Topshop refused to let a trans person use an ‘all-gender’ dressing room
They weren’t allowed to use the room at all
by Amanda Ross
Despite a highly-publicized policy allowing people of all genders to use any dressing room, Topshop refused to let a trans person try on clothes in the changing room of their choice.
Travis Alabanza told BuzzFeed News that they just wanted a "chill shopping day" at Topshop, but instead had to deal with transphobia and otherness at the hands of retail staff.
Alabanza, who is trans feminine and uses they/them pronouns, headed to the dressing room with a bunch of dresses to try on when they were stopped by a retail worker who informed them that they had to take their clothes downstairs to the Topman section's "men's" fitting room.
Hey @Topshop just experienced transphobia in your Manchester store. Not letting me use the changing room I decide is shit, sort it out.
— Travis (@travisalabanza) November 5, 2017
When Alabanza asked to speak to a manager, they were met with the same answer: go downstairs and change with the men because "women were in their underwear" in the Topshop dressing room.
Alabanza said they tried explaining to the manager that it was a safety issue and they didn't feel comfortable trying on dresses with men, but the staff were indifferent to their situation.
""I said, 'I’m not going to be safe down there. What do you want me to do?' and they just kind of shrugged," Alabanza said.
I just want to remind everyone : my body isn't male. My body has never been male. I am not male. Have a lovely day pic.twitter.com/zY3FS4dWta
— Travis (@travisalabanza) November 7, 2017
General transphobia aside, Topshop has made a big deal about their "all-gender dressing rooms" in the past. When asked about their corporate policy, a spokesperson for Topshop reiterated that "Both the Topshop and Topman fitting rooms are available for all customers to use."
That answer, though, isn't good enough. "It goes beyond responding that they have all-gender changing rooms," Alabanza said. "That’s not true. They clearly need to train the staff about what it means to serve every kind of customer, how to advocate for us and respond against people who are phobic."