en English

School toilets have long been a source of misery for children. Dirty, unhygienic and a place to be bullied out of the vision of teachers and staff. Lots of work has been done to try and promote all new facilities to achieve minimum standards that are conducive to health, privacy and hygiene, while not making them a place where secret activities such as drug-taking and bullying can occur.

The idea that the communal area of toilets should be shared, and visible to allow passive supervision, using transparent walls around the hand-washing facility, while still allowing privacy in the actual toilet is an excellent one.

With these new ideas in mind we should very much include the issue of gender. Do we really need to divide the genders. While the realisation that gender is very much a spectrum, rather than a binary ‘black or white’, ‘male or female’, there are many children who do not feel comfortable using a urinal. Transgender children very much identify with a gender that is different to their genetic sex. So for them, a transgirl having to use a urinal is degrading and abhorrent, while a transboy would feel very much like a peeping tom in the girls facilities.


It seems that the arguments against transchildren using the correct toilet, is simply to stop the potential for boys to peep at girls while they go to the toilet. This feels like not allowing people with disabilities to use more accessible facilities, just in case the able-bodied people find a way of abusing the system. Why should the transchildren suffer because some naughty children may be naughty?


Gender Identity Disorder is a medically recognised condition. People with Crohn’s disease and other bowel conditions that mean they have to use the toilet in a hurry are given special disposition to do so. So should transchildren.



Dr Helen Webberley is the founder of GenderGP. A passionate advocate for the transgender community, she continues to campaign for real change in the way that trans people are treated in society and particularly in relation to the barriers they face when accessing healthcare. Dr Webberley believes in gender-affirmative care and that the individual is the expert in their own gender identity.