I don’t even want to talk about the masks.
We were at a cinema in Bristol this evening to celebrate my birthday.
We saw The Harder They Fall.
No, it wasn’t the movie that made me realise how far away I am from where I could or should be, nor the paper cups we were offered (to decant our popcorn so as not to make a noise during the movie) nor even the adverts which seemed different to those up-north, it was the toilets.
They were unisex.
Once upon a time there must have been a boys and a girls room; no doubt, the boys with a few urinals and the girls, probably like it is now.
There were two similar doors each with a rainbow heart.
It only took me a moment to get-it.
There was no one else in the toilet, so I didn’t feel awkward, although, as to why I should feel anything, I don’t know. Perhaps something to do with the sound of strange woman weeing. Or a woman hearing me pee. Nothing bad or good, just different.
I came away thinking to myself that it was an unusual experience – a first for me, and so, there you go.
‘I’m not sure about the toilets,’ I said to my daughter.
‘What do you mean?’
‘Well, I could have heard a woman peeing.’
‘OK, yes, I could cope with a woman peeing, I just didn’t see the point, what is wrong with boys and girls?’
‘What about non-binary people?’ She replied.
My mind hadn’t even gone there.
The notion that for some either a man or a woman toilet might not be for them.
For my daughter, my proud Generation Z girl, it was automatic, reflexive thinking.
Yes, I am past it.
And a final word on masks, they ask you to wear them in the cinema, they even sort the seating, so you aren’t next to someone you don’t know.
In Sheffield, which, yes, is up north, the segregation was absent when I went to see Dune yesterday.
Every so often I kept thinking, in between the Sand Worms, ‘What if the woman next to me has Covid. I am sitting soooo close for getting-on three hours.
Some had masks, others didn’t. (I did and the woman who might have had Covid did as well).
Really going up north, to Scotland they haven’t ever given-up the masks.
We, south of the border have been led along by the donkeys.
An inclusive cinema.
Such a long way to go.