Why Keeping Bad Guys Out of Girl’s Bathrooms, isn’t What’s Going on Here

unique-bathroom-stalls

How did I become the bad guy because I don’t want guys in the bathroom with my daughters and their friends. Just pee in the damn bathroom your supposed to!

This Facebook post showed up in my news feed this morning from a friend, who I absolutely do consider a good guy. It was liked and commented on favorably by many Christian folks I currently or once considered friends. I think it is indicative of sentiments I see shared frequently in the Church and by those sharing my faith these days. 

Here was my response to the folks on that thread and those reading this who have similar feelings:

1) No sane, decent, loving fathers want guys in the bathroom with their daughters. Making these claims is setting up battle lines that don’t exist and creating a false good vs. evil delineation to make ourselves feel better. It’s claiming some manufactured moral high ground that simply isn’t present.

2) We straight folk have all been using the public bathroom with LGBTQ people for our entire lives and most of us have never had an issue, (and definitely not one this bill addresses). We will all continue to use the bathroom with LGBTQ people going forward. The idea that we now won’t, or that this will somehow keep our daughters safer is simply misinformation and fear-peddling to justify a conclusion. It’s a false victory based on a nonexistent threat, which the Church and politicians specialize in.

3) HB2 and similar legislation have nothing to do with keeping men out of women’s restroom facilities and so much to do with businesses being allowed to discriminate based on gender identity and sexual orientation. The heart of these bills is about giving license to refuse service to individuals and to keep those individuals from legally disputing this refusal. Heterosexual men who disobey laws to assault women won’t have any more grounds to do so regardless whether or not these laws are passed.

4) If said straight men could be trusted not to do bad things to women, we wouldn’t be having any of these conversations. As a Christian I’m disappointed that we aren’t talking about that in our churches and on campaign trails, or making bold public statements about that. I’m profoundly saddened that high-profile evangelists and pastors aren’t facing this real monster with the same sustained ferocity they attack an imagined one with.

Women are in exponentially higher danger of being sexually assaulted by a boyfriend, spouse, or a classmate, and children at home by a relative or family friend, than by a stranger in a bathroom—and it isn’t even close.

5) A cisgender white male saying to a Transgender person, “Just pee in the damn bathroom your supposed to”, is one of the least helpful and least compassionate responses one can utter, and exposes a startling lack of knowledge on that matter. These individuals feel an internal brain disconnection with their physical anatomy. To be Transgender is to not feel accurately represented in the gender you were assigned at birth. It is about someone’s personal sense of being, so “peeing where they are supposed to” is exactly what they are trying to do here.

Google the phrase “white privilege” and you’ll see why this statement is an issue in itself.

6) Unless we’re all going to show our birth certificates at public restrooms, nothing about HB2 or similar legislation has any relevance at all with regard to public safety in the bathroom—not to mention completely unenforceable. This is a non-issue. It’s Don Quixote’s windmills. It’s the worst kind of distraction because it pretends to solve nonexistent problems that it wouldn’t address even if they did exist.

7) I don’t want bad guys in the bathroom with my daughter either. I’ve just researched enough to know that nothing about this legislation has any bearing on that desire. I’ve realized that the greatest danger to her isn’t the LGBTQ community or public restroom use, it’s cisgender guys who can’t control themselves wherever they are.

I know I can’t legislate the world so that she has no contact with these men at school, out shopping, at fraternities, at church, on band trips, at work, in relationships—those places where she is most in danger of being assaulted. All I can do is teach her, guide her, and try to create a less horrible world for her to walk into.

Like minded people on my friend’s thread shared a frustration that they are wrongly called “intolerant” by expressing the above views. It’s not intolerance that is the problem here, it’s education. It’s a lack of knowledge that we’re OK living with.

I think we’re always looking for a clear enemy and an easy solution. There just isn’t one here, and definitely not within these bills. HB2 is a bad decision made for the wrong reasons to solve a problem that didn’t exist. Too many people are all too willing to take the lazy hate bait because they’d rather not do the difficult work of reading and reflecting and wrestling with complex issues, and addressing matters if they become too complicated or time-consuming than is required to read a divisive meme. This is especially true when we believe our faith is somehow under attack.

If we want women to feel safe in the bathroom or anywhere else, we can’t legislate it so. We’ve got to ask more difficult questions and to face much more troublesome realities about who we are as a (predominantly heteronormative) society. 

This isn’t a battle for the safety of stalls for our young women, it’s a battle for the souls of our young men.

I told my friend that he’s not the bad guy and he’s not. The bad guys are straight guys who want to force their way upon women wherever they do this, those who stay silent in the face of them, and those who shut down efforts to call them out as the real problem—a problem a “bathroom bill” does absolutely nothing to address.

Unless we make this the main thing in these conversations, especially in the Church, I think we’re missing the point—and often times on purpose.

Trying really hard to be a good guy…

301 thoughts on “Why Keeping Bad Guys Out of Girl’s Bathrooms, isn’t What’s Going on Here

  1. What gets me is this: let’s say you, a Dad, are out shopping with your young daughter. Oh, let’s say she’s eight or so. She tells you she has to pee. Like all sensible fathers, you will take her into the men’s room and use one of the stalls. My Mom did that many a time with my brother and me.

    This mythical “man in a dress” barging into the ladies’ room to molest your wives and daughters does not exist and in all probability has never existed. At least not in the US. He’d never get past the entrance.

    This is one of those things that make my teeth ache when I read about it.

    • And if you are a Mom with boys that won’t use the women’s room, but need help and Dad is not available ….you help your child, and the men have to deal with it.

      There people of every sexual orientation that are a problem ….and there is no one that can tell me there NO ISSUES with heterosexual men and girls in schools? Does this mean that ALL heterosexual men can’t be trusted?

      No.

      It also means that not ALL transgender people are looking to assault someone in a bathroom, either.

      • Actually my mother took us into the ladies’ room; it was appropriate for her to be there and if my brother and I did not like it we would just have to pee our pants. Not exactly an option.

      • I feel if you son still needs help in the restroom then he must be young enough to accompany you into the ladies room. There’s no problem with the young little boy going to the women’s room but there is a problem with the full-grown woman going to a men’s room get real and get control over your children who’s in charge here?

        • My son is 25. And hell yes there are times he needs help in the bathroom. He has Down Syndrome. But I understand that some women can’t deal with that, even though he is obviously disabled. So I stand outside the men’s room, yelling in to my son like a crazy woman. And if I know there aren’t any other men, I WILL go in. Gender neutral or family bathrooms are desperately needed for families like mine, or those who are caretakers of elderly individuals.

