Archive for 21 April 2016
There are more than a few people out there who want to make sure transgender people don’t use the bathroom matching the gender they have worked hard to become. Mostly, their concern is with transgender women, people who were once male and have or are in the process of transitioning to female.
I have tried to ascertain the reasoning behind this attitude. For most, it is an emotional “stay away from my wife and / or (more often) daughter” thing. One person even said I obviously don’t have a daughter, even though I do, since I was not concerned with the “problem.”
The other answer I get is that non-transgender, perverted males, teenagers especially, will pretend to be transgender so they can go into a women’s room to ogle or assault the legitimate women there, and then hide behind any law protecting a transgender person’s right to be there.
This kind of defense will not hold up in court for two reasons. I will start with the one the anti-transgender folks try to deny, and that is that being transgender is a process. It’s not a case of some guy deciding one day to put on a dress and declare themselves a girl. I have not experienced it myself; I am decidedly male and happy to be so, but I have read plenty about it. No, that doesn’t really make me an expert, and what follows is my understanding, but I am hopeful I have it right.
First, it starts with questioning one’s identity. The questions become tougher and tougher to answer. At some point, yes, one tries on clothing designed for someone physically of the opposite sex. Typically, however, the person does not run to a public restroom like this, or even out in public. There’s a great deal of ridicule aimed at transgender folks, and it is an act of courage to go out in public with what the public views as the wrong clothing.
Is this act of courage equal to a soldier’s? No. This is not usually a life-threatening thing, although transgender women are assaulted and sometimes killed for being transgender. I’ve seen the memes which question whether it is an act of bravery to go out dressed as a woman when you have a penis, and often they contrast it with a soldier’s bravery. However, just because it’s not a combat level kind of courage doesn’t mean courage is not required to take the step of going out in public as a transgender person.
The anti-transgender crowd tries to deny the validity of this as an argument, saying somebody will still put on a dress to get in the women’s room and hide behind the law if they can. Except that in a court of law, it is necessary to provide evidence for the case you’re presenting. If you’re trying to claim you have the right to enter a women’s restroom because you’re a transgender woman, the prosecution will question that. If you just put on a dress that day to do so, your claim of being transgender won’t hold up. It just isn’t that simple. People don’t just arbitrarily make this kind of decision about who they are.
While this is an important point I just made, it’s actually irrelevant. If you assault somebody somewhere, or if you start ogling people in a public restroom, it doesn’t matter who you are, you’re committing a crime. Peeking into stalls is not permitted. I can’t cite specific laws and they probably vary a lot from place to place, but male or female, transgender or not, peeping on somebody is against the law and it will be punished. Claiming you’re in the right restroom won’t matter.
Finally, this is all a bit silly. Why do transgender women want to use the women’s room? To go potty and / or adjust their makeup. More often the former, I am thinking, but not being transgender or female, I really don’t know what goes on in there. Nor am I going to ask.
Transgender people, as a general rule, are not out to assault anyone. Specifically addressing transgender women, they are not out to assault females, as most, by my understanding, desire males. They go to the restroom to use it the same way anyone else does. They’re not going to whip out their penis or even try to pee standing up; that would go against their feminine persona.
So ease up and let transgender folks go where they feel it is appropriate to go. There are bigger things to worry about, even where public bathrooms are concerned. For example, why is the bathroom always the absolute coldest place in the restaurant? Or is that just how the men’s rooms are?