Question: Gender climate in London

Anonymous asks…

I am studying abroad in London this fall, and I was wondering what the atmosphere is like for someone who is blatantly gender nonconforming. Are people generally accepting/ambivalent? What’s the public restroom situation like? Are there any places I should avoid going unless I’m passing either way really well?

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Posted by on June 24th, 2012 at 08:00 am

Category: questions 5 comments »

5 Responses to “Question: Gender climate in London”

  1. Chiara

    I am male bodied and I dress in an androgynous but mostly feminine way (colourful skinny trousers, girly t-shirts, long hair and nail polish). I’ve never had any problems.
    I’ve only dressed in a more ‘womanly’ way a few times, but it also went very well (and I live in a notoriously bad part of London).
    I don’t know about restrooms, I try to avoid them unless I’m at uni where some of them are unisex toilets :D


  2. Maximillian711

    I’m trans and until recently lived in London. Generally people are fairly laid back about it, though you may get some comments. I’d take toilets on an individual place basis (what I personally do). There are some very understanding parts of London and some much more repressed parts, so it really depends where you’re going.


  3. freiya

    I can only reaffirm what others have said, i’ve never had a problem in London, and i’m fairly andro in my appearance, but it does depend where you are. London is a big place, and so some parts are going to be less cool about stuff.
    I’ve not had a problem with public restrooms, i tend to use places like art galleries, or coffee places, either because they’re easier to use, or because they often ( in the case of coffee places ) have non gendered toilets ( ie. just one! ). I think the big plus about London, form what i’ve seen, is that it’s so busy that half the time people don’t even notice anyone else :)


    Jay replied:

    Yeah – when I was a teenager, my friend went around central London in a hand made LaLa the tellytubby costume for a day, and no-one said a thing.

    I imagine acceptance/indifference will be the order of the day. Though my experience is of being an androgynous faab type person, so I can’t speak for other gender un-conforming people.

    In terms of toilets, there are a smattering of single occupancy public toilets in the streets in central London, that aren’t gendered (though you have to pay).


  4. Lucy

    I’ve never had any problems in central/west London. That’s because most Londoners have seen it before or as mentioned above, their indifference.


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