I want cafes, pubs and other public buildings who have gender neutral toilet facilities to display a sign in their windows advertising that fact, so that transgender individuals like me don't have to suffer the embarrassment and worry caused by having to choose between male and female toilets.
Growing up as a girl, I knew that I never really fitted in or felt comfortable in myself. When I heard the term transgender, I realised it described me. But it’s very hard to come out publicly and make the change. I was so scared - but I needn’t have been. My family and friends have been so supportive, and I’ve never had any abuse or bullying.
But as I don’t particularly look like a guy, I get misgendered a lot. Even when I’ve explained I’m transgender, many people simply don’t have a clue what that means. It makes it very difficult to choose which public loo to use.
I’ve had people say, “you’re in the wrong bathroom,” and I’ve had to explain, “I am a guy.” Then they look me up and down and sceptically answer, “oooh-kay.” It makes me feel so awkward.
This has been a real issue for me - although I’ve never had abuse, I get really worried about which toilet to use when I’m out, especially at night in pubs, when drunk men stare at me if I use the loos. So now I use the ladies at night, but I wish I didn’t have to.
For transgender people, gender neutral facilities take away all the stress, worry and embarrassment. And hopefully it’ll spread wider across the country, making everywhere more welcoming.