Manchester’s Metrolink asking people if they are transgender before they can use Wi-Fi

Nick Duffy June 12, 2015
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Manchester’s Metrolink is asking commuters whether they are transgender – when they are registering to use free Wi-Fi.
Manchester’s Metrolink asking people if they are transgender before they can use Wi-Fi
Transport for Greater Manchester has recieved dozens of complaints about the form used when signing up to use wi-fi on the city’s Metrolink tram service.

Asking for “some extra details” in order to create an account, users have to pick “Male”, “Female” or “Transgender”.

Trans activists say that the form is offensive because it implies transgender people are not male or female – and also because they are just trying to use the free internet.

One Reddit user wrote: “Trans people would just tick the male or female box as appropriate to their gender. Having the options of ‘male/female/transgender implies that trans people are neither male nor female which is kinda s***y.”

Laurence Webb of Manchester’s LGBT Foundation told the Manchester Evening News: “It’s really great that Metrolink want to be welcoming and inclusive to their trans customers.

“However, many people have been made uncomfortable by their updated form, listing the gender options ‘male, female, transgender’ because transgender is not a gender but an adjective – you can be a transgender woman, a transgender man or a non-binary transgender person, but you cannot be ‘a transgender’ just like you can be a short woman, man or non-binary person but you can’t be ‘a short.’”

A Transport for Greater Manchester spokesperson told the newspaper: “Metrolink is very proud of its well-established links to, and support for, the LGBT community.

“Because of those links, we elected to include the ‘transgender’ category, in addition to male and female options, to provide as inclusive a service as possible.

“We included a further category, ‘prefer not to say’, to give customers as broad a choice as possible, relating to their personal preference.

“However, we’ve since reviewed the need to include this question at all as part of the registration process and, on balance, have decided it is not needed.”

Related topics: England, Manchester, metrolink, train, tram, transport, wi-fi

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