further in my sleep than you have in your whole life and have met more people in one day than you ever will were you to live to be a thousand years old. I stick to my point that a tranny, man or woman sticks out like a sore thumb and are all clearly strangers to a mirror.

          5. @Paddyswurds I use the term paddy not in a racist term but actually because I can’t be arsed to type Paddyswurds every time I actually assumed your name was Patrick which a shortened down version is Paddy, and are you trying to say you think I am Jock S.Trap with the “jock” because if so you will notice my avatar is a pic of me so blatantly not Jock S.Trap who say’s he is much older.

            As for your belief that you have met more people than I will meet if if I live to be 1000, you are presuming how many people I meet with absolutely nothing to draw on except for your own arrogance, however I take from your attitude that towards trans people that you aren’t friends with any, note not met, friends with, and if you were friends with them you may realise you can’t always tell they are trans so your belief that they stick out is completely ridiculous unless you have asked everyone you’ve ever walked past there original gender.

          6. Paddyswurds 11 Jul 2011, 12:25pm

            …Re Jock …that was a dig at your obviously Scots name. Re trannies Met, yes, from April Ashley down and to a man or woman found them to be at war with themselves and the world in general and Gay men In particular…..”You are all so smug” being a favorite retort and a very obvious hatred that we, as i said before, were at such ease and happy with the way we were born. I couldn’t possibley be friends with such people as they are vexatious to the spirit, or in the venacular, “such a downer, man”

          7. Paddyswurds 11 Jul 2011, 12:28pm

            ……. “you are all so smug” **, possibly **, obv

          8. Paddyswurds 11 Jul 2011, 12:29pm

            errata 2…
            “you are all so smug**, Possibly**, obv

          9. I know you would not be friends with trans the same as a racist would not be friends with a black person and a homophobe wouldn’t be friends with a gay person. Yes I am scottish and very proud of the fact.

        3. Michelle Gould 9 Jul 2011, 2:49am

          You are so wrong. I could pass you on the street and the only thing you would do is look back and watch

          1. Paddyswurds 9 Jul 2011, 10:47am

            @Michelle Gould…
            ……..”the only thing you would do is look back and watch” Exactly, in utter disbelief at the sheer sad delusion on display so publicly

        4. Good grief, when did being gay mean that all concepts of chivalry go out the window? Its extremely said when members of the LGBTI community feel the need to discriminate against each other. As it is, I treat all woman equally, whether they were born that way or had to change to achieve it, and whats more I treat with courtesy. You are a sad , sad disgrace for a man Paddy, misogyny is ill-becoming indeed.

  16. Surely in this day & age & given how often such incidents occur would it be so unrealistic for a huge emplyer like Sainsburys to cover ALL bases where staff diversity training is concerned?! Would they expect a transgendered employee to,say,’work out the back’ away from the general public?! I imagine they’d know the law on THAT example! But as others have said,until there’s clarification & a comment from the supermarket chain it’s folly to speculate!

  17. Here we go again ,the trans population is getting in the neck as per usual,when will society realise that we are still humam beings that just dont have the correct gennes ,Im 18 months post op and I still get a few crack comments ,at the end of the day I know who is the better person ,If that had happened to me ,Sainburys mananger would be on the carpet ,time some people took their heads out of the sand

  18. Sainsburys is a rather prudish company imo

  19. IF this person is under medical care for gender dysphoria then she has protection under law and should take action to report a ‘hate crime’.. IF however, she isn’t then she has no legal rights to use those toilets

    1. @Penny,
      The Equality Act 2010 no longer requires trans people to be ‘under medical care’. As has previously been posted: if you are living as a member of the sex which is opposite to that allocated to you at birth, then it is reasonable – in most circumstances – to expect to be able to use the facilities appropriate to the sex in which you are now living. When you have a Gender Recognition Certificate then, to all intents and purposes (and again, there are few exceptions) you have the legal right to use facilities specific to your ‘acquired’ sex.

