Yay for V REV Manchester
What the hell is going on with award-winning Manchester vegan café V-Revolution?
Nothing… apart from the fact they are busy moving into huge new premises and setting an example on how to be effective allies for all of their customers!
Let me back up for a second.
V-Revolution isn’t called V-Revolution anymore. The café owners decided a name change was in order to coincide with the new location and they now call themselves V Rev Vegan Diner.
And the new location?
V Rev have taken over a space that is roughly four times the size of the old place. The new Edge Street outlet has much more seating and is being lovingly decorated in a painstaking manner by a team of dedicated staff and hired contractors.
The new V Rev is being loaded up with progressive and supportive messages, fittings and imagery. One example of this can be seen in the toilet sign.
Check it out:
The owners have taken the simple but thoughtful step to ensure nobody is compromised or othered during a visit to their diner. Customers can access one of three gender neutral toilet cubicles featuring (shock horror) a toilet that works for anybody, no matter how they identify or don’t identify their gender.
Here is a little bit of information I lifted from the Portland Community College website that I would like to share:
For trans* and gender nonconforming individuals, gender segregated bathrooms can be spaces where they are met with intimidation, harassment, run-ins with security, and/or violence. These occurrences happen when people using the restroom police the gender of others based on binary assumptions and expectations of who men and women are and what they look like. This policing can effect trans* individuals, but also cisgender individuals (those who are not trans*) who present or express their gender in ways that are not culturally normative. This phenomenon is commonly referred to in gender minority communities as “The Bathroom Problem,” and is an experience that most trans* and gender nonconforming people have encountered, often repeatedly, in their lives.
Gender segregated bathrooms threaten the safety of many trans* and gender nonconforming individuals. In addition to being a safety concern, this bathroom configuration can lead to health concerns. When one does not have a bathroom option that they feel comfortable and/or safe accessing, they may choose to not use the bathroom. Depending on how a person goes about avoiding the bathroom, whether it be by not eating or drinking all day or by holding it, doing so can cause serious health problems.
You can click here to read more information about all gender or gender neutral toilets at Portland Community College. The information page includes common arguments and rebuttals for gender neutral toilets.
V Rev is showing how simple inclusivity can be. Gender neutral toilets don’t take much more money (if any in some cases) to set up but can make immeasurable difference to trans, gender non-conforming and non-binary people.
I asked V Rev to go into a little detail about how their new diner is inclusive in other ways and this is what they told me:
Hiya Sean! The whole premises is wheelchair accessible – we’re up to code on layout and spacing but as you know there’s always quite a difference between legislation and real life so we welcome feedback from disabled customers on anything we might be able to do to improve. As we’re over 2 floors we have a lift to the basement. As well as a separate staff loo we have three all-gender toilets: two the standard size and one wheelchair accessible with a baby-changing unit in. We have sanitary bins in all but they’re foot pedal operated as standard so we have a manual touch-open one in the accessible cubicle.
The usual condom/sanitary wear dispensers in loos come stocked as standard & with an ongoing refill contract with the big brands like Durex, Tampax and others who use nasty chemicals and test on animals so we’ve sought out two vintage capsule dispensers (used to be used for sweets/toys), the condom one is stocked with Glyde and a little leaflet about consent, the tampon one is stocked with TotMorganic (Time of the Month) tampons, three per capsule which ‘pays forward’ one to a person in need through MonthlyGiftMCR.
You can read the consent leaflet supplied by V Rev. Click here to access it.
Let’s hope more vegan establishments around the UK take the lead from this Northern business. These considered approaches to running an inclusive diner will hopefully give lots of people food for thought.
Yay for V Rev Vegan Diner and yay for inclusive approaches to vegan business!
Extra note: The V Rev Vegan Diner refurbishment has not been drama free and the team has faced a lot of emotional and financial set backs. If you would like to show your support for them, please buy one of these sassy vegan hot dog pins from them online. It’s a cute and rad way to lend your support to a business that is trying to do the best they can for animals and people in their local community.
Click here to buy. Also, follow V Rev on Instagram to keep updated on the grand re-opening date rumoured to be REALLY soon.