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Friday, May 13, 2016

No Room for Men in the Ladies Room, and Vice Versa

  I have to make an apology for my previous post (which I have deleted) about the North Carolina HB2 bathroom law which mandates that in government buildings, including public schools and universities, transgender people must use the restroom of the sex of their birth.  I was confusing transgender with transsexual.  According to Wikipedia, "transgender is a term used to describe people whose gender identity differs from the sex the doctor marked on their birth certificate."   In plain English, this means a boy who feels more like a girl, or a girl who feels more like a boy.  A transgender person my have all the appearances of one sex but feel inside that they are the opposite sex.
   On the other hand, a transsexual is someone who has undergone medical procedures to transition from one sex to another - a man who converts to  a woman, or a woman who converts to a man. This can involve hormone therapy to raise or lower the voice, plastic surgery to change bodily appearance, and the conversion of the sexual anatomy through surgery. 
     If you are a person who feels that they are some other sex than what they were born, I feel badly for you and know you have struggles.  However, using a public restroom affects other people.   In the interest of keeping public order, I feel that a transgender person should use the restroom of the sex of their birth until they undergo transition to the opposite sex. at which point they legally become a member of the opposite sex. Up until then they are still whatever sex they were born as, no matter how the may feel about it.
   This has nothing to do with preventing molestation in public restrooms.  Multitudes of people have been molested by persons of the same sex or the opposite sex. Gender has nothing to do with it.  The only way to prevent molestation is to have a responsible adult accompany children to public restrooms.
     This has more to do with keeping order and preventing panic.  You may feel like Fay Wray on the inside, but if you look more like King Kong on the outside, you should use the  men's room.  If it make you a little bit uncomfortable, I'm sorry. At least all the other people sharing the restroom will not be alarmed.
  Where this gets sticky is when someone has started the transition or looks more like the opposite sex than their actual sex.  Then they should seek out a unisex restroom when in those buildings. 
   To be honest, most people in a restroom are not paying much attention to who else is in there with them, they just want to do their business and get out.  If you feel that your presence is going to look out of place and cause commotion, don't go there, no matter what you feel like doing.  It is in the better interest of the public to have men and boys in the men's room and girls and women in the ladies' room.  For the small percentage of the population that this makes uncomfortable, unisex rooms should be provided.  Many buildings already have these in the form of "family" restrooms.
    When it comes to locker rooms and showers, the same rule applies.  As long as your body is male, use the men's. As long as your body is female, use the women's.  Anything else is liable to cause alarm and confusion. 
      My position on this issue falls under the same category as the prohibition against yelling "fire" in a packed theater.  It's in the best interest of the general public.  Some areas of public life are black and white, and this is one of  them.  Gender is defined by physical anatomy, not by who you feel you are on the inside,  especially in the eyes of the people with whom you are sharing the restroom.