          • This is what people should be lobbying for. This is the only thing that makes sense. Put in stalls that have no empty spaces between them, and good locks, and everyone should feel secure.

            • Yes! Yes! Yes! Frankly I feel like you are most likely to get “creeped on” by someone else’s child from the next stall rather than a trans person. “Stalls to the floor and better locks on the door” should be the new battle cry along with more gender neutral and family styled bathrooms

          • I have that same problem and I just take my son in the ladies and stand in there with him or right outside the stall door and if someone doesn’t like it I am sorry I don’t have a choice

          • Thats what my mom did also much more appropriate . And i am not sure why anyone would want to go into a mens room and see them pee into a urinal . Very uncomfortable for all. Just go where the body part is supposto go . Or use a single bathroom .

        • But if the full grown woman looks like a man you would brevet know the difference, guarantee you have used the restroom with a Transgender person and had no idea.

          • that is patently true.
            although some people I’ve talked to about this issue swear they can tell the trans person’s birth gender!

            • In some cases that can be true. The later a transgender person transitions, the more difficult it becomes to conceal the effects of a lifetime of hormones. Those who begin their transition, i.e., use of hormone blockers and later hormones, as young teens have a greater likelihood of being unrecognized as their gender assigned at birth as opposed to their gender identity.

      • My son started competitive swimming at 8. There was a big sign at the pool that only boys under 7 could use the women’s restrooms. To this day I’m the “crazy swim mom who will come in the boys bathroom” if the kids are acting up or taking too long and none of the dad’s are there. And when my son is in there, I am right by the door. I’m much, much more worried about one of the kids getting molested in the men’s showers than I am about the slim possibility of a transsexuals in the women’s room assaulting someone

      • I would make one correction: Virtually no Transgender people are looking to assault anyone. No more so than what is statistically probable among Cisgender people. I am afraid that what is at the heart of transphobia that extends beyond traditional sexism and homophobia is that most people still see Transgender people (trans women particularly) as mentally ill. This is no different that when gay men and lesbians where seen as mentally sick and therefore untrustworthy predators.

        • I have absolutly no problem with anybodys gender live and let live. But unfortunately we live in a society of predators. Why cant there be a mens room a womens room and gender neutral room. And why is it that i am always the bad guy for asking that my rights are also considered. I have friends of all colors races and sexual orientation. Why are my views always frowned upon . I feel untill you are physically a man or women, And i get that you relate to a gender even if physically you r not, you should go where the body part goes or in a single family bathroom. Why am i always the one who has to put my rights on hold for others. Why do my feelings and uncomfortability going to the bathroom with a person who has male parts next to me not count .why r you not considered heterophobic when you get upset and call the hetero community all.types of unpleasantries. People who live in glass houses shouldnt throw stones.

          • If the person in the stall next to you has the door shut, how do you even know what ‘parts’ he has? His is doing his business , you should be minding your own. Why don’t ‘your feelings count’? Because people’s rights should trump people’s feelings, every time.

            • What she meant to ask is “Why don’t my rights count?” She should have the right to use a bathroom where she feels safe as well as the trans person has a right to use a bathroom where “he”/”she” feels comfortable. Such a small minority of people making such loud demands for selfish reasons….can’t they use single stall restroom safely and comfortably without being a pain to the majority?

          • Transgender women use the womens’ restroom, which has stalls, not urinals. A woman would have to go out of her way to view another in a stall. The privacy is there.
            The men’s room uses both stalls and urinals. A transgender woman, using the mens room, will in all likelihood use a stall. So short of climbing over or under that stall, how would you know whether the person is transgender or not? Also, based on various laws, a transgender man would have to use the men’s rooom. That person would have to use the stall if preop. Again, how would you know? You wouldn’t and you haven’t unless you decide to climb over the stall to check. This really is all about nothing. I’m a trans women, I just want to pee. For me, identifying as female, I would feel out of place and vulnerable using the men’s room, and indeed, transgender women have been assaulted for being there. In the womens room, I’m in a stall – I pee, wash, and leave. The biggest problem with all this is simply ignorance. With all the current medical reports available regarding who we are and why we are, too many people are would rather do the lazy thing and not research it on legitimate medical sites, like the National Institute of Health. When people are better educated regarding this, it will eventually become a non-issue.

            • Amen, Katherine. I am MtoF trans, late 50’s, and fortunate to pass society’s filters 99% of the time. We have to pee like everyone else. I wish I didn’t have to pee. Believe me, public ladies’ rooms are just as filthy and disgusting as men’s rooms, perhaps just in some different ways. But my goodness, what is it with America’s… especially straight white American men’s… fascination with public bathrooms? And to John’s main point, why aren’t those same men worried about REAL threats to “their” womenfolk? Threats from other straight white American men and boys who are the actual perpetrators of sexual assault upon “their” females? Finally, a reminder for everyone: Transwomen (and transmen) are the victims of crimes in public restrooms and other places, virtually NEVER the perpetrators. Get the facts, people. The truth is out there.

          • Why would the physical parts of the person in the stall next to you have anything whatsoever to do with you?!?! There is literally ZERO evidence that this is a safety issue.

            You don’t have a “right” to not be uncomfortable. If you’re uncomfortable it’s your issue and you can wait until the person making you uncomfortable leaves.

            A transgender person has a right to privacy and shouldnt be forced to “announce” what private parts they have every time they enter a public restroom.

            • Everyone is missing the point. The objective of Leftism is to destroy every source of order in society except for the national state. Hence, they must destroy not only gender roles but the very concept of gender itself. They must destroy anything that hints of objective reality, tradition, or Western civilization because they hate these and because these stand as obstacles to the autocratic socialist national state they envision to impose their values on everyone by forcible coercion.

              • Oh puh-leeze “John Smith” conspiracy theories are so heavily about fear and I just don’t believe that’s how we should live. Besides, I believe there is enough of dark plans on both sides to go around if anybody, liberal or conservative, wants reason to live in a bunker. I choose to live with my neighbor whether gay, straight, trans, cis, whatever and love them as I think Jesus would. Please, keep this kind of garbage to yourself.

                • It’s not a hidden conspiracy. It’s what we’re talking about right here, and it’s about what you Leftists want for us.

