Queer Space: Toilet Provision, Access and Inclusion in the West Midlands

Colliver, Ben and Duffus, Melindy (2021) Queer Space: Toilet Provision, Access and Inclusion in the West Midlands. Sexuality Research and Social Policy. ISSN 1553-6610

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Abstract

Introduction
This article explores issues relating to toilet provision in queer spaces. With a specific focus on the implementation of gender neutral toilets, it interrogates both practical and symbolic issues of inclusivity and accessibility.
Methods
The findings presented in this paper are based on 12 semi-structured interviews that were conducted and analysed in 2020. The data was analysed thematically, utilising an inductive approach to analysis.
Results
The results from this study highlight that spaces often considered ‘inclusionary’ operate within a number of ‘exclusionary’ frameworks. These unspoken and informal ‘rules’ and practices operate to exclude people considered ‘undesirable’ and function to uphold power structures that privilege cisgender, white gay men.
Conclusions
This article extends our understanding of the ways in which people engage with, and access, both gender neutral, and sex-segregated toilets. Through an analysis of complex issues relating to accessibility, inclusivity and the politicisation of queer spaces, this article argues that the implementation of gender neutral toilets holds strong practical and symbolic power within a heteronormative, cis-normative society.
Policy Implications
The results from this study indicate that providing more gender neutral spaces improves accessibility for a range of people, but also has significant political power in challenging cisnormative, heteronormative standards.

Item Type: Article
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1007/s13178-021-00658-8
Dates:
DateEvent
12 October 2021Accepted
26 October 2021Published Online
Uncontrolled Keywords: Sexuality, Space, Gender, inclusion, Exclusion, Access, Toilets
Subjects: CAH15 - social sciences > CAH15-01 - sociology, social policy and anthropology > CAH15-01-01 - social sciences (non-specific)
CAH15 - social sciences > CAH15-01 - sociology, social policy and anthropology > CAH15-01-02 - sociology
Divisions: Faculty of Business, Law and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences > Dept. Criminology and Sociology
Depositing User: Ben Colliver
Date Deposited: 18 Jan 2022 10:23
Last Modified: 18 Jan 2022 10:23
URI: http://www.open-access.bcu.ac.uk/id/eprint/12661

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