A Plea for Third Spaces for Transmen and Transwomen

You can sign this petition by Fionne and I by going to the Change.org link.

We are Fionne Orlander and Miranda Yardley, both of us transwomen. We recognise that we, as transwomen, are biologically male; we are not the same as women and our lives differ from those lived by women. We are asking you to support our call for the provision of Third Spaces for transgender individuals of both sexes.

We as transwomen share concerns with women, we share a need for dignity and privacy when using public spaces such as washrooms and changing rooms, and specifically we are concerned about the risk to us of abusive behaviour and physical and sexual assault when sharing single-sex spaces with other males.

In recognising our lives are different from women’s lives, we recognise and support single sex spaces for women, and support the right of women’s organisations under the Equality Act to provide services exclusively to women and girls, who may in a number of circumstances have lived under fear of or experienced physical or sexual violence at the hands of men, who overwhelmingly commit the majority of physical and sexual violence.

In recognition that women should have access to single sex spaces, and in recognition of our own concern and fear of using single sex spaces designated for males, we call on all political parties to recognise the need for the provision of publicly funded third spaces for transgender individuals of either sex, to allow us to participate fully in public life without imposing ourselves on those single sex places presently enjoyed by women.

Specifically we call for publicly funded Third Spaces in respect of the following:

  • Public washrooms and changing rooms, including those at schools, leisure centres and other publicly funded institutions;
  • Hospital wards and other NHS facilities that are presently single sex;
  • Prisons, remand centres and all other parts of HM Prison Service;
  • For the provision of relief centres for transgender individuals who have been physically or sexually assaulted, or who are fleeing or need protection from abusive partners.

Please commit to providing Third Spaces for transgender people of either sex.

Thank you

Fionne Orlander
Miranda Yardley

6 Replies to “A Plea for Third Spaces for Transmen and Transwomen”

  1. Thank you both….first positive move for a long while…I have signed petition….common sense and a realistic approach….something we can all live with….well done and good luck …sue xxx

  2. MIranda,

    I signed the petition. This is a brilliant move and a necessary counterweight to the pernicious ideology of transism. There are many trans people who are not politically motivated, who just want to live their lives in peace. Hopefully you can build a movement and steer public policy in the right direction.

    Along these lines, recently I noticed that a transman uses the women’s locker room at my gym. No one pays the slightest attention to her, which is as it should be. And I certainly don’t care if she uses the women’s locker room, because after all, she’s a woman. I do notice that she faces the lockers the entire time and never lets anyone see the front of her body. I assume she uses the women’s locker room so that she won’t be harassed by men. It’s another reminder of how important it is for women to have separate safe space, even if they’re transmen, but also how important it is for transmen and transwomen to have safe Third Spaces of their own. Maybe this transman would prefer a designated place to change. Such accommodations should be available.

    1. Audubon,
      I think you need to read up a bit
      Trans men are biological females who present as male
      Trans women are the opposite
      So the trans man you’re talking about in the changing rooms is actually a transwoman ..a biological male

      They might or might not have had hormone treatment or surgery ..the majority of self described transwomen have not these days
      Me and millions of other women would prefer our single sex spaces to remain single sex for reasons of safety, privacy and dignity
      Just because no-one challenged the transwoman in your gym it doesn’t mean others felt okay with his being there.. I certainly wouldn’t want a male bodied person in my space, regardless of whether they covered their ‘front’
      We don’t know what’s going on in that individual’s mind..transwoman seeking refuge from men’s potential hostility or pervert getting their kicks through being a voyeur?New technologies such as tiny spy cameras are greatly enabling the latter.If the former why should women make space for transwomen..how are we supposed to tell the difference?
      Women are not shields against violence from men, male violence needs to be stopped by men just like white people are responsible for racist violence

      1. Sarah S — It’s fascinating when other people think they know better than you do what you saw, even though they weren’t there to witness it and you were. Thanks anyway, but I know the difference between biological females presenting as male (transmen) and biological males presenting as female (transwomen). Since you weren’t there, you’ll have to take my word for it, or not, your choice. By the way, I’m very well-read on this topic.

        And as a matter of fact, you and I are in agreement regarding the presence of transwomen in women’s spaces. I advocate for sex-segregated spaces for women and girls in changing rooms, prisons, shelters, and sports. (Did you read J.K. Rowling’s essay recently? She speaks for me 100%.)

        Apparently your ideological framework must always function in a particular way. Accordingly, it couldn’t have been a transman that I saw. The fault must lie with me, an unreliable eyewitness who hasn’t done enough reading and can’t tell the boys from the girls. But people’s behavior in the real world does not always conform with our expectations. It may seem counter intuitive to you that a transman (biological female presenting as male) would prefer to change in the women’s locker room, but that is exactly what occurred. And more than once, as it turned out. Makes sense to me, but that’s just me.

        Since you’re giving me advice, I’ll return the favor: The world is filled with contradictions. If you remove your ideological filters, you’ll have a better shot at seeing what’s actually there.

  3. Totally support this. I worked for many years for a women’s organisation that operated refuges for women and provision for trans women was always an issue especially given that many of the service users expressed reservations. I always felt that specific tailored provision was the way to go as it allowed for specialist support workers and a safer more supportive environment for trans women. Women’s organisations would do well to get behind your proposals.

  4. Signed and shared.

    It’s an excellent idea, so much so that I really don’t understand why nobody has ever advocated for this before. The closest idea I’ve ever heard from trans advocates is the assertion that “all public toilets should just be unisex stalls” which I think is clearly not going to work for various reasons, least of all that it does nothing to address the many other basic needs of trans folk such as designated spaces in hospitals & anywhere else people generally seek a measure of privacy.

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