High street fashion favourite Topshop have removed their women-only changing rooms in favour of gender neutral changing rooms.
The pioneering move was made following a complaint from performance artist, Travis Alabanza, who identifies as trans feminine.
Travis – who prefers to use the pronouns ‘them’ and ‘their’ – was wearing a dress and make-up at Topshop’s Manchester store last weekend when they were denied access to the women’s changing room.
Taking to Twitter, Travis informed the brand they were denied access. ‘Who made you in charge of deciding who is woman enough to use your changing room?’ they asked. ‘You just lost an easy sale and money.’
[twitter] https://twitter.com/travisalabanza/status/927198660089339904[/twitter]The company then issued a statement saying that they were gender neutral.
According to reports at The Sun it’s understood that the policy changed in the summer but staff were not informed.
A spokeswoman for the store, which is popular with teenage girls, told the paper: ‘The Topshop and Topman fitting rooms are available for all customers to use.’
However the decision to go gender neutral has divided opinion, with one customer fuming on Twitter: ‘That’s Topshop scored off my list of places to shop with teenage daughters.’
This commenter agreed: ‘v disappointed 2 hear men now allowed in girls changing putting their safety at risk, due to One Man. Won’t be back.’
One mum said that ‘flimsy curtains’ were not enough to deter people spying on ‘little girls’ trying on clothes, although another argued that ‘pervs’ were just as likely to be female, adding that ‘most changing rooms are monitored anyway.’
There were also a flurry of comments in support of Travis, with many commending the thespian for their persistence with the store.
‘You are changing the world and opening up bits of space for others to exist in, your legacy will be massive. Solidarity,’ one supporter wrote.
‘This makes me so angry! I’m so sorry you had to go through this,’ another added.
What do you think of Topshop’s gender neutral changing room policy? Let us know in the comments box below.