Gender Diversity sign on toilet doors at Etihad Stadium. Pic: Michael Klein
Gender Diversity sign on toilet doors at Etihad Stadium. Pic: Michael Klein

MCG open to gender-fluid public toilets

TWITTER lit up on the weekend after Etihad Stadium introduced gender-fluid toilets for all spectators during the annual Pride Game between St Kilda and Sydney.

Now it seems the MCG may also get on board.

In an article in The Australian, MCG spokeswoman Prue O'Donoghue said the home of Australian rules football was open to following Etihad Stadium's lead and assign its public toilets by gender identity and not by sex.

The MCG, the home of Australian rules football.
The MCG, the home of Australian rules football.

"Whilst there are no plans currently in place to implement a similar policy, we remain open to all initiatives which could enhance fan experience at the MCG," she said.

Social commentators and footy fans were divided on the weekend by Etihad's move to designate three toilet blocks throughout the Docklands venue for all-gender use during the Pride game.

Signs posted throughout the stadium and then flashed on the giant screens inside the stadium advertised one toilet block on each level of seating have been converted into bathrooms that allowed spectators to use whichever gender bathroom they identified with.

 

The stadium signs read: "Gender diversity is welcome here.

"Please use the rest room that best fits your gender identity or expression."

Both clubs participating in the Pride match (St Kilda and the Sydney Swans) were widely applauded for their public support for inclusion of LGBTI communities in football and everywhere else in Australia.

However, many other commentators believe Etihad Stadium's decision to scrap traditional mens' and women's' gendered toilets was a dangerous development.

 

 

 

The founder of the Pride Game, Jason Ball, yesterday retweeted supportive messages from the LGBTI community and footy fans including Ella Robinson-Clarke, who said she fully supported the gender-diverse toilets and Pride Cup.

"Despite noisy opposition, this is what the community needs. This is the future," she wrote.

Mr Ball said the bathrooms were a way to welcome transgender and gender-diverse ­people to AFL.

"It was somewhat of a trial," he told 3AW radio yesterday.

"I think that everyone who was actually at the game, it didn't affect them in any way."

Mr Ball said no incident ­reports were filed at the game and fears men would use the signs to rush into the women's toilets were unfounded.

"I think that's a pretty low opinion of the men out there to think that they would do that or take advantage of that," he said.

The drama did not entirely overshadow the commitment of both clubs to promote inclusivity on the night.

The Swans wore rainbow coloured socks in support of the cause, while the Saints wore rainbow coloured numbers on the back of their jumpers.

Both clubs also posted messages in support of the LGBTI community on the banners they ran through at the start of the game.

Host broadcaster Channel 7 also pledged its support of the AFL's Pride Round.

LGBTI activist Paul Kidd tweeted on Saturday night in support of the AFL's public support of LGBTI inclusion initiatives.


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