  20. I worked for Sainsbury’s for five years and only finished my employment a year ago. Their basic equality training for general members of staff is better than a lot of employers, but it isn’t hugely detailed. There is quite an indepth training package aimed at dealing with disabled customers, but nothing on homophobia, transphobia or indeed racism come to think of it. Anyone above the basic grade is usually trained in equality and fair treatment with specific and clear reference to sexuality. Gender identity isn’t picked up on as much as it should be. I’m pretty sure the way the world is going it won’t be long before it is, I have to say the three stores I worked in were very supportive/friendly/understanding about homophobia, I don’t think the company is out to be discriminatory on purpose. This person should be better trained though.

    1. Oh and I think it’s likely that the suggestion to use the disabled toilet was more of a reference to the unisex nature of that particular toilet, rather than to suggest the trans person was disabled because of their gender identity. This person is probably your average joe on the street who has no idea how to deal with trans issues and did the best they could think of. Really they should have just reported it to the duty manager as she was leaving anyway, and then hopefully they would have given better guidance.

      1. Ben Foster 9 Jul 2011, 8:54am

        a trans person is not unisex. that isn’t good enough.

  21. Oh…and seeking a little indulgence here…but here’s my own community take on this issue:

  22. Russell1947 9 Jul 2011, 3:35am

    Discrimination is a terrible thing. That said, isn.t it a little strange to take Victoria Saxe-Coburg as your new name? Can’t help but think that She Would NOT be amused!

    1. Ben Foster 9 Jul 2011, 8:56am

      it’s an unusual name, but so what. SHE is the victim here. stop digging at her. Sainsburys didn’t ask her name after all. their prejudice started before then.

  23. Oh well, yet another article on discrimination against a transwoman that is peppered with comments supporting the discrimination written by gay men. It seems to happen every time so why I am still surprised by this I don’t know. Every time there is an article of transfolk we wind up defending our own identity.
    “I’m not transphobic!” they say….”I just don’t believe that transwomen have the same rights as any other woman”….”They’re really men so I’m not surprised”…. “They are ugly and frightened the ‘real women'” etc etc etc.
    Guys, if something like this happened to you based on your sexual preference you would be the first to scream discrimination and homophobia.
    When it happens to us based on our gender identity it is also discrimination. It’s discrimination based on transphobia, and supporting it either by agreeing with it or excusing it is by transference similarly transphobic.

    1. Transphobia (or less commonly, transprejudice and trans-misogyny, the latter referring to transphobia directed toward transwomen) refers to discrimination against transsexuality and transsexual or transgender people, based on the expression of their internal gender identity (see Phobia – terms …

      1. Paddyswurds 9 Jul 2011, 11:06am

        ….you almost had me there until you posted a link to wikipedia, that font of wisdom and learning….not.
        FFS can you find no better backing for your argument than internet fiction.

        1. I’m not going to feed the troll………….

          1. Paddyswurds 9 Jul 2011, 4:46pm

            Wikipedia is shyte and those who refer to it as gospel are numbskulls.

  24. Seahorse1 9 Jul 2011, 5:03pm

    If allowing transsexuals into the ladies toilet equals potential safety issue for women, then what about gay men in the mens toilet? Doesn’t this increase the likelihood of male on male rape, or at the very least, straight men feeling ‘uncomfortable’ at the possibility of being looked at sexually? People do raise this as a question, see
    and also!/topic.php?uid=2204954479&topic=5149
    Using the same argument, lesbians shouldn’t be allowed in women’s toilets and bisexuals belong nowhere.
    This, perhaps, is an illustration of why questions of gender and sexuality sometimes do intersect. Perhaps on matters like this it is prudent to stand up for each others’ rights. Once you undermine one right, the rest can be legitimately questioned.

    1. Absolutely right. Its not about gender its about sexuality. The issue people have with transsexuals is that they dont know what the person is about. They assume they are a man in drag, or a ‘confused’ or ‘extreme’ gay man. They dont trust them because they are an unknown, they have no frame of reference in dealing with them. Its sad really and a little education would go a long way.

