Linda G. Hill

Life in progress

Transgender Change-room Issue – Emotion vs Common Sense

63 Comments

I spend way too much time on Facebook. The reasons I go there are to find things to laugh at, see pretty pictures, get world news (shake your finger at me if you must, but it’s where learn what’s going on), and get into arguments.

One of my most recent was over the gender bathroom issue. I’m talking about this here at the risk of sounding like I’m trying to validate my views. I’m not. I just really want to talk about it, because it’s been on my mind for weeks. Before I go any further, I want to go on record to state that I’m not against transgender people using the bathroom of their choice. I realize the chances of a transgender woman (male to female) getting beaten to death is much higher if she uses the men’s washroom than that she will abuse anyone in the women’s washroom. In fact chances are that she’s so self-conscious, it’s unlikely she’d even look anyone in the eye, let alone peek under a bathroom stall. I’m not here to debate whether it’s right or wrong for transgender people to choose a bathroom. If you are not of the same opinion as I, that is your right. If you comment just to state your opinion on which side you’re on, you’ll get a smile emoji and I’ll say nothing else. All I really ask is that you keep it civil.

The whole Facebook argument started when I came across a meme on a friend’s page concerning not only the bathroom issue, but whether or not transgender people should use change rooms in gyms. I wasn’t aware that this was an issue, so my comment was something like, You mean they’re allowed to use public change rooms too? Okay, yes I probably could have worded it better. I was called out for using both the word “they” and the word “allowed.” I had to explain that I didn’t mean I think transgender people are inhuman, but rather I was speaking in a broad sense the same way I would speak about men vs. women. I don’t consider men to be inhuman, even though I call them “them” when differentiating between my sex and the sex that isn’t mine. Also, I didn’t mean to say that they’re any less human by saying they’re not “allowed” to use the women’s washroom, any more than I’m saying cisgendered men are lesser beings because they’re not “allowed” to use the women’s washroom. They’re not. Right? I just love over-sensitivity.

So on with the actual discussion. I told the woman I was speaking to (we’ll call her Mary) that I wasn’t necessarily against transgender women using a change room where she could feel comfortable. I agreed it was important that she not have to change in front of men. But in all the gym change rooms I’ve been into, everyone gets naked and I wouldn’t be comfortable changing in front of a person who is, no matter how she identifies or feels deep inside to be, is still physically a man. And I wouldn’t want my daughter (if I had one) to be confronted with a grown man’s penis. Mary asked me what there was to be afraid of. It’s just a penis.

I tried to explain to her that the sex education of my children should be up to me, that I should be able to decide when the time, the place, and the mode of teaching is appropriate. I believe it is both my right and my responsibility as a parent to choose how and when my children learn certain things. No one should make this choice for me, whether it’s a person with the physical attributes of a male in a change room or a flasher on the street. She disagreed, telling me that it would be the perfect opportunity to teach a young daughter the difference between boys and girls. She said it was the same as when her daughter asked about her infant son. She then went on to tell me how much of a bigot I am, and how I’m part of the problem.

The next day I went to my government’s website to see how we deal with this situation in Ontario (Canada). I found out that my government does its best to accommodate transgender people. They state that it’s necessary for all businesses to have a safe place for everyone to go to the washroom, change, and shower. Most facilities already have family rooms that are well-partitioned and/or are for single-person use. This, to me, is the perfect solution and ensures that everyone is comfortable. Still, I’m seen as a bigot.

It seems there is a line between common sense and entitlement. Political correctness, not wanting to offend anyone and over-sensitivity overrun our society to the point that there is little logic left in the world. Society runs on emotion, and that is the case for Mary who, as I found out later in our discussion, is the mother of a transgender girl.

I believe until we, as a society, are able to think with our brains rather than our hearts we will always be in conflict. But hasn’t it always been that way?

Author: LindaGHill

There's a writer in here, clawing her way out.

