This Bathroom Business

The push for transgender rights is much in the news these days. The guidance issued to schools by the U.S. Departments of Justice and Education provoked a flurry of fear-mongering commentary from opposition groups. You’d think the world was coming to an end.

Science has established that gender, sexual preference, and gender identity are three completely different animals. The switches are set one way or the other in the womb. The Lord works in mysterious ways. Sometimes they line up the same way, and sometimes they don’t.

Shortly after North Carolina’s governor signed the transgender bathroom bill into law, I posted a comment on Facebook saying I was unwilling to patronize a state or business that discriminates. I was commenting on the so-called religious freedom laws like the one Georgia’s governor vetoed.

Protecting, and hence, condoning discrimination of any kind goes against every fiber of my being. Turning paying customers away for any reason is bad for business. Just ask professional sports leagues or national corporations. That’s why they lobby so stringently against these discriminatory laws.

The discussion around my Facebook post quickly narrowed to the bathroom issue. Many seemed to think it’s reasonable for parents to fear trans people sharing a bathroom with their child.

Really?  What’s to fear? Statistically, the youth minister at your church is a bigger threat. News reports of youth ministers and other trusted adults abusing children are common. I couldn’t find one incidence of a trans person molesting a child.

There was a news article about five men who dressed up as women to access bathrooms for nefarious purposes. Five. Ever. Is that sufficient cause for a bathroom law that discriminates against trans people? Given the number of violent assaults against trans people that occur every year, no, it’s not.

Would the mere sight of an actual trans person somehow cause irreparable harm to a child? Well, with the trans people I’ve met, the child and pretty much everyone else would never suspect — until the trans person is forced to use the bathroom matching the gender on his or her birth certificate.

Dictating which bathroom an individual should use is intrusive in the extreme, unconstitutional, and unenforceable. The backward law calls to mind the 1960s when New York City cross dressers could be arrested if they failed to wear three articles of clothing made for men. Ridiculous.

I get that social conservatives are uncomfortable with the LGBT community. I know what being uncomfortable with popular opinion feels like. Been there, done that. Now it’s your turn.

Freedom of religion is a tricky thing. You have the right to believe whatever you want. As long as your beliefs don’t interfere with my life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness, we’re cool. Telling me where I can and cannot perform essential body functions crosses a line.

Don’t go throwing Bible verses at me to justify bigotry, either. We’re all God’s children, and the word is love. Using religion to justify bigotry and discrimination is shameful.

Discrimination, for any reason, is wrong. It was wrong in the 1960s and it’s just as wrong today. That’s why I’m boycotting states and business who believe differently.

2 responses to “This Bathroom Business”

  1. I have mixed feelings about this, and perhaps surprisingly to some, they have nothing to do with religion, so no Bible-verse-throwing from me. Since all this started, I’ve held to the assumption that a true transgendered person would like to call as little attention to their self as possible, and as such, would simply use the bathroom that best identifies with their appearance at that point in time. I don’t personally know a TG person, but would assume someone who identifies as as female would go into a stall to pee, even if he/she could still pee standing up. I would assume that a true TG person who identifies as as female would want the same amount of privacy as any other female, and would elect to do her business privately. Chances are, many of us have already shared a bathroom with a transgendered person, and didn’t know it. I’m totally fine with that. I don’t feel that it violates my rights as a female – with the caveat that the person BEHAVE like a female while in the bathroom. I don’t want to see urinals in the ladies’ bathroom. You wanna live like a female, then pee like one, and don’t be flashing your junk in *my* bathroom. Another thing to consider, is that, for the most part, men are much less modest than women. For one who has been a man for mosT of his life, that may be ddifficult to understand. Most women don’t go around scratching their privates in public, or have farting contests (*gasp* or even fart at all in the presence of another person) Ha! Granted, some of this is learned behavior, and simple manmers, but most guys just seem to be less inhibited about such things, and might find it ridiculous that women don’t want men sharing bathrooms. I’d also be willing to bet that true TG people (not the pervs who just want to cross dress in hopes to.sneak a peek) might be a bit bothered by all the hoopla. For those who have completed their transgender process, they can likely go into the bathroom of their gender identity without so much as a glance from other people. If you look like a man, go to the men’s.bathroom. If you look like a woman, use the women’s bathroom. (But please, no urinals in the girls’ rooms.)

