'Are women expected to queue for one cubicle alongside men using urinals?': Furious customers blast Lyric Hammersmith theatre over 'all gender' toilets which have one stall beside row of urinals

'All gender' lavatory at Lyric Hammersmith features five urinals and one cubicleWoman horrified by 'lack of privacy for myself and any man who might come in'

A women’s rights campaigner has hit out at a London theatre over its gender-inclusive toilets which she claimed made her feel ‘really uncomfortable’.

The ‘all gender’ lavatory at the Lyric Hammersmith in West London features five urinals and one cubicle.

Feminist journalist and author Joan Smith was left horrified by the ‘lack of privacy for myself and any man who might come in’ when she visited on Tuesday.

The theatre insisted the toilets were installed ‘as part of our strategy for inclusivity and equality’ and said it also offers gender specific and private accessible toilets.

Ms Smith, who is a member of the Sex Matters advisory group, used the toilets during an interview of the theatre’s production of Accidental Death of an Anarchist.

Joan Smith tweeted this picture of the 'all gender' toilets at the Lyric Hammersmith on Tuesday

Joan Smith tweeted this picture of the ‘all gender’ toilets at the Lyric Hammersmith on Tuesday

She said she had insufficient time to find a gender-specific lavatory elsewhere in the building, so ‘reluctantly’ used the ‘all-gender’ toilet behind the main bar.

Ms Smith told the Daily Telegraph: ‘I was confronted with five urinals which I had to pass to get to a single locking cubicle.

‘I felt incredibly uncomfortable about the lack of privacy for myself and any man who might come in.

‘Indeed, a man entered as I was about to leave, looked very embarrassed and left without using the urinals.

‘I do not wish to see a man’s penis in a public place and I doubt whether many men want to expose themselves in this way.’

Ms Smith also tweeted a picture of the toilet door, which states: 'Loos - all genders welcome'

Ms Smith also tweeted a picture of the toilet door, which states: ‘Loos – all genders welcome’

Ms Smith, who has now written to the theatre and local MP Andy Slaughter, added: ‘There are plenty of religious women who can’t be in a private space with men.’

She tweeted about the toilets on Tuesday, saying: ‘Horrible ‘public’ toilets at the @LyricHammer. Five urinals and one cubicle for women? Who actually wants this?’

Replying to the post, soprano singer Elizabeth Atherton said: ‘Are women expected to queue for the one cubicle alongside men with their willies out? Or is there a way that’s been discovered for women to use urinals too…?’

Another Twitter user, Ellen Highwater, added: ‘I don’t care how good the productions are, I’m not subjecting myself to that.’

But a third, Alice King, tweeted: ‘I’ve been there recently and this is NOT representative of the two sets of toilets I used (with my young children) – this tweet is misleading and the Lyric is a great place with amazing community programmes.’

The Lyric Hammersmith said the toilets were 'part of our strategy for inclusivity and equality'

The Lyric Hammersmith said the toilets were ‘part of our strategy for inclusivity and equality’

Ms Smith also posted a photograph of the toilet door which had the words ‘Loos – All genders welcome’ above a picture of a urinal with a ‘x5’ and a toilet with a ‘x1’.

A spokesman for the Lyric Hammersmith said: ‘The Lyric Hammersmith Theatre is inclusive and welcoming to all. We provide a range of lavatory facilities to meet the needs of all the individuals who use our building.

‘These include gender specific, all gender, private accessible and changing places facilities. Our all-gender toilets were introduced in 2018 as part of our strategy for inclusivity and equality.’

Last July, Equalities Minister Kemi Badenoch outlined plans to ensure all new offices, schools, hospitals and shops must have separate single-sex toilets,

Gender neutral toilets at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in Wimbledon last year

Gender neutral toilets at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in Wimbledon last year

The Government said it wanted to prevent non-residential buildings being built with ‘universal’ toilets as part of efforts to halt the ‘forced sharing of spaces’.

The plans included changes to building and planning regulations to enshrine separate stalls in new buildings and demand partitions in current unisex facilities.

It came after Ms Badenoch warned some pupils are avoiding going to the toilet during school hours because they only have access to gender-neutral lavatories.

In April last year, parents were furious after a £7million children’s play area in Brentwood, Essex, was fitted with gender-neutral toilets.

A sign on the lavatory door of the café at Tredegar House in Newport, South Wales, says: 'Gender neutral toilets. Alternative toilet facilities are available by the main car park'

A sign on the lavatory door of the café at Tredegar House in Newport, South Wales, says: ‘Gender neutral toilets. Alternative toilet facilities are available by the main car park’

Also last year, new guidance told civil servants that they should let people who identify as transgender to use whichever single-sex toilet they want.

The National Trust has also been accused of pursuing a ‘woke’ agenda after introducing gender-neutral toilets at Tredegar House in Newport, South Wales, when a woman walked in to find a man urinating without the door locked.

The Old Vic theatre scrapped its men and women toilets and replaced them with ‘self-selection’ facilities that can be used by both genders in October 2019.

In 2021, former communities secretary Robert Jenrick set out plans to rewrite planning regulations in favour of single-sex facilities.

Women’s rights groups have long argued that they are ‘disadvantaged’ by gender-neutral toilets that contain both urinals and cubicles.

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