Trans woman banned from women’s toilet at her local pub
A trans woman has been “humiliated and made to feel like an outcast” by her local pub.
Ashleigh Haffenden has been banned from using the women’s toilet at the Devonshire pub in Bexhill, East Sussex.
The pub’s landlord told BBC News that his customers needed to feel safe and comfortable, but declined to provide any further comment.
Ms Haffenden, 52, came out publically as a woman three months ago, and said no-one deserved to be treated like a second-class citizen.
The professional carer, who has not as yet undergone gender reassignment surgery, said she had never had any problems with other customers at the pub.
She said: “Every time I’ve gone into the toilets in the Devonshire, as I’ve walked in if there are ladies in there, I’ve gone: ‘Excuse me, I feel more comfortable in here than in the Gents’, so is it ok?’, and they’ve all gone: ‘Fine.’”
Ms Haffenden, who has two sons, added: “Women seem to be more accepting than the men.
“I think it’s the men that feel threatened.”
Ms Haffenden has not yet made a formal complaint, but trans people are protected under the UK’s Equality Act 2010, which makes discrimination illegal in wider society and the workplace.
Labour MP Caroline Flint intervened in a debate in December about trans equality to claim that gender-neutral toilets put women at risk.
There was also an anti-trans protest outside the Westminster Social Policy Forum last year, with signs demanding “No trans in women’s toilets” and “no trans in women’s changing rooms”.