  25. Gosh,dont some trans folk live in a little bubble? Expecting every shmoo on minimum wage to be aware of the ins and outs of a topic even members of the “trans community” cant seem to get a grip on…….
    In my area lives a care in the community type who always goes out in the most outlandish outfits,sometimes his choice is to dress like a school girl other times its super heroes or cowboys….when he is dressed as a school girl should shop assistants turn a blind eye if he follows real school girls into the ladies loo’s?
    Its harsh but some of us just blend and will never be stopped,others dont and sorry,there is always going to be room for doubt in people who dont 24/7 live and breathe “trans issues” to be confused as to whether the person they see is some transvestite playing at being a lady for the day or a transexuall unfortunate to look less Vegas show girl more Jonny Vegas…I like everyone here knows next to nothing about these cases mentioned;cont

  26. so have no idea how the person in the shop presented or looks.
    Should this matter? Not in a fluffy bunny perfect world,no,but we are not in a fluffy bunny world and probably never will be…….I cant help but think that for all the positive steps taken by and for TS people this desire by the most vocal amongst “us” for inclusion of men who play dress up as less than helpfull to those of us without a fetish for costumes,stockings and cheap nylon wigs…………
    just a final point,in the recent rash of these stories the thing avoided by the woe is me lot is the fact that all the “victims” seem to say ” In XYZ years Ive never been asked to use the gents/disabled before….” yet of course that doesnt raise blood levels does it,pointing out that its a bloomin rare occurence doesnt play into the victim mentality of some….

  27. Gosh, I stopped reading the comments after a while. That such a story should generate over a 150 comments is a clear indicator of how transphobic the readership of pinknews is.

    Some comments are very offensive and transphobic – the fact pinknews editors haven’t removed them is a sad indicator of their editorial policy.

    1. I am so with you there. I think much of the comment is disgusting, transphobic and shows a total lack of empathy and insight into transexual lives. Somehow all this is the fault of the transwoman, not looking pretty enough, or daring to complain about her treatment as if somehow it’s ok to discriminate against transwomen just for being transwomen. Hells, according to some it’s not even discrimination! From a community that should be more than aware of the effects of discrimination against minorities all we get is more discrimination against another minority. Some of the comment is so over the top that it’s reported, continually, yet Pink News does nothing to curtail it. As you said, a sad indicator indeed.
      I think it indicates a deeper malaise in the GLBTI communitiy. Recently here a trans activist moved her radio program on trans and pansexual issues from a gay radio station to a community one. I totally understand why. You guys are a disgrace.

      1. And to top it off I just got to the comment whre I am apparently wrong about how I smell……I actually smell like a guy….and this guy knows….from several thousand km away……he really knows.
        I went to my female partner and told her that……she smelled me…..she’s still laughing…and that’s one of the underlying issues here…you’re all experts on transwomen, you know all about it but really? Really you don’t even start to get it but you’re all experts. It’s no wonder so many transwomen simply go stealth, you can’t pick them, they are just simply women……and yes they smell like women too. You won’t find them in your gay venues and I’m not a bit surprised. After this you won’t find me there either.

      2. Paddyswurds 10 Jul 2011, 10:14pm

        …..”Somehow all this is the fault of the transwoman, not looking pretty enough,” Noone is expecting the impossible but an effort to look like a woman would be appreciated.

        1. “Noone is expecting the impossible but an effort to look like a woman would be appreciated.”
          For who? You? Since when do trans people have to appease a small minded bigot like you? I hope you’re not gay, because if you are a bigoted gay man, then you’re a disgrace not only to gay men, but humanity. How you pollute this thread with your incomprehensible hate and mask it in your lame “humour” is disgusting.

    2. Secret Squirrel 11 Jul 2011, 12:27pm

      I know where you’re coming from. Up until I started dating women and encountered the gay scene, I was starting to come out about my trans status, from the perspective that it’s not something to be ashamed of. In the straight world it was very rare for me to meet anyone who treated me inappropriately upon learning my trans status.
      However, since living within the gay scene, I’ve learnt to be more often stealth (or rather, much more cautious) again. The gay scene is the most transphobic and homophobic scene I’ve encountered yet (which doesn’t help me with my residual trans shame and partial internalised trans phobia.)
      For reference, a selection of trans individuals in the gay scene don’t help matters much (there’s always one or two – that value selfishness and entitlement above contribution and respect, especially contribution and respect for safe and supportive spaces.)

