Alan Turing Institute shares simple advice for anyone policing trans people in bathrooms

In this photograph, a sign says what to do if someone feels like there's a person in the 'wrong' bathroom

The Alan Turing Institute is leading by example with simple instructions for anybody questioning why a person is using their chosen bathroom.

A Twitter user shared a photo of a sign at the national institute for data science and artificial intelligence, housed in the British Library in London and named after gay war hero Alan Turing.

“Do you feel like someone is using the ‘wrong’ bathroom?” the sign asks.

“Please don’t: Stare at them, challenge them, insult them [and] do purposefully make them feel uncomfortable.

“Instead please: respect their privacy, respect their identity, carry on with your day [and] protect them from harm.”

It adds: “They are using the facilities they feel safe in. Please do not take that right away from them.”


Twitter users praised the Alan Turing Institute for its inclusivity, with one saying: “Alan would’ve been proud.”

Alan Turing was a computer scientist and Second World War codebreaker whose work is credited with shortening the war by years and saving countless lives.
Turing chose “chemical castration” over a prison sentence when he was arrested for “homosexual acts” in 1952. His death in 1954 was determined a suicide, though there has been debate around whether this was the case.

The data science and artificial intelligence institute named after Turing was established in 2015.

What is the law about single-sex spaces?

Trans people’s right to use public bathrooms and other single-sex spaces corresponding with their gender is protected by the 2010 Equality Act.

They cannot be excluded from facilities without a fair reason, nor can single-sex service providers enforce blanket bans on them.

However, this right has been weaponised by those attacking trans rights in the UK.

Many anti-trans lobbying groups have called on trans women, in particular, to be banned from spaces such as public bathrooms, hospital wards and domestic violence shelters.

If a trans person is asked to leave a single-sex space, trans youth charity Mermaids recommends they do not put themselves in harm’s way and do not come out if they don’t feel comfortable doing so.