Let’s make ALL restrooms communal and be done with it!
I wish I didn’t have to write this post because I wish everyone could let go of their fears and judgements long enough for us to settle this issue. Gender is not black and white, especially gender-identity, but there are still people who view things in this two-dimensional way.
For these people the arguments about who-should-use-what-bathroom are the perfect platform for this black and white thinking – one washroom for men and one washroom for women. Why can’t they see that a transwoman falls into the “woman” category? Hell, why do we have to categorize people in this way at all?
I live in a big North American city that is pretty progressive and liberal. I’m not sure if that has anything to do with it, but more and more I am seeing bathrooms that aren’t gender specific at all! That’s right, no little picture of a man in pants or a woman in a dress on the doors. Many of these particular places have single bathrooms, but some have a shared sink area and are not much different than a standard public bathroom with stalls.
Most of these restrooms-for-all are found in restaurants and bars around the city, and no one seems to make a big deal about it. A friend from out of town was a little surprised, but I have yet to hear of anyone complaining to management because someone of another gender used the toilet before them. What exactly are people afraid of here? Oh yeah… their own ignorance.
An anti-LGBTQ group (what!?) in Colorado recently started false rumors about a transgender student harassing other students in the school’s bathroom, going so far as to say that a transgender teen in the girls washroom is “inherently intimidating and harassing”. It turned out the false accusations came from a mother who objected to the policy of allowing students to use washrooms that correspond to their gender identity. This poor 16-year-old girl has now become a target for transphobia and hateful comments and threats!
Read the whole article at Salon.com, where you’ll also find an audio recording of the transgirls’s mother defending her daughter. Or check out the original report of this story over at The TransAdvocate.
I was kind of joking when I said all washrooms should be communal, although it would handily dispose of these concerns altogether. But actually, the way forward is not in erasing the lines that people use to divide us up, but in erasing the ignorance and hateful attitudes that make this an issue to begin with.
Care to share your thoughts? Let’s discuss in the comments below…