              • Thank you. I didn’t know that “The objective of Leftism is to destroy every source of order in society except for the national state. ”
                I always thought that that was the objective of fascism.

      • I would say it means that virtually no transgender people are looking to assault anyone in a bathroom these days, especially with all the stupid memes on social media which almost equate to death threats…ain’t nobody got time for that

    • Completely agree. As the mother of 3 boys they went with me to the bathroom until they were about 11 or 12, or we used the family restroom when available. I don’t understand what the big deal is. If you are so worried about your poor, innocent, small child, in the restroom then take them with you into a stall and problem solved.

    • No one is worried about transgender people assaulting girls. The issue is that it will give straight guys the ability to pretend they identify as a female, and go into women’s bathrooms and locker rooms. Every single sexual predator in the country will play this game.

      FWIW, HB2 is a disgrace, and I fully support the rights of my LGBT friends. I’m perfectly fine with trans people to use the bathroom of their choice. I, however, am not ok with people using any bathroom based on how they claim to identify themselves.

      • The thing is, HB2 actually makes it easier for that “creepy guy” to enter the women’s washroom. After all, he no longer has to sneak in or disguise himself as a woman to gain entrance. All he has to do is say that he’s FTM trans (i.e, born a woman but transitioned to a man) and the law gives him no choice but to use the ladies’ room.

        Absent HB2 you’d have every right to challenge him – after all, the laws against that sort of behavior are still in place.

        And the reality is, if an individual really is trans they don’t want to use the ladies’ room .

        • That’s not really the case. It’s usually not hard to tell the difference between a trans and cisgender person. And I’m much more concerned with locker rooms than bathrooms.

          Besides, I’m referring to the Charlotte law which HB2 is meant to nullify. The law that Charlotte passed allows anyone to use any bathroom based on how they identify their own gender. In other words, anyone can use any bathroom. HB2 made a step towards fixing it (while going 10 steps backwards in every other direction).

          Unfortunately Charlotte went too liberal with the law, and Raleigh went way too “conservative”. Hopefully they’ll find a middleground that is fair to everyone, and doesn’t limit anyone’s rights or safety.

            • I have absolutly no problem with anybodys gender live and let live. But unfortunately we live in a society of predators. Why cant there be a mens room a womens room and gender neutral room. And why is it that i am always the bad guy for asking that my rights are also considered. I have friends of all colors races and sexual orientation. Why are my views always frowned upon . I feel untill you are physically a man or women, And i get that you relate to a gender even if physically you r not, you should go where the body part goes or in a single family bathroom. Why am i always the one who has to put my rights on hold for others. Why do my feelings and uncomfortability going to the bathroom with a person who has male parts next to me not count .why r you not considered heterophobic when you get upset and call the hetero community all.types of unpleasantries. People who live in glass houses shouldnt throw stones.

          • “That’s not really the case. It’s usually not hard to tell the difference between a trans and cisgender person.”

            wow are you ever mistaken , you have absolutely no clue how many trans folk you have sat next to in public, shared a washroom with , shared a locker room with …. no, you can possibly tell a trans person if they are unable to pass , but then I have met many cis men who are absolutely beautiful , not handsome , and get mistaken for women dressed as men , I have also met cis women who do look very much like men , these women were all married and have children of their own … so tell me again how you can easily tell a trans person from a cis ? do you have xray vision , the ability to see through clothes?

            I AM a Transman ( FTM ) … I could be sitting at your table with you and your family having christmas dinner and you would NOT have a clue …. and no I do not have male genitalia , not that it is your business …. want to know how sure of myself I am …. I was married 18 years to my late wife … I am a father to our son ( not biologically mine obviously ) …. my inlaws… not a frigging clue that I am a transman , to them I am just their son in law they man who married their daughter…. I’d really love to see you try and point out transgendered folks … I will bet you anything 3 out of 4 times you are dead wrong !

          • Absolute nonsense – while you may be able to tell the difference in some cases I’m sure that in many (most?) cases you won’t.

            Fact is, the first time Playboy ran a pictorial with a transgendered model they didn’t know it – she was one of the Bond girls – drop dead gorgeous – and no-one would have known if one of the UK tabloids hadn’t outed her a couple of years later.

            And as for FTM transgendered individuals – continued use of hormones means that most can pass quite easily – google “shane ortega” and ask yourself if you want him in the ladies room?

        • Let me put this debate in contrast to the Republicans opposition to Gun Control laws. Substitute bathrooms into the comments and see if you can spot the hypocrisy?

          Congressman Paul Gosar (R) Arizona: “This President and the anti-gun lobby continue to ignore the fact that violence is driven by a number of different factors, and that experience has shown gun control does not curb violent acts. There is no easy answer to the problem of violence we face in our country, but inhibiting the ability of law-abiding citizens to exercise their Constitutional rights is nothing more than window dressing. One needs to look no further than the states with the toughest restrictions on firearms to see that they are the ones consistently ranking the highest in violent crime. When you limit an individual’s ability to lawfully purchase or carry firearms you are allowing only those with the intent to break the law to have weapons.”

          Republicans and the anti LGBTQ lobby continue to ignore the fact that violence is driven by a number of different factors, and that experience has shown bathroom laws will do little to prevent people intent on committing assaults from doing so. When you limit an individual’s ability to use the bathroom of the gender with which they identify, you are only infringing the right of law abiding individuals.

      • J: But it is still a strawman and conjured up threat that at the end of the day marginalizes Transpeople, trans women in particular. The policy prescriptions hurt Transpeople and do nothing to stop predation. Additionally, if a lack of history of males putting on dresses to assault women is not evidence, cause as you say they will play this game now, please understand that sexual violence is about power. Men who would hurt women are not going to try putting on dresses and going out in public like clowns to commit these acts. That would expose them to disempowerment and that is the last thing these violent men want when they do not have to go to those extents.

