Saturday, 15 November 2014

Toilets, transgender and transphobia

We’re hoping for a visit from a LAGLO from Surrey Police at the Surrey Swans meeting that is scheduled for November 30th

I emailed my Surrey Swans contact list to ask if anyone had any questions that they would like to have discussed.

A question that I’ve received reads like this:

I hope to come along, as always, but in case I don't then the question of toilet facilities is something which comes up quite a lot.

Obviously in private premises then a quiet word with a manager should clear up most situations, but in public situations I understand that there are no legal hurdles to overcome when using a ladies convenience when presenting as a woman (or crossdressed or . . . or . . etc) but what would happen should a genetic woman object and make a scene?

If I need the loo and go to the men's conveniences then this is the most likely place to be attacked, so . . . apart from personal responsibility for ones safety could they comment about loos.

I’ll post the answers when I have them.

I just recently searched Google News using the search word transgender. And the subject of bathrooms / toilet / loo facilities comes up a surprisingly high number of times.

There’s this from the Rush Limbaugh show. The discussion is about the city of Cleveland, Ohio and the person that called in to the show says:

the city of Cleveland, Cleveland city council, I understand that this has been an issue in other cities in recent days, although never went national.  Cleveland city council on Monday, I believe it was, was having a debate with the transgender community here.  I attended the meeting.  What they want is the right to use restrooms in public areas -- bars, restaurants, sporting events, and the like -- and I just wanted to get your take on that, because that's an up in-the-air issue here.  The Cleveland city council didn't come to a decision, so now they're saying it's gonna be going to the Supreme Court.  I would imagine the state Supreme Court

And then here the Miami Herald has the headline “Transgender discrimination ban prevails in Miami-Dade panel, despite opposition” and says:

Raw emotion and invocations of biblical damnation over a proposed ban on discrimination against transgender people dominated Wednesday what was perhaps the fiercest debate Miami-Dade County Hall has seen this year.

Advocates of a more inclusive society, including transgender men and women who spoke of how difficult it can be to find public acceptance, were outnumbered by conservatives who, in a show of force, assailed the legislation as immoral and a threat to public safety. Two likened South Florida to Sodom and Gomorrah.

What proponents called a civil-rights issue was boiled down by opponents to a mundane task that blurred the divide between men and women: going to the bathroom. A law protecting people like him, a transgender man said, offers the “dignity to pee in peace.”

Here the National Post has the headline “Parents suing Vancouver School Board over new transgender policy that lets students use any washroom”.

The Eastern Wake News says, here, that:

Wake County school administrators want to help transgender students avoid being bullied as they undergo what may be a difficult personal transition in the very public environment of school.

Wake, like other school districts across the country, is trying to accommodate the small but growing number of students who don’t want to go by the sex assigned to them at birth. From providing locker room and bathroom facilities to making sure of the right terminology to use, Wake administrators say they want to develop specific training to deal with bullying related to gender identity. has an article that mentions:

GLOUCESTER, Va. (WAVY) — Gloucester’s school board has delayed voting on a policy involving restroom facilities for a transgender student, until its December 9 meeting.

“Though I was assigned female at birth, that’s not the case. I’m a boy,” 10th grader Gavin Grimm told

Grimm, who attends Gloucester High School, came out as transgender over the summer. At school, he was initially told to use the nurse’s bathroom, then he was allowed to use the boys restroom.

The 15-year-old told, “However, there have been some parents in the community, or rather adults, that have had a problem with this. So, I’m fighting for my right to use the correct restroom … the men’s restroom.”

Back here I wrote about an experience of my own:

The only not-nice incident of the weekend occurred here.

Veronica visited the Ladies and a guy that was very much the worse for wear in terms of excessive alcohol consumption … began to bad-mouth her. For no good reason.

There was a member of the Weatherspoon’s staff close by at the time who called a security guard over and the man was escorted from the premises.

When we left, the guy was still outside the building with a few of his friends.

He was abusive to everyone and if it hadn’t been for the efforts of his friends in holding him back, I guess all kinds of things could have happened.

It seems that the people that have the hang-ups about this issue often are either simply uninformed or have some kind of a faith / religious region for their views.

The religious views seem to b0il down to the belief that God hates the whole concept of transgender. Maybe He loves the person … but they’re going to end up in hell regardless. It can be difficult to have a rational discussion about gender with a person that has decided that it is wrong because the Bible or the Qur'an (etc. etc, ) says that it is wrong. Period. So it can also difficult to have a rational discussion about gender, transgender and human rights with such people.

I personally know quite a few transgender people. So far I have never met anyone that deliberately wants to offend or upset people. They just want to get along with living.

I don’t know a single transgender person that goes to the bathroom / restroom other than for the purpose that the bathroom / restroom is intended.

My guess is that neither do the people who have problems with the idea of transgender people using the restroom.

Of course, I don’t know every transgender person in the world. But I find it difficult to see any real motive for the hang-ups that many people have about the use of restrooms that don’t, in the end, just boil down to being an expression of transphobia.

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