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Topshop's new gender-neutral changing rooms spark debate among customers

Customers can use any changing room now. Credit: PA

Topshop has sparked a row over gendered fitting rooms after changing its policy to allow all customers to share the same areas.

The new rule was brought to light by artist and writer Travis Alabanza, who was denied access to the female changing room at its Manchester store.

Travis, whose Twitter bio reads "my pronouns are them/they", tweeted Topshop accusing the store of "transphobia" and demanding it to "sort it out".

They added: "Who made you in charge of deciding who is woman enough to use ur changing room? U just lost an easy sale and money."

Twitter user Reg then shared an email from Topshop from July saying the store would be reviewing its changing room policy, and, by October, it had been updated.

A Topshop spokesperson confirmed: "All TOPSHOP TOPMAN customers are free to use any of the fitting rooms located within our stores."

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Many shoppers hailed the change in policy and backed Travis's complaint.

One told Good Morning Britain: "These are the times we live in, I think it's a sign of progress that it could make some people's lives a great deal more comfortable. We should be behind that."

Another added: "Public swimming baths have gender-neutral changing rooms already, so I don't see what difference it makes. You've got curtains - keep the curtains closed, I don't see a problem."

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But others described it as a "disservice to the transgender cause".

Transgender journalist India Willoughby told GMB: "I look at it this way. It's a hundred years since women got the vote and I think if Emily Pankhurst was around now, she'd be looking for the closest racehorse to hurl herself under.

"I think gender really is becoming a bit of a joke - for me, it's not a form-filling exercise and I think gender-neutrality is doing a real disservice to genuine transgender women."

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