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

Ben Colliver, Melindy Duffus

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    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.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalSexuality Research and Social Policy
    Publication statusPublished (VoR) - 26 Oct 2021


    • Sexuality
    • Space
    • Gender
    • inclusion
    • Exclusion
    • Access
    • Toilets


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