Rainbows and walls


Over on Pink News, there’s a report about ‘red wall voters’ and there view on trans people using changing rooms. For overseas readers, the North of England (hint: Scotland is another country in the Union – at least currently in the Union 🙂) is generally chattier and has a different sense of humour to the South. Not better or worse, just different. Plus, the working class and labour/union movement roots of the North tended to make folk lean more left than right in politics. Hence, the Red Wall. But, and like much in life, things are really A or B. There’s a not of complexity and nuance.

Background aside, the article states that the assumption that northern folk are socially conservative doesn’t line up with the evidence in a recent poll by YouGov. Plus, in terms of views around trans acceptance, they’re sightly higher.

On transgender rights, 35% of the Red Wall agree that transgender women should be allowed to use female changing rooms, versus 28% who disagreed with this position (36% did not know or did not support either suggestion). Among the British public, these figures stand at 35% and 27% respectively (37% did not know or did not support either suggestion).

YouGov 2021 survey

The negative in that report are that acceptance of trans people by women has slipped, and given the –ahem– information (add your own air quotes or the prefix ‘dis’ 😉) that’s pumped out via certain outlets. A cruel person might say excreted, but that would be mean. 🙂

But… COVID19 aside, many folk on the transgender spectrum are quietly getting on with their lives. Even for part timers line myself, there are occasional trips out and the only issue I’ve had about changing rooms was an assistant trying to get me to use a booth for disabled people. Uh, no. I don’t have any special needs, so I feel it would be wrong to deny someone who does.

The needs and culture of the next generation

What, if anything, can we draw from the above survey? Well, I’d say, keep on being you. Keep on getting out when you can, be polite, and challenge transphobia whenever you can.

L x


  1. I think you may find its got rather more to do with what you look like, rather than anything else! Try to use a Ladies while looking like Les Dawson cleaners presentation and people (Northerns as well as Southerns ) are going to notice and have something to say on the subject, try to use the Ladies while looking like Paris Lees and nobody will notice.

    Sometimes its a matter of presentation, rather than abuse

    1. The complexity around ‘how you look’ can be quite painful for some. I think it leans into Passing Privilege and then “you can’t come into this space because you aren’t X enough.”. That caused some horrible blowback to women during the Bathroom Bill fiasco, where Assigned Female At Birth women were being challenged by others of they were in the right bathroom. How upsetting must that have been?

      In terms of spaces, I think Laverne Cox’s words are a good start in terms of reflection and finding a way forward:

      “We have to be able to ask ourselves, ‘Am I feeling uncomfortable or am I feeling unsafe? And is my uncomfortability going to impede on the rights of other people?”

      1. You raise a very good point, to which there is no very good answer. My original comment was trying to address the issue of a man just claiming to be a woman, making no attempt at presentation, ie the image of Les Dawson ‘Ada Shufflebotham’, a crude caricature of a woman. As with most people I am total against the abuse of a restroom for purpose of voyeurism. But can well understand the case of a transperson wanting to use the right restroom.

        I can see it being very tricky in legal circles to define what is a trans person is without them having something like a gender recognition certificate and its my understanding that they are very difficult to get, hence the current attempt to change the law in this area.

        You need something better than somebody just being able claim at whim that their gender is now male/female and less intrusive that the current GRC procedure.

        1. With the Equality Act, trans people have enjoyed more equality compared to where they were in the decades previous. Given the push back and also the political games to pull votes in, things to not feel great and I think I get the level of frustration in our community.

          The ‘bloke dressed up to get into the ladies’ seems a fear that is often mentioned as a reason why trans people shouldn’t be allowed in certain areas. However, the research to find such a bogeyman, well, it just doesn’t seem to be a thing. Plus, I feel we’re back to predatory men being the problem, not trans folk.

          I think something will be resolved, but it may take a number of years and possibly a court case or two, to get things right. Our current government seem opposed to any reform. There’s a post about how the working group was dissolved due to then having a fundamental difference of opinion compared to the minster. However, the working group also had the backing of most of the public. It needs to be a lot better.

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