News

Can we talk about the toilets please?

Posted on Tue 27 Feb 2018
example of sign for gender neutral toilets

Plans for gender-neutral toilets announced

Here at Watershed it’s important we are accessible to all communities who use us – and a big part of that access is the toilets – particularly the provision of gender-neutral toilets.  If you are wondering what a gender-neutral toilet is then just think about your own home, where we all have gender-neutral toilets. Simply put they allow anyone, of any gender, to use whichever toilet they prefer.

Gender-neutral toilets tend to be better and safer for many people within society, particularly for transgender people, non-binary people, LGBT people, parents and guardians and disabled people. Gendered facilities often invoke anxiety for trans and LGBT people who may experience harassment or intimidation due to how they are perceived in gender-segregated spaces. Parents and guardians often need to accompany their children into public toilets for safety, or to assist them, which can be a problem for adults who are a different gender to their children. Disabled people with PAs also benefit from gender-neutral facilities.

We have been thinking about this for a while now and are delighted to be able to announce our plans to transform the toilets which are beyond the Café & Bar, into gender-neutral toilets with cubicles. We’ve already had our first meeting with our architects and once we have the designs and specs we will share the full schedule with you – hopefully the work will be completed by the Summer.

 

In the meantime with A Fantastic Woman opening on Fri 2 March, whose central character is a young transgender woman, we have been looking into how we can increase (albeit only on a temporary basis) our current provision of gender-neutral toilets and we’ve come up with the following plan…

We have two self-contained staff toilets that are situated at the back of Cinema 2/3 which can be used as gender-neutral toilets for the next couple of weeks. Whilst we know that these are still not ideal because of their location we hope you agree that it’s better than not trying to find a solution.

Because of where they are (right next door to Cinema 2 and very near to Cinema 3) we ask everyone using these toilets to please try to keep the noise levels as low as possible when passing the cinemas to avoid disturbing the screenings.

As with all of our thinking and planning we want to hear from you – we would love your feedback. Please rest assured that our intent is always to make everyone feel welcome and secure, and we take your thoughts really seriously. Our commitment to inclusion is a core part of our values and it’s important to us to listen and learn.

Thank you for your support – please do get in touch if you would like to talk about toilets or any other matter!

You can reach me here – louise@watershed.co.uk

I hope to see you at Watershed very soon.

With kind regards

Louise Gardner
Head of Communications 

Many thanks to Ellen Murray – ellenmurray.co.uk/accessible