      Having said that, the flip side is the non phobic individuals on the scene have all been very supportive when I’ve c

    3. Secret Squirrel 11 Jul 2011, 12:29pm

      Having said that, the flip side is the non phobic individuals on the scene have all been very supportive when I’ve chosen not to be stealth and have helped me no end to progress though my sense of shame. Still hard to find the right balance between privacy and openness though.

      I think a lot of how someone is treated, when someone is being treated unfairly, is related to their appearance. Even within the health service, including gender identity services, there has been an issue with different treatment depending on how trans a person does or does not look.

      Treating someone differently cos they look a bit odd to you is never gonna be cricket, is it?

      I think a golden rule of thumb is, if you’re making a decision about how you treat someone based solely on their looks – think a bit harder before continuing. With a bit of thought about what you’re basing your reactions on, before reacting, you can avoid getting yourself into an equality and diversity pickle.

      With regards t

    4. Secret Squirrel 11 Jul 2011, 12:30pm

      With regards to the non trans accepting comments, as long as they’re not rude and not hate crime, bring em on! Yes it’s hurtful, but people don’t change their views because they are silenced. There are some idiots here clearly unable to handle rational debate, but others just have different points of view or are just ignorant and willing to learn.


  28. de Villiers 10 Jul 2011, 8:30am

    I am reposting my message above here as the boxes are too narrow properly to read and I am concerned that my post that seeks persuasive argument on this matter is being improperly mischaracterised as transphobic.
    There is already differing treatment towards men and women. The issue of a black man being treated differently to a white man is an irrelevant comparator insofar as white and black man share the characteristic of being male and should be treated equally as males. The accepted starting point is that the differences between men and women allow differing treatment which would not otherwise be permitted.
    Second, sitting at the back of a restaurant or at the back of a bus implies a clear value judgement about the worth of that person – that they are not of sufficient value to be seen in the restaurant or to sit at the front of a bus. In other words, that they should be hidden from view. It relates to a very public display of disapproval.

  29. de Villiers 10 Jul 2011, 8:31am

    Providing toilet or changing facilities, however, requires segregation or rather separation of men and women and the providing of similar but different facilities. The provision of separate facilities implies no value judgment, whether positive of negative, of men or women. Similarly, requesting that a trans person uses different toilet or changing facilities implies no negative value judgment on them.
    The provision of different facilities recognises the particularly personal and private nature of getting undressed and being unclothed. In those circumstances, I can appreciate the objection that a person might have for a person who has a different physical sex to themselves sharing such intimate and private space during a state of undress.
    The mere swapping of colour with gender is unhelpful given that persons of different colour may not be treated differently whereas persons of different gender may, and may be required to be, treated differently.

    1. The transphobic bit is that transwomen are women and should not be treated differently from other women, clearly something you do not accept. That’s the transphobic bit……people who refuse to accept the trans persons true internal gender are demonstrating transphobia. Not nessarily a phobia in the ‘fear sense’ but the same as someone who does not acknowledge the existance of homosexuals except as a disease or some sort of confusion (and there are plenty) are regarded as demonstrating homophobia. I get that most the gay guys here are transphobic by their comments rationalising or excusing what happened to this poor woman. I just wonder why you all feel the need to comment at all if you can’t be supportive. I can only assume it’s a guy thing, maybe a gay guy thing.

    2. de Villiers 10 Jul 2011, 10:46am

      > I just wonder why you all feel the need to comment at all if you can’t be supportive.
      None of us “accept” understanding or argument without proper explanation and persuasion. The benefit of wisdom does not permeate by osmosis.
      A ‘phobia’ is an extreme or irrational fear of or aversion to something. By contrast, I have set out, openly and honestly, the basis of my understanding in a genuine spirit of enquiry. I was hoping for some rational discussion, explanation and persuasion rather than insults and branding. That is the need why I comment, as you have wondered.
      I am sorry to see my raising of questions where I have acknowledged my limited experience and sought to put calmly and dispassionately my own understanding being attacked as transphobic by yourself and Jane Fae. It is unpersuasive and has not advanced my appreciation of the problem as described by me immediately above.

