Row erupts after Hampstead Heath women's pool allows transgender bathers

A row has erupted after a famous women’s -only pool announced that men transitioning into women will be allowed to bathe there.

The famous Ladies Pond on London’s Hampstead Heath will now be open to both women and menwho identify as female - writes

However, the decision has sparked outrage among some who use the facilitywho claimed that the ruling could encourage men who are not transitioning to take advantage of the decision.

One swimmer, Margaret Roberts told the Mail Online of an incident where she asked a male who claimed to identify as a woman but “looked and dressed like a male” to leave but he refused.

Julie Bindel, a feminist writer who has been swimming at the pond for more than three decades, added: “It is totally unacceptable to allow men who identify as women, but who are otherwise male bodied and socialised as men, to be in a women-only space.

“I have seen mothers bring their young daughters who are self-conscious about their bodies but want to feel good about swimming and exposing their skin to the sun. The last thing they want is to look behind them and see a male-bodied person pretending to be a woman in order to gawp at them.”

Trans Actual, an organisation which promotes transgender rights, responded to the backlash on Twitter writing: “The Ladies' Pond is still preserved for women. Trans women are women. We're not sure why you're referring to trans women as men.”

It went on to praise the City of London Corporation who run the pond for changing the rules of the pool.

“Well done @cityoflondon for your trans-inclusive approach,” It said.

A spokesperson for the City of London Corporation, speaking to the Mail on Sunday, confirmed that that men who identify as female and are transitioning into women will be allowed to use the pool and the female changing rooms.

The spokesperson said: “Over the last year all lifeguards and managers at Hampstead Heath ponds have taken transgender awareness training courses, which have been offered to, and taken by, the ponds’ swimming associations as well.

“We are working with the LGBTQ community to ensure our facilities are fit to serve the needs of everyone who enjoys them, and will continue to do so in the future.”

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