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In a press release this afternoon, LUSU have confirmed that gender-neutral toilets have been installed at the Sugarhouse to make the venue accessible to transgender students. The statement read as follows:
“The five-cubicle gender-neutral block has been installed as part of a £40,000 programme of improvements at the Lancaster University Students’ Union Sugarhouse nightclub.
LUSU created the new toilet block as part of its commitment to making its services as accessible as possible for all its members. Vice-President (Welfare & Community) Anna Lee said: “The Sugarhouse is run by LUSU and this means that we can make it match the needs of students, and a safe and inclusive space and use it to lead change. “It is often assumed that people only define as a man or a woman (often described as a binary), but this is not the case. About 30 per cent of young trans people define as non-
binary – which means it’s not appropriate to ask them to choose between men’s and women’s toilets.
“That’s why this summer we have created a gender-neutral set of toilets in The Sugarhouse. They are simply marked as ‘toilets’, because that’s what they are; toilets – doing the audacious thing of letting everyone be able to pee.”
Anna was keen to see the new facilities installed in the club because of her own experience of using public toilets as a trans person. She said: “As a trans person going to the toilet in public is scary. I used to get really anxious, which made me need to go even more. I used to go the whole day holding it in just out of fear. Many trans people face violence and ridicule when they go to the toilet of their gender.
“I’d like to see gender neutral toilets to be normalised and made mandatory in venues all across the country, not just in clubs or student unions, but in the work place, in the streets, everywhere.”
Further improvements made at the club include a revamped entrance, new decoration, new furniture and the installation of a new bar. Sugarhouse manager Sally Kay said: “We’re so proud of the changes we’ve made at The Sugarhouse this summer. Our new entrance will reduce queueing and inside we’ve really improved the look of the club with new furniture, some eye-catching graphics and several other improvements.
“Not only that, by creating the gender-neutral loos we’ve been able to make The Sugarhouse more welcoming to a wider proportion of the student population. That’s something that’s really important to us, and it’s amazing to think that making such a small change can make such a difference to some of our customers.”