Wow! Wow! and thrice wow!

Good news!

On the leisure centre front, no less.

I sort of expected things to be OK. But I was a little worried as I picked up the phone to speak to the centre manager this morning. Didn’t matter that I hadn’t done anything wrong. I still felt like I was one element in a problem she’d had dumped on her desk – and therefore that put me on my guard.

You know the feeling: even crime victims are a “problem” of sorts. Because they require the police to attend, use up resources, and so on. (I know, I know…but I’d guess most of you reading this also know very well what I’m getting at).

For once, I was wrong. Totally, utterly (and for that, full marks to Leisure Connection, who run the centre).

I was sort of expecting a grudging compromise. Or worse, a slightly weaselly “we sympathise, but {insert bureaucratic excuse here}”.

But no: pretty much the first remark was: “well, there isn’t an issue. You have a right to use the (women’s) changing room.”

End of.



No. That’s it. I have a right to use it: the centre will back me. They are happy to chat to GIRES for advice. They may do a little bit of beefing up their equality and diversity notices around the place (good!). They will also stick up more prominently signs about abuse and threats of violence (also good!).

They might take up my offer of talking to visitors – but there was no need for me to “explain myself” (very, very good, though I said I’d be happy to frame any talk as more broadly educational, on transitioning and trans issues in general).

And that was pretty much that.

She was aware of ONE previous remark made by a female customer, who had politely inquired whether there was a bloke using the female facilities. On being told that I was trans, that individual apparently went away happily.

But it re-assures. There is no groundswell of women going to management behind my back and expressing “discomfort”.

There may, on the other hand, be one or two blokes being “uncomfortable” on behalf of their poor defenceless women!

So that’s that. Stand down the cavalry: I’ll be back at the centre (nervously, I know) in a fortnight, when its again my turn to take the boy to swim.

Other than that, if anyone else out there is ever in a similar position, I refer you to this EHRC page, which a friend and regular commenter on this blog reminded me of yesterday:

Just click the link about “Access to changing rooms”. It feels pretty comprehensive – and also fairly straightforward.



6 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    cnlester said,

    Amazing! And thank you for sharing all of this – vile and horrible, but thank god for a good outcome x

  2. 2

    A very positive outcome from the whole thing!

  3. 3

    Lucy Melford said,

    Well done – on both sides.

    Men who feel uncomfortable about all this should take note and get some therapy!


  4. 4

    Phoebe said,

    Brilliant. Do you know how much this is contingent on GRC/GRC-pending status?

  5. 6

    kerri (australia) said,

    Great news jane, why should you feel the guilty party, you have to laugh though dont you , really a guy in a pink shirt questioning your right to access facitlities, what about him, he doesnt like the way you dress, get over it, i told you come to australia pack up the horse and cart lol….andrea and the kids and relocate here, we are nice people, even OPHRA reckons that, we are not as judgemental…and gregs opinion was well “I wish i had of being standing beside jane , see how far that idiot would have got, not far”,….you go back and ignore them….x

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