The toilet at Charleston Trust. Picture: Linda Grant
The toilet at Charleston Trust. Picture: Linda Grant

‘Gender-neutral’ toilets lashed online

AN ART gallery and historic property is questioning changing its gender-neutral toilets after a photo of them was lashed on social media.

Linda Grant, from Liverpool in the UK, was at Charleston Trust earlier this month when she criticised the layout of the toilets - specifically that people trying to use a cubicle in one of the facilities would be required to walk past a large urinal.



Charleston Trust, located around two hours south of London, has two gender-neutral toilets - one for women and one for men. The male gender-neutral toilet has the urinal at its entrance.

Ms Grant argued, despite there being a toilet without a urinal for women to go in, that toilet block only had five cubicles.

The men's toilet has eight cubicles, "thus reducing access to women", Ms Grant said.

"When you walk into the one with urinals, if a man is using it then it's not possible to avoid seeing him with his penis out because of the siting of the urinal. I'd suggest this offers more choice for men and less for women," she added.

The photo of the toilet block went viral on Twitter, with many lashing the decision to keep the urinal at the entrance.

"Noooo. That's horrible," one person tweeted. "Only a bloke could have signed this off. @CharlestonTrust, what are you thinking?"

"Seriously? Yet *every* time we complain about mixed sex toilets we're told we're being ridiculous because they are all individual cubicles. That there is a men's toilet. Surely 99 per cent of fathers wouldn't want their young daughters going in there," another wrote.


Linda Grant posted the picture on Twitter. Picture: Linda Grant
Linda Grant posted the picture on Twitter. Picture: Linda Grant

Charleston Trust has since responded to the backlash, confirming it has considered removing the urinal.

"At Charleston we are committed to creating safe, welcoming and inclusive spaces for all our visitors and staff," the property wrote in a statement.

"We introduced gender-inclusive toilets in one area of our site in September 2018 to help members of the queer and trans community feel safe with us and to ensure disabled visitors who need assistance are not troubled by the gender of their carer.

"The doors to each block of toilets are clearly labelled so that before entering, visitors know which block contains urinals and individual cubicles and which one contains only individual cubicles. We recognise that the way the toilets are currently designed has practical limitations and are exploring removing the urinals to make both toilet blocks truly gender inclusive.

"We are also mindful that some people may be uncomfortable using gender-inclusive facilities and so continue to provide gender-specific toilets in another area of our site.

"Our ultimate aim is to be considerate and respectful of everyone's needs.

"We want Charleston to be a place people can enjoy without fear of being made to feel uncomfortable, unwelcome or unsafe because of their race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, sex, gender identity or expression, religion, cultural background, age, or physical or mental ability."