63 thoughts on “Transgender Change-room Issue – Emotion vs Common Sense

  1. To even think about even allowing any transgender to have their very own changing room is very dumb idea. First thing that has to be done first is to find a cite[s] that would even prove that a person is even born in the very wrong body. Okay I have been asking this very question for the past two years.
    I am a scholar whereby I can write a paper showing the cite[s] or even a thesis on the very same subject. Yet there in cite[s] at all in the past two years that can even prove a child is born in the wrong body.
    Okay a cite[s] is and does prove that there are facts of proof[s]
    That is now very interesting that there should be no special changing rooms with people that are still believing in a lie and they would be lairs to even state something without any cite[s].
    Okay without your proof I can truthfully write my thesis and a legal paper that States transgender is very phony and there is no integrity in even saying any human being is even born in the wrong body and with that said that would also mean that transgender child is lying and telling a lie, for that child and parents are no more than a lair.
    Thank you

    Liked by 1 person

      • Well thank you for your response. I would agree that you I think you are saying that transgender cannot be allowed in the opposite genders changing room or bathroom or to even have their very own bathroom.
        I am looking for any cite[s] which prove that there is a way to backup the transgender claim what they are even saying is true. no cite then there is no proof. I myself would say there is no cite then the transgender claim is like a myth or a lie and that would make anyone that even claims to be a transgender is a lair.
        I am going to write in a scholar is this in a 30 to 35 page paper that will be punished transgender is a lie told by lairs. As you can see i would have to have a cite[s] to even put in that paper with any proof.
        If you have one that i could read it just one that would be nice.
        As you can see as a scholar I have to be fair and put both side of the argument in my paper if I can even find one cite[s]. I can find all types and all kinds of cite[s] that prove transgenders are all lair and it is just a lie they love to tell. These cite[s] just prove a person is born in the correct body and that is their gender for life no matter how they feel or think.
        Thank You

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        • But I disagree with you. I believe transgendered people actually feel as though they were born in the wrong body, and therefore should be allowed their own space in which to change.
          Please do not cite my site as insight for your paper.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Where is your cite[s] that proves what you are saying is truth? Unit there is a cite[s] then you have no proof that what you are saying is even true.
            So are you trying to tell me that what all those and even a transgender is a lie that we should believe without a cite[s] to even back up the idea that you could be born in the wrong body.
            Sorry I need a cite[s] and now you just confirmed what I have been saying all along that it is impossible that a person can be born in the wrong body. I have over 1,000 cite[s] that prove there is no such thing as a transgender and that means it is illegal for a transgender to use the opposite gender bathroom. Well send me a cite[s] if you can. This is fair to state there is no such thing as a transgender and I will have that published as a fact and as a proof, because of no facts.
            I will also put in that paper that there is no integrity with someone that even claims or agrees with transgender. That would be fair. and I am a very fair-minded . What a cite is, is a legal cite with proof, facts, and a truth that can backup what you are saying and you have shown me none.
            Thank You

            Like

          • To answer your last point and I forgot to say this is what I would say and I could cite you, but I would do it this way. ” those that agree with transgender are supporting with no cite[s] and refuse to even come up with a legal cite[s] just to backup what they are saying, and refuse to even listen to those with a cite[]s that prove transgender is a phony and are wanting to see more crime like sexual crimes come about because of the immoral act[s] of a transgender wanting something without even one legal cite[s].” Now I feel that would be very fair to have in my paper and have it published as a legal fact and those words would be used to prove what transgenders are say as no more than a lie, and in legal terms that would make them as a lair.
            Now you can see just how important it is to have just one to have just one cite[s] in order to backup just what you are saying.
            Now being fair-minded I will hold off writing my paper as a scholar for now and I will say I am on page 25 of my paper. You see i like to use both sides of the argument and that is why i am looking just for one cite[s], and seeing none that is why the paper will be written as is, that there is no real proof and it is impossible to even be born in the wrong body. I know you cannot prove it and you are going by what you hear, but I need the cite[s].
            Thank you

