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Sunday, April 24, 2016

Transgender rant

I will never understand the fuss over transgenders using whatever bathroom they feel comfortable using. We had a case at the college where I worked. I was the EEO officer in addition to my other responsibilities, so I became involved with the issues and conflicts such a situation engenders (pun intended.)

It was a case where a guy we had known for years had apparently been tortured by having to be a man and decided the hormonal pressures were (and the scientific evidence is clear that it is indeed a hormonal condition)** too much to bear and had decided to undergo therapy and then have a sex-change operation. As part of that process, he had to “become” a woman, dress and “act” the part. I can only imagine how incredibly difficult it was for him, and I was dismayed by the lack of compassion and understanding on the part of a few otherwise intelligent and ostensibly religious people. Believe me, this is not something anyone would put themselves through willingly without a lot of biological pressure. I’m not suggesting the situation wasn’t awkward, but it was nice to see how he was supported and accepted by some, but sad to witness evil and vindictiveness in others.

The fuss over bathroom use is just childish. Congressional advocates in North Carolina who passed the law requiring everyone to use the bathroom consistent with the gender on their birth certificate are either completely ignorant, just plain mean, or playing politics. (In one of the great ironies associated with the legislation, those purporting to advocate “states’ rights” took away a city’s right to prevent discrimination.) How they could ever enforce the law is beyond me. Perhaps matrons at the door checking birth certificates and equipment? And what to do with post-op transgenders?

Women’s bathrooms with more than one toilet have stalls. Those stalls lock. They are quite private. Rapists just are not going to dress up as women so they can pick on little girls in ladies rooms. If they want to rape or molest little kids, all they need to do is go to seminary as we’ve learned from the scandals in the Catholic Church. If some woman walked into men’s bathroom and started using a urinal, the overwhelming response will be a big yawn. If someone dressed as a woman walked into a woman’s bathroom and used a stall, the response would be another yawn.

Gender is much more than physical attributes. Let’s stop playing politics with people’s lives. On , the other hand, as we grow up, and older less forgiving and compassionate people die off, perhaps the problem will solve itself. I’m old enough to remember whites only bathrooms.

**An excellent, but very sad, case study is As Nature Made Him: The Boy Who Was Raised as a Girl by John Colapinto. One of the more interesting little tidbits in this book is that 1/1000 children is born with indeterminate gender. Read the book to discover what the common practice to fix this was not too long ago. My review at https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/37704103?type=review#rating_73980264.

See also the review article in Endocrine Practice: http://journals.aace.com/doi/abs/10.4158/EP14351.RA

And by all means read this story and watch the video.
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