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View Diary: Flushing the "Bathroom Bill" Fear Once and For All (20 comments)

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  •  Oh, boy, bathrooms. (0+ / 0-)

    They are so fraught, for transfolk. When and how we get the nerve to step over that line, to transgress, to use the bathroom we are not biologically entitled to use...

    I do have some sympathy for bio women, and the concern they may have about a male-bodied person coming into the women's room. I lived as a girl and woman for almost 40 years and regularly dealt with the casual, thoughtless predation men are privileged to indulge in.

    But as a transman, I know transwomen just want a safe place to deal with a basic biological need, and whether they are passing brilliantly or not, the men's room is not that place for them. (Because, dang, who the hell wants to be beat up for being seen as gender-variant, whichever bathroom they are using?) And as women, transwomen have no interest in making the women's room an uncomfortable place for other women.

    It totally sucks, and is totally politically cynical that the anti-LGBT forces use the problem of patriarchal-sanctioned attacks on women against transfolk, specifically transwomen. Transwomen are reconfigured into predatory "stealthy men," intent on violating women and their safe spaces.

    The only place I have ever feared violence against my person as an adult was in a men's restroom.
    (As someone who rested in heterosexual privilege for the first 10 years of my marriage, this second ten years has been "interesting." But I have the option of being physically affectionate with my partner, and so forestalling negative reactions to our kissing or hugging or holding hands. We have the option of staying in the closet in public. I don't have the option of needing to pee, and needing to enter into the bathroom I judge most appropriate to me and my physical appearance.)

    I have no problem passing, but apparently I had been outed at this one bar I frequent, and a very drunk patron took objection when I came in to use the men's room, insisting that I was a woman and shouldn't be in the men's room. (The poor guy that came in at that point was made far more uncomfortable by the drunk than by me. And thank goodness he came in. As humiliating as it was to have him witness that whole mess, I got that he was more likely to back me than the drunk, making me feel really, really embarrassed, but much safer.)

    I managed to get out without being physically attacked, but the guy followed me to my table, where my husband and my younger, then 16 yo daughter sat. The guy continued to go off at me, as my husband thought, "Well, do I stand up now, and maybe escalate the situation?" because he's quite tall and rather imposing. His Aikido training would have kept anyone from being hurt, but still.

    But fortunately, we'd been going to this pub for years, from way before I began my transition, and the manager swooped in, and hustled this guy away, and once he was sobered up enough to leave, banned him from coming back.

    This is, frankly, amazing, that the management would come down on the side of a transperson. Far, far too often, we are seen as the offending individual. When all we want is a drink or a meal or a safe place to pee.

    I am ever so grateful when I go into an establishment with unisex bathrooms. So very, very unfraught.

    Write the wrongs done you in the sand. Write the kindnesses done you in stone.

    by LoosCanN on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 02:10:44 AM PDT

    •  That is cool... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ebohlman

      ... about the bar management.  Those are the places to keep going back to.  :)

      "Transwomen are reconfigured into predatory "stealthy men," intent on violating women and their safe spaces."

      Exactly.  This meme boils down to two assumptions: that trans women are really men, and that anyone with a penis is a rapist.

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