T BATHROOM BILLS
WHO DOESN’T WANT A SOLUTION
For me: I switched in 1981, transsexual. I’ve never had a problem with this in any bathroom or shower facility, even when I’m obvious. Why? If I’m guessing, I’d say that even when people did “read” me in the ladies’ room, they could see my sincerity, and no one ever asked me to leave—not in Kansas (where I’m from), Oklahoma, Texas, Alabama…not even in North Carolina with the ban in effect.
Many trans people won’t want to hear about this, but we can’t ask conservatives to admit truths if we aren’t willing to do the same.
For Transgenders to note:
(1) One of the TG paradigm’s basic tenets is that we are whatever we say we are (Tenet #2), but we’re not. That perfection of self perception is rare and leaves no room for mistakes, denial, fantasy, games, or even out-right lying to gain access. I’ve seen it, and so will you if you stick around long enough: A male puts on a wig, maybe a dress, claims he’s a woman, says he belongs in the ladies’ room… I’m not talking about cross-dressing; I’m talking about impersonating transgenders for access as a woman. This kind of thing happens, is abuse of a legitimate transgender movement and should be decried—but transgender leaders don’t complain much because Tenet #1 says anything goes and radicals will slam, refuse to buy books, seek you as a treatment provider…and there goes the car payment.
(2) Then there are others who move to a place on sex or gender continua with no intention of approaching a binary result, yet who demand acceptance as binary, something they don’t even want to be. This appears to be a logical inconsistency, and it discredits. Where-so, it’s easy for skeptics to form the opinion they’re being gamed. Not knowing what’s in a person’s mind can mean that someone is genuine even when they don’t appear to be, but it can also mean someone is not genuine when they say they are. These things do happen, and as trans people of all kinds, we need to begin to admit it, not live in denial blaming skeptics for balking.
For skeptics to note:
(1) Sometimes people who have no intention of being binary, do, nonetheless, fit the opposite gender. It is real that sometimes people who prefer male genitalia have also a woman’s mind-set (feminine gender), or who prefer not to have a penis but have a distinct man’s mind-set (masculine gender). This is transgenderism. Virginia Prince, Ph.D., “…[people] who have breasts and live full time as a woman, but who have no intention of having genital surgery…” (Gender Blending, 1997, p. 469).
(2) Transsexualism is not transgenderism, opposite where physical sex issues are concerned and worthy of recognition. The larger group, transgender, promotes the movement that what matters is the change of gender, but that is not salient to transsexualism. Please don’t judge a book by its cover. Where a transgender may be happy living in society as a woman with male sexuality, a transsexual will be miserable, require SRS, perhaps even to survive, because her need is to be the other physical sex.
T BATHROOM BILLS
In response to cross-gender living, liberal areas of the country pass laws for bathroom/shower access. People with a penis may use the ladies’ room. So-called “TERFs” (often used as a slur) express a sense of victimization being forced to allow males into the ladies’ room because of a few body adjustments and a claim of womanhood that no one can verify.
Then we get legislators around the country who rebel, pass laws against it, seeking some way to deal with the above. Penis-free zones for ladies. Transgenders scream victimization.
A lot of females have been a victim of males in their life, molested or raped, suffered sexual assault, somewhere in life—even the President’s had a scandal—and the thought of being in a vulnerable place—a room with only one exit where partial disrobing occurs behind stall doors that are not intended for a whole lot of privacy, with a man in there who also intends to partially disrobe, maybe in the very next stall—can be quite threatening in feeling, even with no aggressive action taken, even if the trans person is, herself, worried about her own safety. As well, a lot of skeptical women/females feel their own identity as women is threatened with social acceptance of trans people, who they “know” are not really women, and retreat to a hard binary stance that excludes.
WHO DOESN’T WANT A SOLUTION
These feelings on both sides of the bathroom argument are real. It’s denial to pretend the other side’s views are bunk.
So what can we do about it?
