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.
"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.
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.
Etihad Stadium toilets open to all under "gender diversity". Probably the most stupid idea I've ever heard. Drunk male bogans wandering into the previously labelled female toilets and hoping they'll get a look. Nothing good can come from this idea. https://t.co/4lPDY7e2VP— Rod van Buuren (@RodvanBuuren) June 9, 2018
Nauseatingly stupid (& the hypocrisy of this bullshit being promoted at a stadium whose naming sponsor is the national carrier of the UAE, where LGBTI rights are heavily suppressed, is comical)— Rich Gregory (@gegsy1) June 9, 2018
Loving that most nuffies saying this is “PC gone 2 far smh” in your mentions have cars, the ocean or animals as their profile pic.— Blake Johnson (@BlakeJohnson) June 9, 2018
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.