UWE tells trans students ‘we support you’ after backlash over toilet posters

The posters urge students at the university to not challenge people they feel are in the ‘wrong’ bathroom


UWE has responded to online criticism of posters put up outside campus toilets to support transgender students.

The posters urge students at the university to not challenge people they feel are in the "wrong" bathroom, such as those who are transitioning.

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Some campaigners have said this could pose a danger to female students, but UWE have insisted the majority of backlash is from people who are not students.

The university said on Twitter: "To our trans and gender-questioning community: over the last week we've received criticism for supporting your rights and your identity.

"We want you to know: we’re glad you’re here; we support you; and you can use any toilet you feel comfortable using."

The posters were put up after the LGBT+ society at the university launched a campaign to support students in transition, and have been outside toilets for almost a year.

Journalist and campaigner Josephine Bartosch posted her negative view of the posters on social media, saying UWE had disregarded the concerns of its female students: "In essence, UWE are saying that the feelings and fears of women matter less than those who identify as transgender," said Bartosch.

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

Bartosch insisted her message is "not anti-trans, it's a pro-woman one."

Ollie Ley, president of the University's LGBT+ society, has condemned the online outcry over the posters.

"I can't imagine what it’s like for trans people to read these messages and how upsetting they must be," he said.

A UWE spokesperson said: "We would like to reiterate our full support for our trans and gender-questioning staff and students."