Toilet crimes, trans activism, toilet certificates, missing school days and an honest cleaner

Today’s first story is a sad one from Northern Ireland. The Derry Journal reports on a court case where a 68-year-old man has been found guilty of common assault. He was in the toilets of a shopping centre when he tugged on the trouser leg of the man next to him under the cubicle partition. The victim thought that someone was trying to steal his wallet and reported it to security. The accused “told the police he did this in the hope of ‘having some sexual activity with them’. The pensioner added that he would go off somewhere with them if they returned the attention, rather than have sex in the toilet cubicle.” It is a story that calls to mind the generations of gay men who had covert sex in toilets, and a man whose life may have been very different if he had been born 20 years later.

The next story relates to the moves in Houston Texas to prevent transgendered people from using the bathroom of their choice (already discussed in the previous post). Transgender model Kelly Lauren posted this photo on her Facebook page, with the caption: “Houston, do you REALLY want me in the same restroom as your husband or boyfriend?”

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Meanwhile, in the continuing campaign to provide the whole of India with sanitary toilet facilities, the Times of India is running this report from Gujarat. In order to run for a position in government, candidates must get a toilet certificate, to prove that they have a sanitary toilet, a new legal precondition to run in elections there.

The Filipino site ABS-CBN is running a story in advance of World Toilet Day (November 19th – I hope you all have it in your diaries!) about the impact of the worldwide lack of sanitary toilet facilities. They report that every year 443 million schooldays are missed due to illnesses caused by a lack of access to clean toilet facilities. This is the equivalent of every single primary and secondary school in the Philippines closing down for a whole month.

Finally, to Turkey, where Albawaba is reporting on a janitor who discovered €24,500 in a toilet in Istanbul Ataturk Airport and turned it in to the authorities, even though he only earns €320 a month and the money would have been enough to buy a small house in Turkey.

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