• anonymous woman

Several years ago I used to go to lesbian/gay bars quite a lot. At the time, in the city I lived in there was an accepted norm in gay venues that people of either sex could use either toilet. They weren't officially gender neutral/mixed sex, but they effectively worked that way. One time I was using what was ostensibly the women's toilet and a man came in and barged into the cubicle after me, and sexually assaulted me using his fingers. I vaguely knew him and had always thought he was gay but either he wasn't or sexual attraction isn't always necessary for sexual assault.


When I have tried to say to people that I am uncomfortable with using mixed-sex toilets, they sometimes suggest it is ME that is being sexually inappropriate because it must mean I am obsessed with people's genitals. When I tried to explain to someone that it is different to a toilet in your home because it is a shared public space, I was told that my describing it as public meant it must be ME that wants to barge into cubicles after people.


I never told anyone about what happened to me, especially not in the context of this debate, because I feel pretty sure that a lot of people would think I was 'weaponising' my experience or even lying, or they might not really care what happened to me compared to the feelings of men who want to use toilets with women.


#unitedkingdom #publictoilets #bathrooms #sexualassault #trauma #safety