Thought for Wednesday October 25, 2006
Audio on Demand / Archives
Apparently, the line for the women’s restroom just got longer anywhere where the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority has a bathroom. The court ruling comes after a 70-year-old transgender telephone repair technician was arrested for using the woman’s bathroom. Now people are allowed to use whichever restroom is “consistent with their gender expression.”
Once the initial shock fades of having someone of the opposite sex in your bathroom, I’m not sure who would have a problem with this ruling. Let’s think about the actual mechanics for a moment. I’m not an expert on women’s restrooms, but I would assume most women have a bathroom stall as their only option. Women aren’t privy to the experience of peeing in long troughs next to each other like men are. The privacy factor is just higher. Therefore it is fairly unlikely that women will actually be exposed to one of these people.
On the other side, if a woman who is a man went into the men’s bathroom, no matter how many manly the traits that person has adopted, they are still missing the main member that would allow them to stand next to other men and pee into a urinal.
One of the people interviewed for this story said that she was just uncomfortable going to the bathroom next to a man. Well, join the club. There is nothing more uncomfortable for me than to have to go number two next to a man even if we are in completely secluded stalls. There just isn’t anything fun about hearing someone else’s evacuation or knowing they can hear yours. I usually plug my ears and softly hum a comforting tune.
Another rider fears that predators might dress as women and lurk in the women’s restroom. Based on my experience with the law, I would assume that even after this ruling, going into the opposite gender’s restroom for some sort of sexual gratification would still be illegal, and unless some “predator” is able to camouflage themselves between the tank of the toilet and the walls, this endeavor would prove to be fairly fruitless.
Keep in mind that about 2 percent of the American public is transgender, and they don’t have to go to the bathroom every minute of everyday. In other words, the chance you will have to deal with this is very low. On the off chance you do have to do this, it won’t be a daily occurrence. I don’t understand the transgender community, and to be honest, they make me uncomfortable, but if you think it’s strange to go to the bathroom with one of these people, imagine how strange it would be to walk around everyday feeling like you were the opposite gender.