Time is running out to support the Pee without Prejudice campaign and we need your help to liberate our loos for the LGBTQ+ community.
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To our members,
You may have seen our call-to-action last week for a Government consultation on toilet provisions for men and women. We wanted to bring the issue to the attention of the Greenwich community as a call for solidarity to help protect our LGBTQ+ students and staff.
The UK Government are currently challenging the necessity for accessible bathrooms for all, putting people within the Greenwich community at risk. Though this may seem trivial to some, it’s a microaggression – an action that may seem small but can have the unintended consequence of harming or excluding LGBTQ+ students and staff.
Debating issues that disproportionately affect underrepresented groups gives space for the dominant and often less informed voices to make decisions, which is why we need to come together to amplify those that are often unheard.
Questioning whether we need inclusive bathrooms prevents people who do not conform to gender norms, particularly those within the trans community, from moving freely and comfortably through life. Accessing simple necessities like using the toilet is a privilege that we are all accustomed to in our everyday lives; however, this consultation could strip this freedom away from our students and staff, making their everyday lives harder and less comfortable.
Some students at Greenwich has told us why this issue is important to them:
“For me gender neutral bathrooms are vital to unity within the LGBTQ community. It is also about the safety and security of students and how they are able to feel themselves in a high pressured educational system. Not only is this important for LGBTQ students but it is also important for those who are disabled as they usually feel more included when the bathrooms are gender neutral. As a non binary student, I would feel very at home in a University that values the identity of trans and Non binary students who enter their buildings.”
“As of 2020, hate crimes reports by trans people targeted for their gender identity have quadrupled. Having a gender neutral space is essential for the safety of all people in this country, with approximately 500,000 people marked in the annual census as identifying with a gender different than the one assigned at birth, though if it likely to be much higher given the factors which prevent transgender people being honest about their identities duento mass stigmatisation and persecution.”
As a collective we feel it necessary to highlight issues that affect our community. We ask you to support us in changing the culture, educating ourselves and each other, and campaigning together to amplify those voices that often go unheard.
There’s still a way to go in terms of basic and universal inclusivity, and it has been great to see a commitment at Greenwich to do better on issues such as this. Now it is key that we hold ourselves to this and encourage our local community to stand alongside us to ensure that we see wider cultural change. We recognise the structures we have in place currently are limited; going forward we must keep pushing for better to make Greenwich more inclusive for us all.
We really encourage you to get involved with the Government’s consultation and speak up for yourself and/or those in our community that will be impacted. We’ve sourced a template email that you can use. You can send it, with any additions you would like to make, to email@example.com.
This consultation closes at 11.45pm this Friday 26th February, so make sure you have your say as soon as possible if you haven’t already.
Thank you in advance for your support.
GSU Liberation Organisers
For more information about LGBTQ+ people at University and the issues they face (content warning: homophobic slurs featured on this page) visit stonewall.org.uk/lgbt-britain-university-report.
If you need support on any issues raised due to this article, you can contact: