Some are finding the situation quite complex.
A 28-year-old transgender woman from Cape Town is taking her previous employer to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA). The woman says she was forced to resign after being ordered to not use the female toilets.
Andre Taylor, from Gugulethu explained to IOL that she had always used the female bathrooms at work.
“Since the day I started at the company I made use of the female toilet, up until one of the HR (human resources) ladies bumped into me for the first time when she came out of the toilet. Then, the next day they approached me and told me they had received complaints that I was using the ladies’ toilet,” Taylor told the publication.
Taylor worked for a company called Merchants SA, where she began working as a sales consultant in 2016.
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She explains that she was then called into a meeting and asked whether or not she uses the female toilets.
“I said yes I do, and they told me… that I can be whatever I want to be outside of work, but here they consider me male.”
The company’s Human Resources department then told her that she had to use the office’s male bathrooms. Taylor explained that she felt unsafe and was then asked what genitals she had.
Staff then suggested she use the disabled bathroom but that angered her manager as she would have to walk up and down.
Taylor then left the company in March and headed to the CCMA. In the affidavit, she accused the HR head of misgendering her.
Petro Taliaard, head of HR, hit back by arguing that Taylor was not discriminated against or fired. She also referred to Taylor as “he” in the affidavit.
“The applicant makes a bare allegation that his constitutional right was violated. There is no factual explanation of this and how it links to his gender and subsequent resignation from work,” Taliaard said.
Local LGBTI activists have approached Home Affairs to change the way transgender people are identified on documents. Currently, one has to provide medical evidence that they are transgender in order to have their gender changed on the ID.