i found this among my transgender news and views items…after reading it, i found it reasonable. but there is one thing that made it seem somehow disingenuous.
the opinion in this article was that in washrooms, where one typically goes into a booth, shuts the door and does one’s business, of course there is no reason to exclude trans-women, pre-op, non-op, or otherwise, from using the facilities. it maintains that changing rooms/dressing rooms are a horse of a different color. in these instances, a person is not typically behind closed doors.
the author of this opinion piece says that transgender people should use discretion, perhaps put understanding over questions of equal rights,..that “tolerance, respect and common sense should take precedence over idealism”.
there’s just one problem. in my experience, the transgender females whom i have known and my transgender daughter in particular, are loathe to ‘expose’, their ‘male organ’. my daughter can’t bear even to see or touch hers! one of my best friends, who finally was able to afford the gender reassignment surgery that completed her, was embarassed as hell before the surgery to have someone see ‘the penis’. even did she find that there was no booth with a closed door to hide behind to change clothes, she made creative use of a towel.
so to me it seems unlikely that trans-women are going to be blatantly exposing themselves in dressing rooms. is this a bone of contention being used as a wedge to justify transphobia and denial of equal rights? are there really that many transgender pre-op women out there that have no qualms about showing off the part of their body they are anxious to be rid of?
i can’t speak to non-op transgender women. perhaps they don’t share my daughters sense of dread at having that ‘member’ being seen. i recognise that a trangender woman is a woman despite the belying nether parts, and that many don’t feel the same need to physically change their bodies surgically. but i’ve yet to meet one of these sort who doesn’t respect women’s dressing rooms, as did my good friend before her surgery.
so is this a real issue? or is it being used to drum up fear and find other ways to discriminate even if transgender women have to use the women’s restrooms? are there in fact transgender women who would act like some trench-coated perv lying in wait to ‘flash’ their stuff at unsuspecting girls?
i’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that there are not!
that being said, i am all for respecting others, when such an extension of grace doesn’t feed into their short-sightedness or bigotry. as proof, i offer the following:
once, at a well-known ‘clothing optional’ (tho rarely worn) local swimming hole, a friend of mine appeared on the path to the water. he called down to me and asked if i would mind putting something on, as he was bringing along his mother and some nieces and nephews. myself, my daughter and another friend of mine were the only ones there at the time. i would’ve been fully in my rights to say no. but out of respect, i covered myself. and when the other friend with whom i had been swimming took offense that i honored the request, i told him that he was free to stay naked, but that i would be putting something on. in the end, he did likewise, tho with grudging reluctance.
so if anyone who reads this blog wants to weigh in on the issue, this is my question:
do you know of ANY transgender woman who while using a public women’s dressing room, would blatantly or knowingly expose her ‘penis’ to others in the room?
in my humble opinion there’s more likely a unicorn in my backyard.