      • You do know that sexual assault is still sexual assault, right? Besides, if he was going to do it that way, he was going to do it regardless. If anything, It will make sexual predators more visible.
        Don’t be stupid enough to fall for a dude in a dress, if cis people made even the slightest effort, they wouldn’t fall for obvious bullshit.
        Totally don’t mean to victim blame but at that point it’s their fault. Cis men don’t know how to be feminine. (And the ones that do aren’t interested in women) look at the cases that, rarely, exist showing cis men already taking advantage of this. And what do ya know, every single report is the same, they wear a crappy disguise and are very obviously not trans.
        (Not yelling at you, yelling at that stupid argument)

    • We do not make rules excluding one group of people ( transgender) because another group of people (straight male abuser) MIGHT, all of the sudden take advantage of a lack of gender exclusion that has never existed in the first place. Leave it alone, because if the righteous-fear-purveyors get these laws passed bathrooms will look exactly like what they fear most, with trans women in men’s rooms and trans men in woman’s rooms. I was born in 1952. Proponents want us to go back in the closet. It won’t happen because we are no longer alone. With the Internet I have tens of thousands of contacts to transgenders the world over. Like accepting the mixing of races in public spaces and marriage, it is time for anothe civil rights shift. Don’t be fearful, it will be ok. I know, I feared what I could not change in myself for 50 years. It’s no big deal.

    • Are all of you people idiots, or just looking to shut down people who don’t agree with you!
      Perverts will take advantage of being able to use the bathroom of their choice to fulfill their perverse sexual fantasies! That will lead to embolden them since every time they get away with it they are one step closer to going over the edge! Since less than 1% of the population suffer from gender identity how is endangering the welfare of 99% other people OVER A FEW OTHERS HAVING TO USE A BATHROOM hurting them!
      Solution should be gender neutral bathrooms! But you liberals don’t want sane solutions, you want a reason to discredit anyone who doesn’t agree with you!

      • I am a conservative and I do not worry about trans people OR sex offenders sharing a bathroom with me. They are already doing that. Sex offenders who show up at family dinners are the ones to worry about. Sex offenders who teach your kids…worry about those. Oh…you mean you worry about the sex offenders on the registry? Those are the ones you do NOT have to worry about; the rate of reoffense among registered sex offenders is extremely low, less than 5%.

      • No one is trying to discredit you Vincent Mcelroy. All of the information, statistics, and proof is out there for you to read to put your fears to rest. Sadly, no one can change your mind or views except you.
        Since 2001, the more than 200+ cities where transgender’s are allowed to use the bathroom of choice, no cases like you fear have come to fruition. None.
        Statistics show there is 1-5% transgender population.
        There is a high percentage of transgender’s being assaulted, raped, and murdered, and forcing them to use the bathroom of their birth gender puts them at a higher risk of something bad happening to them than to me, my daughter, or granddaughter.

      • The only people in danger are trans people. 1% versus 99, I think it’s us who need to be protected.
        A Rapist is going to rape no matter what. Sexual assault is still sexual assault. Quit being so willingly ignorant.

    • What about a 200lb guy when my 100lb sister goes in there? Everyone in here is dismissing legitimate concerns for safety and well being so adults can use the bathroom of the opposite sex. There’s something wrong with you if you dismiss someone’s concerns as ignorant, when you’re adding just a bit more risk to their lives, and why? I catch a guy creepin around the ladies room whether they’re tran, goofy or whatever, I’m beating the brakes off of them,

      • ok what if a 200 lb man goes into the bathroom with your 100 lb son? what you’re going to tell everyone they cant use the bathroom because your son is in there and that they might be a molester? yeah that’s going to go over well.

        adding risk? really when everyday every single one of us faces injury or death with every breath? come on be reasonable. life is a risk.

        did you even look at the pics in the link? probably not. but you’re one of the ones saying that they would have to use the ladies’ room. and then you will beat the brakes off any man trans or not? boy oh boy do you ever have that one screwed up. you should be more worried about the perverts that are of the same gender as your child. you dont need to worry about a true transperson. all we want to do is pee.

        • And thats all i want to do. Be who you r totally not just pretend by looking the part, be the part. Then not a problem. .

      • What is your legitimate concern? It’s definitely not fat shaming. It’s definitely not putting a small group of people and Harms way.
        You should be concerned about cis men. They actually rape. Ffs, i was almost gang raped the last time i used the mens restroom.
        (Which is a huge reason why trans people are pushing for bathroom access. We’re tired of being raped/beaten/murdered. )
        When was the last time you heard of a group of trans woman surrounding a cis woman in the bathroom with threats of rape? Never? Okay, maybe keep your ill-advised concerns to yourself.
        Meanwhile, we’ll be over here with REAL concerns.
        Worried about a cis man taking advantage of this law? Maybe if you weren’t transphobic you would know what a trans woman actually looks like.. maybe if you weren’t transphobic, you could actually teach your children how to recognize the difference. Maybe if you weren’t willingly and actively the problem, you could actually help create a solution.

    • You all are delusional if you don’t think this will create a threat. There has already been two cases in the past week where a guy was videoing in the girls bathroom. I don’t think people are worried about some gay, transgender or whatever you are trying to molest, attack or video their family members. The problem is, there will be individuals acting like they are identifying with a certain gender just to get in the restroom.

      • You do realize that sexual harassment is still sexual harassment? Sexual assault is still sexual assault? You do realize woman are far less likely to be raped in a public facility than they are anywhere else, literally anywhere else. You do realize that there are numerous amount of things you have to do in order to be recognized with gender identity disorder. You have to go through years of intense therapy before you’re even considered. I’m pretty sure they’re going to be able to pull that shit up in court. Even if he does fake it, how long could he fake it for? No one’s going to willingly change their gender identity just to get away with rape. Though, GID or not, rape/ assault, it still rape / assault.
        Also, what was stopping these rapest before? Also, duh people are stupid enough to think they can do this, you people are giving them the idea.
        Trans women have been using their preferred bathroom for years. It’s never been a problem until recently. Maybe when the politician stop using it as rating bait, it wont be a concern anymore.

    • But it does exist. If people would take a few minutes to research there are many cases on men in dresses assaulting women and girls in bathroom. Even so far as a womans shelter allowing a supposed trans woman in and her/him assaulting 2 women there.

      • Maybe if Society actually understood trans people, they won’t be fooled by a dude in a dress. Even still, a handfull of cases shouldn’t be why a million people have to be put in legitimate harms way. Last time I used the men’s restroom, I was almost gang raped. Last time i used the womans restroom, i was in and out no problem.
        Also, duh rapists are using this in their favor. But give it time. Seriously though, it was never a problem until it became political bait. If anything, you should be blaming politicians for the increase and trans disguised assaults. They’re the reason why it’s a problem.

      • But no one’s talking about that. You’re talking about that… I can understand wanting to keep men out of the woman bathroom, but trans women aren’t men.
        Maybe do some research before you start parakeeting arguments that are obviously bullshit.

