Transgender visitors to Center Parcs can reportedly not use the single-sex changing rooms of their choice unless they have gone through a “full transition” and have a Gender Recognition Certificate.
The holiday company’s changing facilities policy has been brought into the spotlight after a transgender woman got in touch to find out if there were any rules she should be aware of ahead of her visit to the Lake District, site.
According to PinkNews, Victoria Hodges has visited Center Parcs for the last three years, but this particular trip would be the first since transitioning.
Following her request, Victoria was reportedly told transgender guests could make use of “private changing rooms” on site, but having probed for further clarification that this meant she could not use the women’s changing rooms, a spokesperson responded to say: “Transgender guests are welcome to use the changing rooms that match with their acquired gender if they have gone through the full transition.
“If they are still in the transition period we would ask that they use the private changing facilities.”
News of the policy ignited a debate on Twitter after transgender support group Gendered Intelligence issued a response to the changing facilities policy.
“There is no justification for a blanket ban on trans people using single-sex facilities,” they wrote.
The Equality Act protects people at all stages of transition to access appropriate facilities and services. @CenterParcsUK should rethink this policy.
There is no justification for a blanket ban on trans people using single-sex facilities.
The Equality Act protects people at all stages of transition to access appropriate facilities and services. @CenterParcsUK should rethink this policy. https://t.co/CiVlLZrKHr
— Gendered Intelligence (@Genderintell) October 31, 2019
An emailed statement given to Yahoo UK by Center Parcs reads: “We always seek to make Center Parcs as inclusive and accessible as possible for all of our guests, visitors and employees.
”Within the spa area, we operate single sex, male and female, changing facilities. Having single sex changing facilities is in accordance with the Equality Act 2010 and we ask that guests use the changing facilities appropriate to their legally defined sex. If guests wish to use changing facilities appropriate to their gender, we will always speak to them to see what options are available to them, whilst taking into account and balancing the interests of other guests. We do offer all of our guests the option to use a private changing facility to ensure that all guests and visitors can use the spa.
“We appreciate that this is a deeply personal issue and we feel our policy is proportionate and compliant with the Equality Act 2010.”
It isn’t the first time changing room facilities policies have made headlines.
Back in 2017 Topshop has made a big move to promote gender equality by revealing the fashion chain will have gender-neutral changing rooms.
The news dropped only days after customer Travis Alabanza, a performance artist who, according to BuzzFeed, identifies as trans feminine and uses the pronoun “they,” was prevented from entering a Topshop women’s changing room.
Earlier this year, to celebrate the first year of London’s Transgender Pride, Wagamama announced it is to launch gender-neutral toilets to 40% of its restaurants, eventually aiming to have gender-neutral toilets in all of its restaurants.