A row has broken out between a transsexual and a Wigan bar boss over which toilets she should use in a number of town centre venues.
Aimee Boardman, 33, said she has been living as a woman for the last four years and is waiting to have gender reassignment surgery, but is being discriminated against by bars in the town who have banned her from using the ladies toilets.
She said she has never had a problem using the ladies toilets in bars before but a few months ago she was asked if she would mind only using the disabled toilets in places like Harry’s Bar, which is run by the Inn The Bar chain.
Aimee said she had never been made aware of any problem or complaints with her using the ladies toilets before.
But Tony Callaghan, who runs the Inn The Bar chain, has argued that Aimee does not always dress as a woman and this has prompted some complaints from women customers using the ladies toilets.
As a result, Aimee was asked to use the disabled toilets in a number of bars, something she has said discriminates against her and breaches the equality act.
She said: “A group of bars in Wigan have decided to take it upon themselves to ban me from using the ladies. It is blatant discrimination.
“It has been four years and I have never had this problem before.
“By asking me to use only the disabled toilets they have made me feel uncomfortable going in any of the bars. I have friends who work in some and I don’t want to go in and see them because of this.
“I’ve always used the ladies and no one has seemed to have an issue before. I never wanted any of this.”
But Mr Callaghan has said they have received complaints from customers as a result of Aimee using the ladies toilets.
He said: “The problem is that this person sometimes dresses as a man and sometimes as a woman.
“It is confusing for the staff and the customers and we had received some complaints about it. As a result we decided to do the sensible thing and ask the person in question if they would mind only using the disabled toilets so they don’t offend anyone.
“We wouldn’t discriminate against anyone and would respect someone who is transsexual but when they come in dressed one way one day and another the next I have to think of my other customers.
“This person has been in to the office on several occasions and has got quite aggressive with the staff at times.”
But Aimee has called the accusation that she sometimes dresses as a man as laughable.
She said: “Sometimes I might wear a shirt and jeans but it’s always quite girly what I am wearing. It is just laughable.
“If I have got aggressive on occasion it is because of the way I have been spoken to by them. I won’t take it if I am being spoken down to.”