I do not believe myself to be bigoted.  I’m sure everyone says that to themselves, but I really mean it.  My brother is gay, and I support gay rights and gay marriage. 

But an issue popped up this week that seems sort of a no-brainer to me, and apparently those with my view are bigoted.  However, the issue for me is not clear-cut.  I’m confused.  I do have fears, some of which I’ll address below.  Overall, this issue at least starts some dialogue on the subject.

Years upon years ago, two words/phrases were prevalent to address this topic, sort of.  I knew of “cross dressers” and I knew of “transvestites” which I assumed were gay men who dressed in women’s clothing.  Obviously, the vocabulary which I had 20 years ago has morphed into a lot more. 

What I’d like to do is be respectful to both sides of this argument and step into their shoes (or heels, rather) to address this in a way where both sides can appreciate the others’ concerns.  I’m not really sure there is an answer out there yet.

To complicate matters, gender identity apparently has nothing to do with sexuality.  This makes my head hurt, actually.  In essence, you could have men who identify/dress as women and are attracted to men and/or women.  The flip side is you have women who identify as men and dress as men who could be attracted to men and/or women. 

Today, gay men and lesbian women share bathrooms with straight men and straight women.  So, the idea of someone “hitting” on you in a bathroom can happen today.  Not sure that happens a lot, but if that was a fear of people…same sex attraction could yield this result already. 

Moving on, the leading question was….what bathroom should Caitlin Jenner use?

This is a lot more complex than face value.  Does Caitlin identify as a woman?  Yes…does she have attraction to women? Yes.  To men?  Yes, apparently.  Does she still have the franks and beans?  Unknown, and apparently this is something private within that community.  Their gender is outward appearance and how they feel internally, regardless of the parts born with.  So…a simple check box for the tools given at birth aren’t sufficient. 

So, should Caitlin use the men’s room or women’s room?  Would it make a difference if there are no longer and peas and carrots in the equation?  Should it matter?

If we go back 20 years ago, this might be what people think of the cross dresser/transvestite (except maybe add 5 o’clock shadow)

tambor

The answer back then was that the group of people discussed really didn’t go out of their home much, or perhaps to certain clubs/bars where this was accepted.  Violence would possibly happen if this was in some backwoods area of the country and this person went out “in full drag” to a family restaurant or the like.   That being said, most people would probably say….”the men’s room”.

The problem this group has is sort of the same problem the gay community had.  Maybe it was assumed one out of every thousand or ten thousand were gay – therefore with most people closeted, these issues never really came to the forefront.  As more and more people came out of the closet in the late 90s, less people were shocked and less people gave a shit – desensitization essentially was what happened.  After the shock and awe, 10 years later came discussions on “gay rights”.  Marriage, adoption, etc.

With this group, we’re sort of still in the shock and awe phase.  Many people have never met a trans person, and only know what they know on TV.  Whatever you think of them, they are still real people that have feelings and need to eat, have a job, etc.  I still don’t know what to make of everything, but I do feel they have every right to exist and be themselves as they are.   It doesn’t affect me one way or the other, so I don’t really give a shit.  Now…would I invite one into my home?  Pal around at work with one?  I don’t know.  I’d probably be extremely respectful, but there’s just a lot going on there to process.  Then, kids asking questions.  I have no idea what to make of it, how am I to talk about it with my kids?  I guess no one in my world gives a shit what you do behind closed doors, but now that you’re out about in a family restaurant or in my workplace….how do I act?  What pronoun should I use?  He/she?  There’s a million things I could do wrong to offend this person.  I mean no ill will, I just….I just don’t know where to start.

No we get to the bathroom situation.  Should Caitlin Jenner use the women’s or the men’s bathroom?

Let’s play a game.   I’m going to put a few safe for work pictures up.  Three of these are women, two of these are trans women.  I want you to tell me which is which.  Take 10 seconds and see if you can determine.

 

Did you take the 10 seconds?

 

Which three are women?

 

Are you sure?

 

I lied…all of them are transgender, did I fool you?

 

Are you sure?

 

I lied again…3 are transgender, two are “born” females.  The natural born females are on the top row, the transgender are on the bottom.

The point of that exercise was to show you that shit just hit the fan in this country.  If people have to struggle to identify your gender, then a problem has arisen.  Some would say this is no problem at all, that the problem is YOU for thinking that you have to identify gender.   Well, I’m not the YOU in this case.  I see those three transgender women as using the women’s room.  Maybe you don’t see it like that.  What if one of those three no longer have the franks and beans?  What if none do?  What if all still have them?

Now,  the crux of the issue.

I don’t think the 3 transgender women pictured are what America is up in arms about.  95% of people probably wouldn’t be able to tell in a glance.  The issue is what about transgender who don’t look like that, and those who “pretend” to be transgender to get access to female restrooms.

Let me be clear, there are a ridiculous amount of sex offenders in this country.  If some dude walks into a women’s bathroom, he can be arrested.  However, if said pervert throws a wig on and some lipstick, he can claim he’s transgender and walk into any women’s bathroom he wants to, legally.

The issue gets even muddier if one of these perverts who expose themselves or peek is transgender….and attracted to women, not men.

One side of the coin says that people have the rights to identify as whatever gender and use whatever bathroom they wish.  The other side of that coin is a woman should have a right to privacy from potential predators.  Then you have the 6 year old girl in the bathroom with her mom and some non-passable cross dresser comes in and starts exposing parts of themselves in “adjustments”…should children be subjugated to potential dangers for the rights of….very few?

It’s murky.  Like I said, three of those transgender women are models, and it’s possible women never even know if they use the women’s room.  The further you get from passable, the more uncomfortable many of these women/children may feel.

So, what bathroom should Caitlin Jenner use?

I have no fucking idea.  But I sure as shit understand the problem people may have with it based on some of the “fears” I have outlined.

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