      1. I wish the comments here were of honest enquiry. That would be actually engaging with transwomen to see how they felt, what it feels like to be trans, how we got there and maybe why we feel the way we do.
        But no one ever asks those questions. No one EVER actually engages with the trans population. All we get is heaps of transphobic (and insulting) comment. I’m looking at your posts. You haven’t asked a single question….it’s all opinion and transphobic opinion at that.
        I find you expectation that we have to argue for a very existence as actual women to YOUR satisfaction insulting. It is NOT my job or any other trans woman’s job here to educate you. It is not our job to address every transphobic comment here with a full rational arguement why it is wrong….not that you are listening anyway as you have been informed why often enough.

        1. If someone commented on a gay article why gays should be discriminated against or why it’s really ok to do that for any of the reasons posted here they would be quite rightly torn apart for their homophobia. Yet because there are so few of us it’s ok to post as much transphobic stuff here, call it arguement, when all it is truly is transphobic opinion. And then you all have the gall to get upset, to play the innocent victim, when actual transwomen call it out for what it is.
          Well if you want to really know read:
          The Praeger Handbook of transexuality by Rachel Heath.
          Or any number of personal accounts:
          Finding the real me or True selves come to mind.
          I know you won’t because this is more about persecuting trans people based on your personal beliefs than anything else.

        2. Paddyswurds 10 Jul 2011, 9:27pm

          @Gwen …
          …well actually you are wrong . If you read through again you will find I asked you in particular, a direct question and you ignored it so stop whinging until you have something to whinge about.
          You are your own worst enemy, what with your homophobia and huge shoulder chips as if the whole world owes you something.

          1. I wasn’t replying to you and usually won’t due to your entrenched long term transphobic comment. Interestingly though before I came to this site my experiences with gay guys were mostly positive. It’s only here that I have learned, partly from yourself, exactly how thansphobic the general gay population is.

          2. You’ve just said that one portion of the gay community i.e. the users of pink news has created you understanding of the entire gay population, do you not see the stupidity of that comment

      2. de Villiers 10 Jul 2011, 9:57pm

        Gwen, that is really hopeless. I put forward my understanding and looked for argument in response (if that is the right English word).
        I have not charged any burden on you to justify yourself. However, the issue of trans discrimination is not as simple as discrimination on grounds of sexuality – because of the difference in treatment that is permitted in relation to men and women which would not be permitted in relation to other protected grounds. Personal feelings are important but are not a trump. It needs proper explanation.
        Not for one moment have I tried to rejoice myself in the role of a victim. I was sorry (or regretful?) that my raising of questions resulted in nothing but attack rather than something useful to consider. I am sorry (or regretful?) that this has not enabled me to consider the point further with the benefit of more persuasive argument.

        1. Paddyswurds 10 Jul 2011, 10:27pm

          ……..Daring to comment in any way is like a red rag to these people and they all respond with the tired old Y’all don’t understand and Y’all are transphobic etc. Their whole lives have been in flux and no matter what they do or how anyone responds the will whinge; it is their lot in life and always will be which is why suicide is so prevelant amongst them.
          Their hatred of their own lives is probably why there is also a high incidence of homophobia amongst trannies as they are so jealous of Gay mens obvious happiness and ease with the way they were born. After all, in contrast to theirs, there is nothing we would want to change about our lives…simples!

          1. Didn’t they used to say the same thing about gay men??

        2. Look, you can put forward a viewpoint that most tranwomen would regard as transphobic but demanding that we respond to you with an arguement refuting your viewpoint just isn’t going to happen. Why would we engage with people that are fundamentally hostile to us? Why don’t you actually ask us for an opinion if you want one?

