OXFORDSHIRE County Council plans to provide at least one mixed gender toilet in each of its buildings to "remove barriers" to transgender people.

The motion on transgender and non-binary inclusion was passed at the county council’s full council meeting on Tuesday.

It was put forward by Lib Dem councillor Sally Povolotsky who said the motion was about a “lived reality of segregation, hatred, singling out, media targeting, crime and even self-suicide for one per cent of our county’s population.”

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She explained: “Being transgender is not what causes people harm or distress, transphobia is.”

The motion called for a variety of matters to be implemented by the county council, these included steps such as ensuring all council services are fully accessible regardless of gender or sexuality, to provide gender inclusive toilets in council buildings and working with healthcare providers to remove barriers to transgender and non-binary people.

Amendments made to the motion by the Conservative party were rejected by Miss Povolotsky, both at the meeting and in a social media post she made the evening before.

The amendments saw the motion include ‘other important minority rights’ and speak out against misogyny as well as transphobia.

When she introduced the motion Miss Povolotsky, who represents Hendreds and Harwell, said: “This motion is about equality, where gender is listed on documents. This alliance believes it is only fair for all people to have the gender that reflects their lived reality on their documents, including non-binary and intersex people. We believe processes and documents and be made to include and protect everyone quite easily.

“We need to look at systems sensibly, think critically about what information is needed and what information is not. For some trans people, having a gender listed on a document will make them feel more safe and for others the opposite can be true.”

She added: “Trans people are not one dimensional beings, like everybody else they have intersecting identities. This means the fight for trans equality cannot be fully achieved without first achieving equality for everyone.”

Conservative councillor Eddie Reeves, leader of the opposition and who moved the amendments, began by saying he was originally “happy” to withdraw the amendments.

That was before he saw a tweet posted by Miss Povolotsky which he called an “exhortation from a member of this council for one group to act against another”.

He said: “We are all persons, Chair. Although, self evidently some of us are more or less personable than others.”

He added the amendments did not make him transphobic and sought to “support all members of our LGBTQIA+ community”.


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