            Like

      • I don’t know how he can write a thesis – he can write a thesis you know- without cite(s), And there are no cite(s) in sight, at least not on this site and even if there were cite(s) in sight on this site, they would be his cite(s) and there can be no sight of his own cite(s) in his thesis, for it is not insightful(s) to cause his own cite(s) to be in sight on whatever site he does his thesis. Now I can cite(s) his cite(s) for I did not create his cite(s) – so I can use his cite(s) in my insights on my site to prove my thesis but he cannot – for it is considered unprofessional to cite cite(s) on your own site that are your cite(s) for it is not insightful and does not keep the accepted and cited cite(s) of professionalism in sight.

        This could be considered a cite(s) which can be used by him to generate insightfullness as to his thesis and the site on which humanity first sighted (and cited) it. Please do not make this unsightly. 😀

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  2. I am a female to male transsexual who completed surgery back in 2000. We have only been legal here in Australia since 2000 and to listen to what is happening overseas it scares some of us. Being spoken about as if we are not here is frightening considering the number of us that have suffered violence. I don’t think women would appreciate a middled aged bearded male using their restroom.

    Here in Australia we have family rooms and children under 5 are permitted to accompany either parent into whichever restroom is applicable at the time and also more and more unisex single rooms. The local University still has open dressing rooms and I manage to use shower stalls for privacy though most men here walk about there with their heads down looking at the tiles.
    Since my wife went into a wheelchair we both use the accessible restrooms and this solves the issue of only the single stall in the mens.

    Like

    • It’s good to know there’s some sensibility in Australia. There are a lot of scary things going on in the US these days, the bigotry over transgendered people being one of the worst (and most ridiculous).
      Thank you so much for your comment!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Dear Linda I’m pleased you replied, the US is not a place I intend to visit again in a hurry. Using bathrooms of our true gender is a requirement of transitioning here, in the beginning I had thought I might be bothered, but no. The other men understood, though once anot her man came in, looked at me, said “I though this was the gents aND then we bother checkled the place oUT for the urinal”it was.

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  3. Well, in my experience people who call others bigots are usually bigots themselves just at the other end of the spectrum. I used to be with female to male transexual and I am aware of the huge transition a transexual who decides to change sex has to go through. However, I never really thought about the very practical problems while going through that change. I met my ex very late in his transition so bathroom problems didn’t exist anymore. It is a vast field as Effi Briests father would say. And you are right: It is reigned by too much emotion.

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    • Intolerance runs rampant, doesn’t it? I like your philosophy on bigots. It makes a lot of sense.
      Thank you for your perspective, Bee. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • You are welcome. It isn’t much as I haven’t followed the discussion. I heard about it but that’s about it. It is difficult on either side. I doubt anyone with some common sense wants a transexual to feel uncomfortable anywhere and no transexual with some common sense will push their sex on any child. However, common sense seems to be dead wherever I look. I like your governments attitude and its way of addressing the issue. I am not a fan of common locker or changing rooms anyway due being a survivor. At work the ladies locker room is tiny and where my locker is people from the outside can see in. So if I have to change at work I go to the toilet which has cubicles but I don’t feel that’s right. But at least I can get some privacy if I want to.

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  4. I have been reading about this for a while now, and somehow every opinion I come up with seems to have an “other” side which can be seen as “offensive” by someone else. I am all for gender identity and freedom, but at the same time I have similar issues about sharing a common restroom with someone who essentially has a penis! And forget kids, I think even adults need a new form of holistic sex education here to connect with such issues. There are boundaries, irrespective of what you have got between your legs? Unfortunately, the boundaries are different for each one of us.

