Since its founding in 1868 the Savile in Mayfair - one of London’s most prestigious clubs - has only accepted men as members.
Soon, however, it will accept a woman among its ranks - after one of the club’s existing male members announced they were in transition to becoming a woman.
The transgender member will become its first woman to be allowed membership rights by the Mayfair club in its 150-year history. The issue raises questions for other male or female only institutions at a time when transgender status is becoming a more common phenomenon.
The Savile’s governing committee has ruled that the member, who is understood to be in their 30s and married with two young children, can continue to be a member once their transitioning process has completed, despite the club’s male only membership policy.
It decided that because the individual in question has joined the club as a man they would remain one regardless of the outcome of the process. The decision is understood to have been met with widespread approval within the club.Myself: Whenever the old man has a cocktail party, there’s about ten of us – young, progressive people – we all gather up the far end of the room and … quite openly, behind our hands, we snigger at him.
Prodnose: Well, I don’t know, that doesn’t seem very much to me.
Myself: A snigger here, a snigger there – it all adds up.