New unisex toilets for transgender fans in Germany

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Berlin - The German FA (DFB) will launch new measures to improve the stadium experience of transgender football fans at Wednesday's international friendly against Serbia in Wolfsburg.

The measures include allowing fans to choose whether they are checked by male or female security staff upon entering the stadium, and the introduction of unisex toilet facilities.

"Together with the group Queer Football Fan Clubs, the DFB has identified areas in which gender identity plays a role in the stadium infrastructure, in order to provide all visitors with a complaint-free experience," the DFB said in a statement on Wednesday.

"Going to the toilet presents a challenge for transgender fans, because their use of male or female toilets may be interpreted as 'wrong' by fellow supporters," the statement said.

"In order to do justice to the diversity of gender identities, male, female and unisex toilets will be available."

The move follows the introduction of a third official gender category into German law last January. Since the law was introduced, Germans can now choose 'male', 'female' or 'diverse' when stating their gender on official documents.

Both the law and the DFB's proposals have been met with criticism, notably from the far-right political party Alternative for Germany (AfD). Yet the DFB insists it is unfazed.

"The negative, homophobic and transphobic reactions only strengthen us in our conviction that this decision is an important step to contributing to climate of respect in our society," said federation vice-president Eugen Gehlenborg.

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