    Liked by 2 people

    • They are, which is why this matter is so complicated. Piling on top of the problem are those who are offended at every turn. It’s a no-win situation until someone puts their money where their mouth is and builds all-inclusive facilities. In the meantime I’m tempted to say just cross your legs until you get home. 😛

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I find it very hard to believe that there are any sort of changing rooms, locker rooms, etc that don’t have at least one private cubicle to change in. As to the rabid postings on Fb about this, it’s just so much meh.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Brit posting here.
    I’ve been following this debate; it’s very complicated isn’t it? I don’t know if this is just a laconic British response but the answer would seem to be to have ‘Ladies’ ‘Gents’ (that’s what we call ’em traditionally) and ‘Anyones’ facilities. (It’s no use discussing this in the UK. Anything to do with lavatories soon brings out the juvenile humour in even the most serious minded of us- it’s a cultural thing)
    Seriously the aspect which drew my attention was the Facebook ‘straight to Defcon 10 response some folk adopted ‘bigot’?????? Really
    (And there was the quasi-heretical statement of ‘it’s just a penis’? Does not that poster realise for many men their entire world revolves around that organ- lol)

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi Linda. The problem in this issue is not the handful of Transgendered kids but once again, the fundamentalist religious people. As a teacher I can tell you that plenty of fights, threats, bullying, and vandalism has occurred in bathrooms across the US as opposed to NO INCIDENTS of trouble when transgendered uses the bathroom she or he identifies with. I say long live the liberal thinkers who leave the Bible on the shelf and make law based on kindness toward all children.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Indeed. But I doubt the philosophy of sharing locker rooms and showers would go as well in schools. This is where the issue gets much more sticky, and where contingencies must be thought out by all the schools.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I won’t get into the whole issue. I have my opinion and nothing will change that. I will say, Linda, that I agree with your stance on when it is appropriate to teach children about such things and it should be up to the parents. I do not think that makes you a bigot. I do like how your government is handling the situation.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you, Lori. The whole issue on when to teach kids about sex hinges on family values. It’s right up there with religion, as far as I’m concerned.
      I was quite impressed when I went to the website for Ontario Human Rights. Our laws are both sensible and inclusive.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. In my heart I believe that this entire controversy, conveniently timed, is another government attempt at misdirection, a bit more of the “let’s you and him fight” strategy that serves to keep our focus off of areas where they operate on shaky ground. As to the controversy itself, why not three categories, male – female – free choice? As an aside, does anyone remember the Pissoir (vespasiennees)?

    Liked by 1 person

    • The three categories are basically what we have here, the free-choice option normally labeled as “Family.” I don’t understand – if you don’t have family rooms in public gyms and pools in the U.S., what does a single dad with daughters do? Not go? Let them fend for themselves in the ladies?
      You could be right about the misdirection. There are certainly a lot of issues going on in your country.
      I don’t remember the Pissoir, but I looked it up. Bleh. 😛

      Liked by 1 person

  10. For me the issue is that there is no way to restrict access to women’s changing rooms to those men who identify as transgendered. If you let people decide what room they will use, you’ll get men who want to go into the women’s locker room for other reasons, and you’ll have no way to stop them.

    The other issue, of course, is that I do not believe that changing a person’s physical body is the only, or in most cases the best, treatment for gender identity disorder. I don’t want to be made a part of a therapy that I believe is harmful to the patient.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I brought up the point with Mary that not everyone is honest, and that with the law in place, any man can put on a dress and go into a women’s change room. For that I was accused of calling transgendered women just men in dresses, and told there’s more to it than that. Which I know, but there was no convincing her otherwise. To her it furthered her conviction that I’m a bigot.
      And I agree, there are many reasons why not to go through with surgery, from physical to sociological. No one should be forced to have surgery just so they can be permitted into a certain room any more than they should be forced to behave according to the gender they were born. So there should be some accommodation. One that still shouldn’t make them feel like outcasts.

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      • Now, I would say instead that nobody should be forced to behave like someone else’s definition of the gender they were born. I spent a lot of my life thinking that I didn’t want to be a man, but I eventually realized that what I was didn’t have to be constrained by my sex organs. To my mind the whole concept of transgenderism buys into a lot of unhealthy myths about sex roles. A man doesn’t have to become a woman to be caring, sensitive, artistic, and so on–he can define manhood for himself to contain those attributes. Nor does a man have to become a woman to get attention and affection from other men. Again, I believe that it is healthier to learn to love ourselves as we are, and to define for ourselves what it means to be a man or a woman. Our bodies are assigned to us, but how we choose to live in them is up to us.