    • I agree partially with what u say, John. But– even tho they “identify” with another gender, they are ultimately in rebellion against God– because he made them male or female. U don’t get to choose. Also, this ruling opens up the doors to bad men using that excuse to gain entrance–whether they are transgender “, or not. Yes, we should love the sinner…, but the sins are becoming more and more obnoxiously public.

        • I bet you think you deserve equal treatment and respect don’t you? You’ve forfeited any right to that by your disgusting comment.

      • Soooo….trans men are male; and trans women are female. What’s your problem? Is it your right to judge someone else’s heart, or is it God’s alone? I am a trans woman. I go to church every chance I get. Sometimes I’ll go over during the week just to hug my Pastor. I am involved in a women’s study group. I’m chasing after Christ with all I have. Your assertion that I am in rebellion against God when you don’t even know me, is arrogant in the extreme. You don’t know my heart. You don’t me. How dare you question my relationship with Christ!!

    • Their will be no armed guards at the trans bathroom, anyone can and will use it. What happens if the other bathroom(s) is inoperable, being used, door is locked, or any other reason? Kids have to often use the bathroom at a moments notice so you send your 4 or 8 or 12 yr old daughter in their (or son) and your spouse isn’t with you. People with young kids will understand what I mean.
      The fact Pavlovitz and the above post apparently doesn’t seem to comprehend is that it’s not just going to be trans people using the trans bathroom. Your point suggesting that’s the only people using it is laughable. What happens if someone records your kid using the bathroom and in a semi nude state on their phone and posts the video on a pedophile ( l know their born that way mentality ) website? Someone locks the door while your child is in their ? Some of those bathroom doors are thicker and stronger than most people’s front doors and theire is no way, no way at all your easily breaking that door down. Is that man or group of men raping your daughter, son or wife? Perhaps acquiring sexually trans mitted diseases? What if violence very bad violence occurs? Your 4 or 8 or w/e age daughter comes out of bathroom and tells you that she saw a man pleasuring himself or saw a man on his knees taking that other man into his mouth, do you really, truly not think that these events are out of the question of possibility, l guess ignorance is bliss, huh? Listen, l could honestly list a hundred or even more horrible possibilities because they already have happen. As a12 year old kid a public bathroom at the strip mall a block away from my house was a homosexual haven/heaven? (we didn’t know this). My friend and I went in their to use the facilities and my friend opened the handicap stall door and to his dismay a young adult man was receiving a middle aged man, obviously not a good thing. l just remember my friend yelled ” Run, Run…. old man raping young guy “, it was very traumatic and my friend was totally way more traumatized than me. This was back in the late 8o’s and not long after that the police apparently ran a sting operation and arrested countless homosexuals. A big front page news story followed with the title Preverts at P…… (The malls name started with the letter P, so it was a catchy title. Today that would never happen) True story and l can prove it. So let’s not assume that people do not do devious behavior in bathrooms in America nowadays. Usually crimes like the before mentioned are never known by most Americans nowadays because it’s never on national news just like how most Americans have no idea that police shoot and kill twice as many White people each/every year than blacks, yet everyone thinks cops are slaughtering blacks in the streets !
      So let’s not pretend that their aren’t predators of all types out there. I’m not one of these guys who sticks their head in the sand and just accepts what we’re told, it’s ok if anyone else wants to, I’m just not going to be one of these guys who is shocked when someone near and dear to them is assaulted in any way shape or form.
      But hey, who cares… Let’s just be mindless lemmings because you said it’s alright!

    • Their will be no armed guards at the trans bathroom, anyone can and will use it. What happens if the other bathroom(s) is inoperable, being used, door is locked, or any other reason? Kids have to often use the bathroom at a moments notice so you send your 4 or 8 or 12 yr old daughter in their (or son) and your spouse isn’t with you. People with young kids will understand what I mean.
      The fact Pavlovitz and the above post apparently doesn’t seem to comprehend is that it’s not just going to be trans people using the trans bathroom. Your point suggesting that’s the only people using it is laughable.
      What happens if someone records your kid using the bathroom and in a semi nude state on their phone and posts the video on a pedophile ( l know their born that way mentality ) website? Someone locks the door while your child is in there ?
      Some of those bathroom doors are thicker and stronger than most people’s front doors and theire is no way, no way at all your easily breaking that door down.
      Is that man or group of men raping your daughter, son or wife? Perhaps acquiring sexually trans mitted diseases?
      What if violence very bad violence occurs? Your 4 or 8 or w/e age daughter comes out of bathroom and tells you that she saw a man pleasuring himself or saw a man on his knees taking that other man into his mouth, do you really, truly not think that these events are out of the question of possibility, l guess ignorance is bliss, huh? Listen, l could honestly list a hundred or even more horrible possibilities because they already have happen.
      As a12 year old kid a public bathroom at the strip mall a block away from my house was a homosexual haven/heaven? (we didn’t know this). My friend and I went in their to use the facilities and my friend opened the handicap stall door and to his dismay a young adult man was receiving a middle aged man, obviously not a good thing. l just remember my friend yelled ” Run, Run…. old man raping young guy “, it was very traumatic and my friend was totally way more traumatized than me.
      This was back in the late 8o’s and not long after that the police apparently ran a sting operation and arrested countless homosexuals. A big front page news story followed with the title Preverts at P…… (The malls name started with the letter P, so it was a catchy title. Today that would never happen) True story and l can prove it.
      So let’s not assume that people do not do devious behavior in bathrooms in America nowadays. Usually crimes like the before mentioned are never known by most Americans nowadays because it’s never on national news just like how most Americans have no idea that police shoot and kill twice as many White people each/every year than blacks, yet everyone thinks cops are slaughtering blacks in the streets !
      let’s not pretend that their aren’t predators of all types out there. I’m not one of these guys who sticks their head in the sand and just accepts what we’re told, it’s ok if anyone else wants to, I’m just not going to be one of these guys who is shocked when someone near and dear to them is assaulted in any way shape or form.
      But hey, who cares… Let’s just be mindless lemmings because you said it’s alright!

    • I consider myself a liberal minded woman with no issue with the LGBTQ individual but I don’t feel comfortable with the possibility of straight men using the women’s restroom, at least not how public restrooms are currently built. Unless you’re a woman you won’t understand this: women are constantly gawked at, cat called and harassed by men. Happened to me today as I was walking my son to the park. Sure, the likelihood that I’ll get raped in a public restroom is slim but the likelihood that some obnoxious teenager or uneducated man walks into a woman’s restroom to peek through the stalls or intimidate is much more likely. I wouldn’t want this for myself or for your daughters.

