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UWE Bristol hits back at online trans toilet criticism

Posters on display at UWE Bristol Image copyright UWE LGBT+
Image caption Signs encourage trans students and staff to use bathrooms they feel comfortable in

A University in Bristol has hit back at online protests after it was accused of allowing “rapists to harass women”.

Posters put up outside toilets at UWE Bristol encourage students not to challenge others if they feel they are in the “wrong” bathroom.

Campaigners claim this would be a danger for women who felt unsafe.

UWE replied on Twitter, telling trans students “we support you”, and said the majority of negative feedback came from people who were not students.

Posters have been put up outside toilets across the UWE site since February 2018.

They were originally installed after the university’s LGBT+ society campaigned to support transitioning students who may be uncomfortable in regular gendered toilets.

‘Pro-woman’

Journalist and campaigner Josephine Bartosch was alerted to the posters by a friend who was studying at UWE, and posted about them on Twitter.

She said: “In essence, UWE are saying that the feelings and fears of women matter less than those who identify as transgender.

“As the recent no-platforming of Angelos Sofocleous shows, dissent on gender identity is not tolerated by an aggressive mob of militant students.

“This is not an anti-trans message, it’s a pro-woman one.”

The president of the university’s LGBT+ society Ollie Ley said the twitter outrage was “really sad”.

“I can’t imagine what its like for trans people to read these messages and how upsetting they must be,” he said.

A spokesperson from UWE Bristol said the majority of negative feedback came from people who were not students, staff or alumni of the university.

“We would like to reiterate our full support for our trans and gender-questioning staff and students.”

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