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  11. This issue aside, I think some people are just against such thing as every subset of the population thinks they are “entitled” to some accommodation for this, that or the other. It becomes tiresome. There are so many horrible things going on in the world and the issue for some people is where to crap. Where is the line ? There were no rules to accommodate me in my life. It was I that had to adjust to the system. Of course this is not to suggest that accommodations for the blind or disabled are not legitimate.

    Liked by 1 person

    • This is where you see the hierarchy of needs come in. When all of the essentials are taken care of, how else can we make our lives more convenient? And half of the stuff people are screaming for as their rights is just that. Which would be fine, except the entitlement part usually comes with the necessity for someone else to pay for it.
      If people could or would stop to ask themselves how necessary things are, we might not be in this mess. But they don’t. So here we are.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    I’m on Facebook a lot too … This issue is very important to the LGBT community. Yet so senseless in its existence! They say common sense is the least common sense!

    Like

  13. Excellent discussion! Instead of the world voicing what we think others need, let the people involved have a voice. As someone with a disability I am tired of do-gooders telling me what I need! I am the better judge!

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    • I’m afraid it’s often the case that those who are most deeply affected by issues involving their rights, freedoms, and what makes their lives easier, simply end up sitting back and watching the appalling and endless fights by those who don’t really understand. Everyone must have a cause, it seems.
      For all the good intentions out there, often the causes do help. It’s the bickering that turns people off. Makes you feel like saying, hey! Stop talking about me like I’m not here! I try to keep such discussions about how they affect myself and my family, but it’s not always easy. I hope I’ve been respectful.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I’m pretty much on the same page as you are Linda. Washrooms are a nonissue. Places where public nakedness is common -i.e.change rooms, public baths, etc , physical gender should be respected or even better, there should be a few private areas for those who wish or who are not of the assigned gender. I honestly think that this is a bit of a tempest in a teapot Linda. How many transgender are there? And what is their sensitivity? My guess is that they would not desire to publicly show genitals of the opposite gender anyways. Has anyone asked the transgendered?

    Liked by 4 people

    • I think you might be surprised at how many transgendered people there are. While many have transitioned to the point where it’s hard, if not impossible, to tell, there are probably even more who are afraid to go out dressed according the gender to which they identify. It makes sense to me that they wouldn’t want to show their genitals, but as long as they are “allowed” by law to do so, you never know. People are all different.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. I understand your feelings.
    I’ll give you a couple of situations to consider. Imagine my Sassy is transgendered. Imagine the entire world perceives her as a girl, because she looks like a girl and talks like a girl and thinks as one assumes girls do. But she has a penis. (It’s possible. You know she has a unisex name and you never changed her diapers.)
    Can you imagine her playing basketball and then going into the boys’ room with her breasts and her long hair?
    Can you imagine it in reverse, with your son walking into the girls’ locker room, looking like a boy, but undressing to reveal bound breasts and panties? Will the girls even stay in the locker room to find out? I think they will run out in fear or giggles, depending.
    How would this affect our children?

    Liked by 5 people

    • Which is why it’s so important to have those private change rooms, for those who are exceptional or even those who are shy. For that matter, why should anyone be forced to undress in front of strangers or friends? We all know how judgemental people are. Our children are affected by many different things, such as weight issues, birth-marks, disabilities… it’s endless.

      Liked by 5 people

    • I can appreciate your feelings. My opinions are not from a point of bigotry but concern for what is/is not appropriate for my children.

      Liked by 1 person

      • And that’s as it should be. If we lived in a society where there were public nude beaches, I’d probably stay away from those too, particularly with my kids. It should be my choice. Not someone else’s.

        Liked by 1 person

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