Topshop announces gender-neutral changing rooms

Topshop has announced it will no longer feature separate cubicles for men and women after pressure from transgender customers.

The move comes after a transgender customer claims they were refused access to female cubicles.

Travis Alabanza took to Twitter after being denied access to the female changing room to try a dress on in a Manchester store.

Alabanza, a performance artist who identifies as trans feminine, was wearing a dress and makeup at the time, but was told by an assistant to go to the male changing room.

Speaking to Buzzfeed about the encounter, they said: “She wasn’t rude, but she wasn’t sympathetic either,”

“I said, ‘I’m not going to be safe down there. What do you want me to do?’ and they just kind of shrugged.

“I did think I could buy the dresses and take them home to try on, but I felt like, why am I doing this?

My day instantly became politicised when all I wanted was a chill day shopping.”

Topshop later contacted Alabanza and reiterated their policy that all changing rooms were available for everyone, which the assistant was not aware of at the time.

An email, which confirmed the fashion chain’s updated policy, read: “As part of our commitment to equal opportunities and non-discrimination, we felt our policy needed updating.

“Though typically located in specific product areas such as Topshop or Topman, our fitting rooms are now available for all customers to use. This has been communicated across the chain.”

Travis added: “It goes beyond responding that they have all-gender changing rooms.

“They clearly need to train the staff about what it means to serve every kind of customer, how to advocate for us and respond against people who are phobic.”

The new policy has caused controversy among some of its customers, with a discussion on Mumsnet attracting 600 responses in several hours.

On Twitter, responses to the move have been mixed:

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