Topshop just got rid of gender-specific changing rooms

Topshop has changed its policy on gender-specific changing rooms. (Photo: Getty Images)
Topshop has changed its policy on gender-specific changing rooms. (Photo: Getty Images)

Topshop has made a big move to promote gender equality: Stores will have gender-neutral changing rooms.

The retailer did not return Yahoo Lifestyle’s request for comment; however, on Wednesday, a representative told the Daily Mail, “All TOPSHOP TOPMAN customers are free to use any of the fitting rooms located within our stores.”

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.

“I normally online shop for this reason,” Alabanza told the publication. “But we were going in a group [to an event] so I thought it would be fun to go shopping in a group. We were in quite a good mood and all found outfits that we all wanted to wear.”

That day, Alabanza was wearing a dress and makeup and after waiting in line for the women’s room, was told by a store clerk and a manager to use the rooms one floor down at Topman. “I said, ‘I’m not going to be safe down there. What do you want me to do?’ and they just kind of shrugged,” Alabanza told BuzzFeed.

Later that day, Alabanza tweeted the following note. “Hey @topshop, I just experienced transphobia in your Manchester store. Not letting me use the changing room I decide is s***, sort it out.”

Many of Alabanza’s supporters offered their support, with one sharing a photo of all-gender fitting rooms at Urban Outfitters, as a positive example.

However, there’s been confusion over how long Topshop has maintained gender-neutral changing rooms. One Twitter user responded to Alabanza’s tweet with a screenshot of a July email from the store, which read in part, “We do not tolerate discrimination in any form” in response to an unspecified incident.

Another follower posted a note in what appears to be from Topshop, stating that, “At this time, our changing rooms are gender-specific. However, we expect our staff to be sensitive to the needs of our customers…”

Yahoo Lifestyle reached out to Alabanza for comment but did not hear back.

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