      • That possibility exists no matter where I go. And if I am forced to go to the men’s room, I am sure that eventually I *will* get raped in a public facility. Trans women like me using women’s rooms puts cis women in no additional danger, and keeps us safe, as well.

        I am also catcalled and harassed by men. And when they realize I’m trans, that can become immediately vastly more dangerous for me than it would be for you.

        We are women. As you consider yourself liberal-minded and having no issue with LGBTQ individuals (which is difficult for me to reconcile, since you seem in favor of putting me in material danger for literally no benefit to anyone), I am optimistic you will come Like my Facebook Page at seranine.com. It is an open window into my actual daily life as a real trans woman. Whatever it is you must think I am to be okay with putting me in danger, I promise you I’m not that.

        I hope you’ll come get to know me. Then, decide if you want to see my name in the news because I’ve been raped and murdered for being trans. Because like all women, we are more likely to be victimized. But among women, we are the class most likely to be victimized. And among trans women, women of color are even more likely to be victimized.

        Be safe,

        Sera

    • I take my husband into the ladies room in his wheelchair because he had a stroke. One day I was entering the ladies room in a hospital and a woman employee came barging in screaming, “This is the ladies room, you can’t be in here.” I told her politely, he had a stroke, the bar is on the right wall in here and I need to help him get up and undressed. She continued to rant as she left. This is totally pathetic. In Europe the bathrooms are unisex everywhere. Political correctness is destroying this world and so are Christian hypocrites.

    • You are right; that person does not exist. Colorado has had bathroom laws in place allowing trans people to use bahroom they most identify with for years; I have never seen a single reported instance of “man in a dress attacks little girl.”

      What does exist is trans people being harassed or assaulted in public bathrooms. Almost 70% of trans people will encounter some sort of harassment or assault in a public bathroom in their lives. This includes instances of rape. Here’s a link to the statistic for that.

      https://m.mic.com/articles/114066/statistics-show-exactly-how-many-times-trans-people-have-attacked-you-in-bathrooms#.JFMIYtcS8

      All we want to do is pee and leave. I hardly ever look anyone else in the eye when I’m entering or exiting a public restroom, out of fear of being harassed by cisgender women that realize I am transgender. I can’t imagine ever being forced to use the men’s room, but I am terrified of the day I may have to.

  2. Thank you for being a well informed voice of reason. You’re a brave man and I commend you for being willing to engage in these issues.

  3. 9 years ago, when ENDA was being argued on Capitol Hill, we were there lobbying our representatives to include Transgender people in its protections. One of our Republican representatives from our state trotted out the bathroom question, but from an an expense and infrastructure perspective, despite the available solutions already in place. Now we see a firestorm of fear as the driving force.

    Another blogger – from the Judaic tradition, a faith and culture that can legitimately claim to have been persecuted, including by its own children in the Abrahamic tradition – has said similar things, John; that what we’re really freaking out about is men’s behavior and our unwillingness to undergo the cultural enlightenments that would actually address that issue. But also – that the tipping point the world has just gone through with the freedom to marry is too much for them to bear. We’ve been here time and time again – using religious freedom as a justification for prejudice. It constantly springs forth anew. Me thinks some do protest too much.

    God doesn’t make no mistakes. But God starts from the soul. If we cannot be bothered to see the soul behind the packaging, and nurture that perfection, we have lost our own souls.

  4. If this law were actually intended to prevent assaults, its actual effect would be thoroughly counterproductive. That transwoman who has not undergone physical transition, and thus still has male external genitalia, will be in more danger if she is forced to go into the men’s room than she would be if she went into the ladies’, went into a stall and did her business. Cis people in the bathroom aren’t the ones in danger of assault when a transperson enters.

    My suspicion is that the authors of the law KNOW this. They are knowingly throwing transpeople–particularly transwomen–to the wolves.

    • Precisely. “Solving” a problem about safety in public facilities by throwing a vulnerable population – a population just as in need of protections as anyone else – under the bus, reveals the proponents’ true motive.

    • Correct Revsharkie. They want the transgender people to be in the restroom of the gender on their birth certificates so they will BE CERTAIN to get blood-letting beatings in those restrooms. After 10 beatings or so, they will soon realize that Jesus can be their true Lord and Savior; cause them to give up their sick, faked transgender fantasy; and become decent fundies like hetero-deacon Homer over there in the second pew. My point is simply this, as I relate on my blog at:

      https://faith17983.wordpress.com/

      The sole purpose of these so-called “bathroom bills,” in every state where one has been introduced, is to publicly humiliate, persecute, and physically destroy (through the inevitable beatings) LGBTQ people. In this case particularly the “T” people. Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals are driving this bathroom movement because the U.S. Supreme Court made LGBTQ marriage legal last summer, and the fundies are so angry about it they cannot see straight—at least down South here. These fundies do not want to protect their religious freedom. That is just a convenient ruse. What they really want is good, old-fashioned revenge and bloodshed. They cannot go en mass to the U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C. and hang the five judges involved in that ruling because they know the 82nd Airborne Division would mow them down in front of the building like the worthless weeds that they are. So, instead, they have decided to take out their vengeance and lust for blood on the LGBTQ people who benefited from the U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

      Living here in Tennessee as I have for the past 63 years, I can just see and here what one random one of our local fundies would almost certainly say:

      “Theyzuns is all nothing but sexual perverts. God hates them enough to want us to kill them, and we should too. Every last one of them has a devious program to turn all of us into the prissy boys and Tom girls that they are. They want to make all of us into sexual perverts that they are so they can feel comfortable knowing that everyone in society is their own kind.. Hits all part of a grand conspiracy against God and normal people, and if we don’t stop it somehow, everything that we value will be destroyed forever. Rise up!!! Rise up!!! Take them down before it’s too late.”

      Sad to say, that is what is really going on here in the South, and rather than dancing around the rim of this thing, I think we need to just bring that out into the open and lay it square in the middle of the table so everyone can plainly see what we are all dealing with— the true reality of this situation and these silly laws all these states are trying to pass. And by the way, while we are at it, Indiana is located in the wrong place on the map. Culturally, socially, and legislatively, it should be located right between Mississippi and Alabama.

      This is not a trolling post. This is what I honestly believe is going on here.

