Trans woman blasts hotel spa for not giving her a key to female changing rooms

Anna Coombes

A trans woman claims her day was 'spoilt' after a hotel spa refused to give her a key to the female changing room

Georgina Cutler

By Georgina Cutler

Published: 25/07/2023

- 16:51

The transgender woman has demanded that one worker is sent for gender sensitivity training

A trans woman claims her day was "spoilt" after a hotel spa refused to give her a key to the female changing room.

Anna Coombes alleged that staff "assumed" she wanted to use unisex changing rooms as she vented on Twitter.

Her claims have sparked a furious row online with critics including Sharron Davies.

The 65-year-old has since demanded that the worker at the Mercure Hotel in Sheffield is sent for gender sensitivity training.

The trans woman shared a picture of her in a blue skirt and top which she wore on the day


She tweeted: "As if I am not a woman. I am so f*****g angry. I'm at the Mercure Hotel in Sheffield and I fancied using the swimming pool. I couldn't get my locker key to work on the ladies.

"Turns out the assistant had 'assumed' I wanted the unisex changing room. With me dressed like this," as she shared a picture of her in a blue skirt and top.

She added: "This is the first time anyone IRL (in real life) has treated me as if I am not a woman... decent people accept the rule of self identity. If in doubt then find a polite way to ask, don't assume."

It is unknown if Coombes was staying as a guest at the hotel, but explained that she later went back down to "ask that the person in question is sent on a diversity, equality and inclusion course".

Olympic swimmer Sharron Davies, who has been campaigning to keep biological men out of women's sports, replied to Coombes' tweet.

She said: "You’re male, use the changing room with other males or at the very least the unisex changing room! Deciding you wanting to change where you want to change does NOT trump women & girls rights.

"Ps I don’t know a single female that would subject that level of discomfort on others."

The trans woman replied: "Sharron you know nothing about me, and all you know about the incident is what I have revealed. Don't presume to know things about me with no evidence. It shows an arrogance which is not becoming."

Gender neutral toilet

Women's rights groups have launched a campaign to stop public bodies removing male and female toilets


It comes after women’s rights campaigners, including author JK Rowling, try to stop public bodies and businesses removing separate male and female toilets with gender neutral ones which are more accommodating for trans people.

Following the viral tweet, Coombes said: "I have been overwhelmed by the number of people who have gone out of their way to state their concern and offer their support whether virtual or real.

"Thank you to each and everyone of you, I value your standing up as an ally.

"And to all those people who weren't on my side, I'm sorry but I will continue to exist, I am not going away. It doesn't matter how much you lie about me I will still be here when you have run out of things to say."

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