A trans woman has blasted a hotel and spa who asked if she wanted to use unisex changing rooms instead of women’s, claiming the experience ‘ruined her day’.
Ann Coombes took to Twitter after she was unable to get her locker key to work in the women’s changing room at the four-star Mercure Hotel in Sheffield.
The trans woman complained that a member of staff ‘assumed she wanted to use unisex transition facilities.
Angry at being treated as ‘I’m not a woman’, she tweeted: ‘I’m so angry. I’m at the Mercure Hotel in Sheffield and I fancy using the swimming pool. I couldn’t get my locker key to work on the ladies.
Turns out, the assistant “assumed” I wanted a unisex changing room. Dressed like this with me’, shared a picture of her wearing a blue skirt and top on Sunday.
She added: ‘This is the first time anyone has ever treated me IRL (in real life) like I’m not a woman… Polite people accept the rules of self-identification. If in doubt find a polite way to ask, don’t assume’.
But Olympic swimmer Sharon Davies, who is campaigning to keep biological men out of women’s sports, said: ‘You men, use changing rooms with other men or at least unisex changing rooms! Deciding to change where you want to change does not undermine the rights of women and girls. Ps I don’t know a woman who would subject others to that level of discomfort’.
A trans woman has blasted a hotel who asked if she wanted to use the unisex changing rooms when she arrived to use the swimming pool, claiming the experience ‘ruined her day’.
Twitter user Anne Coombs took to social media after she was unable to get her locker key to work in the ladies’ changing room at the Mercure Hotel in Sheffield.
Her tweets went viral and the next day she said: ‘I’ve been overwhelmed by the number of people who have gone out of their way to express their concerns and offer their support, whether virtual or real. Thank you to each of you, I value your standing as an ally.
‘And to all the people who weren’t there for me, I’m sorry but I’m going to exist, I’m not going away. It doesn’t matter how many lies you tell about me, I’ll still be here when you run out of things to say’.
Reactions to his tweets have been mixed. A friend said: ‘Anne sorry to hear this has happened to you and sorry for the abuse you have had to endure. I stand with you’.
But one critic said: ‘If you know you make some women uncomfortable why can’t you use unisex changing rooms? How hard is it?’
It comes as women’s rights campaigners, including author JK Rowling, are desperately trying to stop public bodies and businesses from replacing separate male and female toilets with gender neutral ones that are being installed to make trans people more welcoming.
From the National Trust to UK theaters and even the Houses of Parliament, proposals to install gender-neutral toilets have been blasted as alarmist and dangerous.
In May, parents at Walsall Academy, near Wolverhampton, feared new gender-neutral toilets would mean 11-year-olds sharing toilets with 18-year-olds of the opposite sex.
There were reports of students recording each other in the toilets, while teenage girls were refusing to drink water because they were forced to wait until they returned home before relieving themselves.
Meanwhile late last month, The Telegraph reported that a teenage boy had been arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting female pupils in a gender-neutral toilet at another secondary school in Essex.
In response, JK Rowling warned that gender neutral toilets were sacrificing girls’ ‘safety, privacy and dignity’.
Her views on gender neutral toilets are backed by former Olympic rower Sharon Davies who responded to a trans woman’s tweet about her treatment at the Mercure Hotel, calling her ‘you man’.
It comes as women’s rights campaigners, including author JK Rowling, are desperate to stop public organizations and businesses replacing separate male and female toilets with gender neutral ones in an effort to make trans people more welcoming. (file image)
Davies added: ‘…use changing rooms with other men or at least unisex changing rooms!
‘Deciding where you want to change doesn’t undermine the rights of women and girls. Ps I don’t know a single woman who would inflict this level of discomfort on others.’
The trans woman replied: ‘Sharon you know nothing about me and I have revealed everything you know about the incident. Don’t assume you know anything about me without any proof. It shows an arrogance that is not happening.’
TalkTV presenter Julia Hartley-Breyer also tweeted: ‘Yes, sure, what all women and girls are looking for when they’re naked in a changing room is a big angry man who demands to be in there with them because he’s dressed as a woman. Ah ha.’
Accor, the company that owns the Mercure, has been contacted for comment by MailOnline.
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