    • Of course they know. A bunch of old white men sat around a big table in a room, and brainstormed ways to make harassing LGBT folk legal. We all know that is exactly what is going on here.

    • Y
      YOU PEOPLE REALLY DON’T GET IT!
      PEOPLE WITH MENTAL PROBLEMS AND UNCONTROLLABLE SEXUAL URGES NOW HAVE PERFECT COVER TO DO THEIR WORST! THEY CAN CLAIM TO BE GENDER CONFUSED AND THERE IS NOTHING WE CAN DO TO STOP THEM!
      tHAT’S THE PROBLEM! YOU ARE PUTING OUR CHILDREN AND LOVED ONES AT A HIGHER RISK FROM SEXUAL PREDATORS
      OVER A FEW MINUTES OF DISCOMFORT FOR LESS THAN 1% OF THE POPULATION! GIVE THEM THEIR OWN GENDER NEUTRAL BATHROOMS!

      • Vincent,

        Did you know that over 250 organizations devoted to fighting sexual assault have signed and released a joint statement in support of trans women’s right to use women’s rooms with other women because we are women? That’s not 250 people i’m talking about, it’s 250 *ORGANIZATIONS*, with staff in the thousands. Have you devoted more hours than you’ve lived in your life to fighting sexual assault? They have.

        Here’s what they say:

        “Those who are pushing these proposals have claimed that these proposals are necessary for public safety and to prevent sexual violence against women and children. As rape crisis centers, shelters, and other service providers who work each and every day to meet the needs of all survivors and reduce sexual assault and domestic violence throughout society, we speak from experience and expertise when we state that these claims are false.”

        “Nondiscrimination laws protecting transgender people have existed for a long time. Over 200 municipalities and 18 states have nondiscrimination laws protecting transgender people’s access to facilities consistent with the gender they live every day. In some cases, these protections have been in place for decades. These laws have protected people from discrimination without creating harm. None of those jurisdictions have seen a rise in sexual violence or other public safety issues due to nondiscrimination laws.”

        “Nondiscrimination laws do not allow men to go into women’s Restrooms — period. The claim that allowing transgender people to use the facilities that match the gender they live every day allows men into women’s bathrooms or women into men’s is based either on a flawed understanding of what it means to be transgender or a misrepresentation of the law.”

        “Transgender people already experience unconscionably high rates of sexual assault—and forcing them out of facilities consistent with the gender they live every day makes them vulnerable to assault. As advocates committed to ending sexual assault and domestic violence of every kind, we will never support any law or policy that could put anyone at greater risk for assault or harassment. That is why we are able to strongly support transgender-inclusive nondiscrimination protections—and why we oppose any law that would jeopardize the safety of transgender people by forcing them into restrooms that do not align with the gender they live every day.”

        Here’s the link: http://endsexualviolence.org/files/NTFNationalConsensusStmtTransAccessWithSignatories.pdf

        Be safe,

        Sera

        • You just completely blew off legitimate concerns because “200” organizations, lady, those places push agendas, usually communist ones, but you seem willfully ignorant, I challenge you to go physically investigate a handful of your “200” organizations, you’ll find a bunch of idiots that would release a report saying staring at the sun can help your eyes if they’re payed enough too. Use your head, it’s not discrimination to have a grown man use a mans restroom. Life isn’t a big game of pretend, there’s consequences to these “issues” but you don’t care about putting people at risk, because you rationalize and dismiss the concerns and red flags. You’re a dangerous moron

      • I agree. I think there probably will need to be a 3rd option, individual bathrooms or family bathrooms. I do see this is openning a new door for those disturbed people(not speaking of transgender) who prey on small children or women. Allowing transgender to feel safe at the expensive of kids and women is not a good compromise either. That is why I think there should be a different solution.

      • I agree with you 100%.. when I first heard about this story in North Carolina I thought the government and the rest of the country was against men using women’s bathrooms North Carolina was for it. Now that I read it’s the opposite i can’t believe how downhill this country is going if they allow men with penises into women’s bathrooms. The first thing I thought of as a normal heterosexual male is that all I have to do is put on a wig or just claim to be transgender when I’m just to get a look at a naked women in the woman’s bathroom. I’m sure there are many other heterosexual men that are thinking the same thing. All it takes is one heterosexual crazy rapist an excuse to go into a woman’s bathroom to rape her. It’s only common sense that if you have a penis you go in the mens room, and if you have a vagina you go in the womans room. Do they really have to change the signs on the bathroom doors to have pictures of penises on the men’s room and vaginas on the womans room? Come on America..wake up and keep men with penises in the men’s room and women with vaginas in the woman’s room regardless of what they think they are.

        • Ps ..and on the opposite side other then going into a women’s bathroom for a chance to see a woman I’m attracted to naked I wouldn’t want to hear or smell her facts and I’m sure woman want there privacy from men being in there bathroom for the same reason I wouldn’t want attractive women in the mens bathroom

      • Sexual assault is sexual assault. Even if they do claim that defense, it isn’t really much of a defense. They raped someone…

    • You are absolutely correct. We aren’t in danger from the actual transgender persons. We’re in danger from the fakes.

      • Now if only society would take the time to understand trans people, we wouldn’t have to worry about the fakes.

  5. Just a quick note and you don’t even need to post this – you have a typo in one of your last paragraphs: “If we want women to safe in the bathroom or anywhere else . . .”

  6. This may only be tangentially related but bear with me.

    20 years ago I went to a big all-day rock concert festival. As usual, the women’s rooms had a super long line and the men’s rooms didn’t. A handful of women decided to just use the men’s rooms, which encouraged more women to do it, and soon the men’s rooms were filled with at least 25% women.

    And nobody was molested or otherwise harmed. The men in the room were surprised, but we all just kind of shrugged our shoulders and got on with our lives.

    Ever since then, I’ve wondered why we have to have separate men’s and women’s restrooms. This is just a social norm, it’s not a natural law.

    • Exactly! Sometimes I feel we Americans are first world spoiled. Travel overseas to China or Africa! I’m thrilled to find a working toilet with water!! Give me a stall, a working toilet & hand washing facilities….I don’t care who my neighbor is. I will do my business & go.

    • They weren’t in danger because of the crowd. Change the circumstances just to hair, you got yourself an episode of SVU

  7. And who knew?

    1…That we could not send a daughter to be a White House intern and entrust her care to the President of the USA.

    2…That the longest serving US Speaker-of-the-House would abuse at least 5 male students while he served as a HS wrestling coach.