The traditional notion of using some method force people into some kind of mold does not work. Pressuring people not to be themselves is oppression; requiring us all to be the same under rule is fascism.
People are in fact not binary. Our species is what we’d call a bimodal distribution—a continuum with two distinct groupings. Public bathrooms are not merely a trans issue; it’s also a human issue an issue for intersex people who struggle largely in secret.
And “third sex” or gender-alternate bathrooms is so horribly not the way to go. I don’t mean those who want to be “X,” neither M nor F; I mean grouping all non-binary as X against their will. The notion of segregating bathrooms for those not binary is not only inhumane, it’s impossible to work. Think it through: How would we decide who uses the binary bathroom and who uses the alternate bathroom? All persons would have to be inspected, skeptics and trans alike, “to get out the fakers.” The “obvious ones”? Obvious to some might not be obvious to others. Doctors’ letters are notoriously inaccurate, writing more out of political view than phenomena. So we lift skirts to see? Are we kidding? Or how about using government-issued ID that states the physical sex marker (M and F mean Male and Female, not masculine and feminine). But it’s already common that such opposite sex markers are issued to people who don’t have or want SRS, even those from other states or countries, so that won’t work—and didn’t we learn about segregation from concerns with other minorities in decades past? Have we learned nothing about human equality?
Transgenders don’t generally want the below solution. I find myself feeling most transgenders don’t want a different bathroom resolution because most transgenders actually want to keep the binary system, leveraging validation of new gender or fantasy from authorities. Yes, that looks like fantasy. A penis is simply not female, even if one thinks so; it’s a male sex organ.
Intersex generally don’t want this solution. Why don’t I see intersex in general stepping up to help trans in this? I think it’s because most everyone wants to distance from trans people, even intersex—many of whom will argue vehemently they’re not trans, even though, last I looked, the brain is part of the body and may well develop differentiated from genitalia.
Skeptics also don’t want the below solution. I find myself thinking it’s because they don’t want to imply or confer approval of trans lifestyles in the decision, certainly don’t want to use any tax revenue money to make it happen, and (2) transgender issues influence many people to try to affirm their own affiliation with the sex/gender of birth.
Fortunately, there is an easy solution—all groups get to like some of it and dislike other things about it.
STEP 1 (TGs will hate this one): Transgenders begin to admit their true nature (woman keeping a penis) and decry fakers to help prevent some of the valid concerns that skeptics fear. Move to a middle ground. It truly is unworkable to say that all humans are inter-gender or that it’s defined by what a person says she feels. No one can see that, and all are not welcome in the ladies’ room.
STEP 2 (Skeptics will hate this one, but it’s temporary): Look to states where rights of transgender admission are granted. What problems do we seem to have? Extremely few. Frankly, if anyone caused a problem in a bathroom, a trans person in there would likely be one who would defend you, not cause the problem, herself. Admit legitimate transgenders to the ladies’ room while we do Step 3.
STEP 3: Change the model of bathrooms so that all persons are treated equally and safely, where no one is put in a position of fear, where no one can use bathrooms to seek validity or feel they’re losing validity: Redesign to individual stalls and area hand washing. I see this model at places like Renaissance Fairs, County Fairs, other public events. Instead of lawsuits, jails, legislator time, arguing over who is a bigot or a radical, redesign public bathrooms to fit non-binary people.
Example: You go to the movies. Instead of having two bathrooms, redesign that same space into one large room open to the lobby (or separated by a glass wall) with two exits, so that there are individual stalls that are actually private and lockable with real doors, each with an exhaust, no urinals at all for males so no one can expose self to others, have a bank of hand washing sinks by exits. No one sees anything other than people going into closets or washing hands. (Extra Boon: We could also see who doesn’t wash hands.)
All are safe. Modesty is assured for all. Intersex is cared-for as well as any trans, neutrois, agender, gay, straight, Martian, Muggle—anyone.
All this is a fight we don’t need to have.