          1. That’s a reply to DeVilliers BTW although it applies to many others.

          2. de Villiers 11 Jul 2011, 8:06am

            To persuade people otherwise – the way we all do with people that disagree with us.

  30. Paddy old china,I doubt you actually have a life to change as you do seem to spend an awfull lot of time trawling arond looking to pick fights with “trannies”. May i suggest the next one you pick is with a Ford Trannie on the M 25?
    While Id like to make it clear that I distance myself from the uber paranoid brigade some of the comments have just been plain offensive,ah well,trolls will be trolls I suppose but that doesnt help me when I dispare that still the gobby bitter and twisted types are the ones that leave the biggest impresion on a lot of people. Maybe in the way that non camp gay men despaired of the media firiendly camp gay men stereotypes…sure,they exist,but they dont speak for or represent all of us.

    1. Paddyswurds 11 Jul 2011, 11:53am


  31. OK then. You all say you are not transphobic or transmisogynist. There is no evidence here that you are not and plenty that you are. Prove it to me that your not.

    1. Ignore the troll, he appears in every thread regarding trans people with the usual lol’s in lieu of an argument and to disguise his hate. He’s done it before. He’s a reptile.

      1. Paddyswurds 12 Jul 2011, 11:18am

        nd for your info i hate no-one but could quite possibly make an exception for someone who post the sort of shyte you just did.

        1. Funny that, I wouldn’t give a toss what a bitter ignorant fool like you thinks of me. Personally, you repulse me. I bet you get that a lot, so its probably water off a ducks back, but no matter.

          1. Paddyswurds 12 Jul 2011, 8:51pm

            ….bitter ? I don’t think so .I’m not the one spending my life trying to be something i can never be and so i have absolutely nothing to be bitter about. I am a gay man, happy and at ease with how I was born and am in a loving long term relationship…..and i know a sad loser when i see one. So how’s your life going for you?…..thought so1

        2. Paddyswurds 12 Jul 2011, 11:27am

          ….dont know what happened to my post but half of it is missing; S/B…You are talking absolute shyte. If you bother to read the thread you will find i have posted numerous comments and only one LOL as the comment really did make me laugh. Actually i rarely post LOLs as i find them inane and most of them are just not called for. Thinking about it i think this is my first but if you know different you will count them and point them out to me…not! As for troll I think it is you who is playing the troll as you havent actuially posted a legit comment on the story.

          1. For the love of civility, give it a bloody rest already. Yes, we can see you are a bigot. Well done. But now you’re a dull as fcuk OCD bigot – the worst kind.

  32. Just a note from a Sainsburys employee: All team leaders and senior staff are diversity and equality trained to support other staff and customers. All Sainsburys staff are required to follow equality and diversity values as part of our employment terms.

    I don’t know the details of the story but on the face of it the actions of the employee go against the company values regardless of the fact they are also illegal.

  33. This problem is going to go on until we give bigots their own toilets. I mean, I’m not prejudiced but let’s face it these transphobes are responsible for a great deal of crime against the rest of us so they really need to be segregated – on public transport too. I know this isn’t a politically-correct opinion but it’s a well-known scientifically proven fact that bigots are more happy amongst their own kind.

  34. Btw…I’m glad I stopped shopping at Sainsbury’s. Not only because of the toilet issue but because since I stopped eating the food they sell there I’m a lot more healthier. I don’t know whether I’m allowed to say this but I had no end of food poisoning and various bugs when I used to stop there. Tbh a little bird with some insider info had the same problem and told me they store stuff for far too long. Any parents out there: children with tiny stomachs are especially vulnerable to fungi and bacteria that tends to form around the food in the warehouses. To be on the safe side I wouldn’t shop there anyway.

  35. well if the ‘woman’ was really a man he should use the men’s loo’s. why should a man go in a womans toilets just because he dresses that way? duh. to people trying to make out he was saying he was disabled, he was clearly choosing a gender-neutral toilet as neither were particularly desirable options; a man in a ladies loo or someone that looks like a woman in the mens loo.

    1. But the woman wasn’t really a man, so that argument falls flat

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