Saturday, 21 August 2010


it's a rainbow thang, apparently

Bristol Pride is in full swing, and last night I was down at the Watershed for a talk called Gender Trouble- What is gender? What does it mean?

It was a bit Gender 101, but it was nice to meet up with people, which is possibly part of the point of it. So I won't delve into what was said, because you had to be there really.

What was fun, though, was that the toilets had been labelled as UNISEX for the evening. Maybe it was because the management were nervous about having trans people around the place. But I prefer to think that it was a subversion-of-the-binary thing.

So when I went to the loo, I did a quick eeny-meeny-miny-mo and went into the first of the doors. And there were a couple of chaps standing at a urinal, doing what chaps do. That's OK, I'm cool with that. I popped into a cubicle trying not to feel out-of-place.

Later in the evening, I needed to go again, so I used the other door. By this time, the drink had been flowing generally, and there were several other people milling around. And all the people going into the right hand UNISEX loo were men, and all the people going into the left hand UNISEX loo were women.

Fair enough, probably. It reminds me of the time in John Reed's account of the Bolshevik revolution, Ten Days That Shook The World, where the revolutionary council votes enthusiastically to abolish smoking, and then continues smoking.


  1. I imagine the women collared the cleaner loo very early on, and kept it going, one after another, as 'their' loo.

    Let's face it, wee on the toilet seat (or on the nearby floor, men's aim being notoriously erratic) is dreadfully offputting. It's all right for hardy types who have lived before the mast. Namby-pamby sorts like to sit down on dry seats!


  2. Should have closed the "gents" for the night and taught them a few lessons like queuing and hygiene!

    Vive "LA" revolution!

    Caroline xxx

  3. The "seat up or down" issue is an incendiary one, I agree. I'm trying to teach my boys about aiming carefully and using toilets not trees in parks but ... for whatever reason I feel I am on a hiding to nothing.
    Anyway - surely the women should take possession of both sets of facilities for the evening - when are there ever enough Ladies' conveniences?
    I can't remember that bit about the Bolsheviks and smoking - sounds like a Monty Python sketch.

  4. I'm all for unisex loos in theory, though in reality blokes' bogs are pongy and often pretty rancid. (I used to have to go and fix them when they went wrong, on the ferry; one of the last encounters was some considerable time after midnight on a booze crooze, when the long urinal tray had become blocked with a false moustache, and the whole place was awash with piss sloshing to and fro with the rolling of the ship.... and of course there were drunken drongos wondering who or what I was, while I was sorting it out...)

    I just did a check, Federay, and it is not exactly as I remembered, but close enough. Maybe I was thinking of the film version... impressed that you've read it too, though!

  5. Dru, I'm just glad you can paint with words the unpaintable!