    However, when the subject moves to school children, I must take a different approach. With the adult transgendered population at such a very small percentage of the population, how many school-aged children TRULY identify themselves as opposite gender of their birth? I’ve seen a few rare cases on TV where parents started the process on their children, or allowed them to dress and identify as the opposite sex, but I do not recall ever seeing a 7th grader who has had complete transgender surgery. Or even a high school kid. I realize that being a straight female, I have never experienced any of the agony that LGBT folks have suffered. I am sure that middle and high school years are hell for those trying to understand their sexuality. I take nothing away from that. My own personal feeling is that children are too young to undergo the drastic transgender procedure- both psychologically and physically. The body doesn’t finish growing until mid to late teens. Seems quite dangerous to be messin around with gender reassignment surgery before the body even has a chance to fully mature. Yes, there may be some boys who don’t want to pee at a wall full of urinals because he is uncomfortable. Use a stall. When I was in 9th grade and had a swim class for PE, there were some girls whonwer comfortable enough with heir bodies to dress and undress in front of each other, but I was self.conscious breasts, and chose to use a private stall for dressing. It did not scar me for life. Not having the choice to dress privately would have been horrible.

    I do not feel that it is a wise thing to have unisex bathrooms in school. Unlike an adult, (pervs aside) who are truly transgendered, kids are more likely to actually BE pervs, just because of natural curiosity. Although, most boys I have ever known are so homophobic that they would never put themselves in the position to have their manhood questioned and would more likely sneak into a traditional girls’ bathroom at school than they would dare to use a trnsgendered-labled bathroom.

    All that said, let the grownups do what they will. Shop at Target, or don’t shop at Target. Support LGBT or oppose it. But leave the kids alone. Not about religion. It’s about privacy and respecting children. There are enough stressors at school already. I don’t think gender bathroom issues need to be one of them. Everyone has rights, but it seems sometimes that the rights of the few to be comfortable are given more importance than the rights of the many who are made uncomfortable. Kids will have the rest of their adult lives to decide whether to pursue gender reassignment. Let’s let them worry about things like Common Core, acne, playground squabbles, cheerleader tryouts, prom.dates, etc.

    As far as adult pervs, I totally agree with you that kids are more likely to be molested by someone they know than by a perv in the bathroom. Someone (was it you?) commented that those male perverts we worry being given the opportunity to go in the ladies’ bathrooms have been in bathrooms with our little boys for years, and where’s the outrage in that? I totally agree, and have only recently stared allowing my 8 yo grandson to go in the men’s room when we are out. I only allow this out of respect for other females (younger girls- mom’s would totally understand) who may be in the ladies’ room. But I stand outside the door, and would not hesitate to enter the men’s room if he stayed in there.too long, or if I thought he was in trouble!

    Such a long post. I don’t care about adult bathrooms so much, as long as there are no urinals in the girls’ rooms, but am definitely opposed to mixed bathrooms in schools, both for privacy reasons ,and my belief that it is not necessary to address this in school age kids. In case I didn’t get my point across earlier. Lol.

  2. First, whether or not an individual has transitioned (i.e. had surgery) is irrelevant. The procedures are very expensive and, last I heard, not covered by insurance. Many trans people, for various reasons, don’t want the surgery. I would also say that a biological male who identifies as female would 1) not use a urinal, 2) not flash her junk, or 3) be less modest than a biological female.

    Transgender people tend to exhibit “gender dysphoria” at a very young age. In the past, the whole idea of trans was so taboo that parents refused to consider the possibility. Now, parents in more developed, progressive parts of the world are much more supportive of the child’s gender identity. Turns out. A surprising number of babies are born with biological characteristics of BOTH genders (or none), and in most cases, are “randomly” assigned to one gender or the other–often the parents’ preference. When a child is transgender, for all the reasons you state, surgical procedures are not done until the child has reached maturity.

    Finally, because they are one-holers (to quote an old outhouse reference), unisex bathrooms are probably the best option. We have one at work, and quite a few straight people prefer it over the muti-holer gender-specific restrooms in our building.

    Thanks for stopping by and sharing your views!