This video shows bar staff refusing to allow a trans woman access to their ladies’ toilet, apparently on the orders of their boss.
The landlady of the Foresters Arms, in Ramsgate, east England, has reportedly given strict instructions to her staff not to allow trans women to use the ladies bathroom because ‘she is concerned with losing business’.
That is the claim made by Joanna, a trans woman who made the video.
She visited the Foresters Arms earlier this week and recorded the exchange with a member of the bar staff who repeatedly told her that she was not allowed to use the ladies’ restroom.
In the video, the barmaid, clearly unhappy at having to enforce this policy, explains to Joanna and her friends: ‘If Joanna did need a wee right now there would be an issue.’
When Joanna explains that she does need to use the toilet, she replies: ‘I can’t let you in. You know I can’t.
She goes on: ‘It’s not my rule. I ran a pub and we did have transgenders go in and when they did we didn’t give a shit.’
The recording concludes with Joanna commenting: ‘So I can’t go for a wee unless I go in the men’s?’
The barmaid agrees. At this point, according to Joanna, she and her friends were the only people present in the pub.
Joanna also presented ID to the barmaid, including her driver’s license and a credit card which clearly identify Joanna as legally female.
GSN has also received reports that a second trans woman rang the pub to take issue with their policy, only to be told that lawyers agree the landlady has the right to stop a trans woman from using the ladies’ loo on the grounds they are not a ‘full woman’.
GSN has not been able to independently substantiate this second claim.
This, however, appears to contravene the UK’s Equality Act.
In 2014, a transgender woman from Halifax received £1,500 ($2,110 €1,890) in compensation after a court ruled she had been discriminated against by a pub which refused to allow her to use the ladies lavatories.
Gay Star News contacted the Foresters Arms to ask for their side of the story. A woman who identified herself as the landlady called back.
We asked her if she had instructed their staff to block trans access to the ladies’ loos.
She demanded to know why we were calling them and where we had got the story from. She claimed it might have been sourced from an ‘illegal film put up on social media’.
We explained we were investigating allegations her pub was implementing the policy and wanted to understand their side of the story.
She responded: ‘From this information printed on the sheet it says I don’t have to answer.’
She then terminated the conversation.
The pub has since seen its rating tumble drastically on Facebook as visitors to their page rank it at one-star and criticize it for transphobia.
There has also been discussion on social media that local activists should visit the pub and that, as in the US, where arguments over the use of bathroom facilities have been sharper, trans men should make use of the ladies to illustrate the problems with the pub’s current policy.