The right for a transgendered person to use a gender-appropriate restroom is an important right, but freedom from job discrimination is a more important right, and fighting for restroom rights will slow down the fight for ENDA. It will also slow down the fight for other basic rights: being able to enter restaurants, clubs and shops without discrimination, stronger hate crime legislation, better treatment within the judicial system, and the right to have medical procedures covered under health insurance.
It is my opinion that putting the matter of restroom rights first delays the progress on the other rights. Trans women using women's restrooms is a hot button issue that many people have a visceral reaction to. I acknowledge and agree that it's unfair, but I think this reaction will change over time as the other rights are gained and more transsexuals, crossdressers, queer folk and other people on the transgendered spectrum are out in society. In the case of equal rights, familiarity is what has helped the progress in gay rights, and I have high hopes that it will do the same for transgendered rights. Putting the main focus on restroom rights causes a strong reaction, a line in the sand for many people who would think rights against job discrimination and protecting the transgendered from hate crimes are perfectly reasonable.
From a personal point of view, I'm cranky. I am especially invested in seeing ENDA passing, and more general tolerance of transgendered people being out in society. I know I don't have a right to complain. Transsexuals must face discrimination every day, 24x7. Crossdressers have a choice. But I'm tired of the ones in my life always making the same choice, from fear of society's disapproval and fear of job recriminations. I want to go out to a dinner and a movie with my girlfriend, goddamnit, without it being such a big fricking ordeal!
I don't see the problem with both trans men and trans women using men's restrooms. I am a cis woman and I use men's restrooms when the line has been too long in the women's room and I've never had a problem. The answer always is that trans women are in danger of being beaten, raped or murdered simply from using a men's restroom, and my thought there is if the men's room is really that unsafe, the entire venue is unsafe and not fit for mixed company, or for that matter, anyone at all.
I know my view is politically incorrect and while I wanted to explain myself further in another diary's comments, I didn't want to be a dick. So I'm being a dick here in my own diary. Feel free to bring it to me hammer and tongs in the comments. Convince me I'm wrong.
For the record I have been out with a group of crossdressers on more than one occasion and had the cis women in the women's room think I was using the wrong restroom, so I know how that feels too. And I agree that restroom rights are important fight that must be fought, just not now. As an example of my point, the time has come for the fight for marriage equality. That fight would have been lost and the rest of the fight for gay rights would have been hamstrung if that fight had been the top priority right after Stonewall.