Opera House apologizes after ‘all-gender’ bathroom incident forces women to walk past men using urinals: ‘I’ve never seen anything like it’
- 2GB host Ben Fordham was told the unisex toilets made customers uncomfortable
- The all-gender facilities at the Joan Sutherland Theater were introduced for Vivid
- The Opera House apologized to customers but defended their inclusive facilities
The Sydney Opera House has apologized after women were forced to walk past men who used urinals in all-gender bathrooms.
The bizarre setup was revealed by customers using the toilets while attending a show at the Joan Sutherland Theater.
Radio host Ben Fordham said on Wednesday that an unnamed caller told him that customers were uncomfortable using the unisex restrooms during the concert.
“A listener told us… in the bathroom you had men going to relieve themselves, and women walking by to use the cubicles,” Fordham said during his 2GB morning show.
“There were older women who expressed their shock: ‘I’ve never seen anything like it and filed a complaint.'”
An Opera House patron said 2GB women were made to feel uncomfortable after being forced to walk past men using urinals to get to the cubicles of the all-gender toilets at the Joan Sutherland Theater (photo, stock image)
The Opera House apologized for making customers uncomfortable, but defended the “inclusive” facilities, saying covers had been placed over the urinals to prevent people from using them, but someone had removed them.
“It is vital that the Opera House building – and the experiences it offers – are welcoming, inclusive and accessible to all,” the apology reads.
“The Opera House covered the urinals in the all-gender bathroom so they couldn’t be used, but during Friday night’s performance a patron removed the urinal covers.
“We apologize if customers were uncomfortable with this situation, and we’ve re-installed the covers with better weighting to avoid removing them in the future.”
The iconic landmark introduced bathrooms for all genders, in addition to separate bathrooms for men and women, in the foyer of the box office for festival events, including Vivid Sydney.
Fordham accused the Opera House of introducing unisex toilets as a ploy to bolster their reputation.
“Because in 2022 organizations like to introduce useless policies based on the mistake and the belief that it looks good,” Fordham said.
“Want to put blankets over urinals to make people feel more inclusive.”
2GB host Ben Fordham (pictured) accused the Sydney Opera House of introducing unisex toilets because they think they ‘look good’
The Opera House explained that the covers over the urinals had been removed, causing the awkward situation (Pictured, Opera House during Vivid 2022)
Earlier this year, a primary school on Sydney’s Northern Beaches installed a mixed toilet block with ‘inclusivity’ options and an ‘open corridor’.
Outraged parents described the design of the toilet block at Mona Vale Public School as “deeply disturbing” and said it exposed young students to privacy issues.
It followed a similar move by an Adelaide public secondary school which removed the front doors of toilet blocks to create ‘non-gendered’ facilities.
Former Prime Minister Scott Morrison weighed in on the gender toilet debate in 2019, slamming a toilet sign encouraging staff to use the bathroom that “best suits your gender identity.”
Mr Morrison said the sign, at the Prime Minister’s Office and Cabinet in Canberra, was “exaggerated political correctness” and ordered it to be removed.