    • how funny that you use these two events. This has nothing to do with a transgender issue. No one FORCED ML to give bj to Bill, She wasn’t a minor. And Hastert, a republican who was leading the fight to impeach Clinton for his dastardly deeds, was himself guilty of worse things.

    • The longest serving Speaker of the House was Sam Rayburn of TX at 17 years, not Dennis Hastert of IL. And prosecutors say that it was 4 boys.

  8. Thank you. When I was growing up in “small-town, mid-America” women did not go to use the restroom alone. Unless they were the only woman, and that was unusual. And men joked about it. And made crude remarks.

    One of the things police departments tell women as a safety precaution to do as a preventive measure, is not be alone or out of sight of others.

    We ARE waging a battle for the souls of our young men, an old, old battle.

  9. There are two basic emotions. One is love the other is fear.
    One cannot love what they fear, one will not fear what they love.
    Love is about compassion; fear is about hate.
    All these ridiculous laws are fear based because as John said they do not understand.
    There are people who cannot understand and those who will not understand. Unfortunately these kind of laws are passed by people who will not understand.

  10. Yes, and many managers of public venues have it opened men’s rooms to women because of the very long lines in the women’s rooms…

    I’ve worked in places that had only one bathroom with no doors(railroad freight yard out of college – Conrail had other things to do than to build me a separate bathroom…) People just wanted to do their work and empty their output buffers.

    This issue is a relative ‘gnat’ compared to the ‘camels’ of power, dominance and control which influence crimes using sex as the vehicle….those are the weightier issues.

  11. John — This post is clear, realistic, factual, honest, and, in my view, totally on point.

    Sadly, from my observation, none of that matters. The core of the problem is “tribal”. While there may exist some intersection between various “Christians” and other political and cultural identities, the biggest obstacle to acceptance of diversity of almost any variety, is the human tendency/need to feel like “I belong”. It is (again in my estimation) a form of idolatry: the comfort/security of finding that “pack” or crowd, or “bar where everyone knows your (my) name”.

    Until I actually have the desire and capacity to value every other human being as God does, I will be unable to cross boundaries. Until I release my need to find my “krewe”, I will be incapable of experiencing God’s table comfortably. Until I can deny my tendency to judge others, their foibles and frailties as well as their gifts, my arrogance will never evaporate and get replaced by humility. I include myself because I know that I instinctively recoil at certain kinds of replies/attitudes. My first instinct is often to engage in kind, rather than listen as I gather myself to look for any shred of grace I may be able to muster.

    “……rather not do the difficult work of reading and reflecting and wrestling with complex issues, and addressing matters if they become too complicated or time-consuming……”

    That line resonated as a particularly frustrating piece of the puzzle, in my experience. A few posts ago (your earlier bedroom/bathroom bill post), a Rev. William Carey wrote a detailed reply carefully translating bible verses from the Greek, accompanied by explanations. He also added a link at the end of his reply to what I suppose is his own blog. http://hoperemains.webs.com

    I checked it out, have been slowly working my way through, and am struck by how disciplined, principled, and meticulous a process is needed if what I really want to understand what is written in the book that is so often weaponized, and in my view, idolized.

    But as I wrote above. I fear the problem is NOT the integrity of wanting to make sure I have my facts right. Rather than wanting to truly understand, I often prefer not to be confused by the facts.

    Rather, what I have to ask myself is whether what I am really looking for is the comfort and reassurance of being told I am in agreement with my “tribe”: those who are “like” me.

    Great stuff. Please keep writing.

    • Tim,

      It’s funny, Before (I realized I was female), I was entirely self-focused. I didn’t feel like I was part of or belonged in the groups people automatically assigned me to (straight, white, male), and I was too depressed to make any use of those assignations and their inherent privilege. I was, strangely, very tribal, but not to any real, actual tribe. I was very isolated, and had few friends. I mostly lived in media, so the closest thing to a tribe I had would have been stereotypes played out in TV shows, which, good news for me at the time, just about always had straight white men as the heroes. A perpetual in-group.

      But After (I realized I was female), I recognized my complete lack of a tribe. I’m half Japanese and half Irish, but mostly estranged from my parents. My mom’s brother, in Japan, barely interacts with me at all, and he is probably my most robust direct tie to that half of my heritage, at this point. On the Irish side of the family, we’re so far removed generationally from the first of us to come to America that we’re more Wisconsin Redneck than Irish, at this point. I have good, active, close relationships with a few of my family on that side, as well as my brother’s family, but there’s no cultural link to any real sense of heritage.

      On top of all that, I’m a woman that many women will not accept as a woman, but I’m definitely not someone that guys regard as an actual guy, or one of those girls who gets called “one of the guys” when she’s the only one hanging out with them. My sexuality confuses and frustrates some people, and it’s unique enough that I’m only sometimes in the acronym for gender and sexual orientation minorities — I’m pretty gay… but, I could be gayer. Because of the spontaneously occurring nature of the state of being transgender, being trans isn’t much of a cultural tie, either. It’s been compelled to become a political one, by necessity, for survival. But it’s not, on its own, any more meaningful than, say, a Southpaw’s Club, or a Redhead’s Guild, or something like that. Blue Eye-ster Cult, haha.

      But we’re social animals, so, of course I’d consider ways to connect myself to others. And when I started looking at everybody long enough, I started to realize how alike we all are. My heart breaks for the enormous black man who must constantly try his best to make himself small, so people will be less likely to think of him as a threat. My heart breaks for the tiny Indian woman who must constantly fight to make herself seem bigger, so the world will actually hear her, and consider what she has to say. My heart breaks for survivors of sexual assault, who can become paralyzed with fear at the mere sight of someone with any shared characteristics with their attacker. My heart breaks for myself, and for everyone else. It breaks, as Pema Chödrön says, open.

      It was when I realized that I had no tribe that I realized I had a tribe. My tribe is No Tribe. Because, when it comes to acknowledging that fundamental shared humanity in all of us, the only value the things that divide us have is in helping us to understand how they have no other value. That is how I can love everyone without. That is why I love everyone without condition.

      Be safe,

      Sera

      • “It breaks ……… open.”

        What a beautiful quote. And thanks for sharing a piece of your journey to get there.

        I have to echo S&A — I too appreciate your writing — the effort as well as the sentiment.

      • ooooh noooooo I lost an entire worddddddd

        It’s supposed to be:

        “That is how I can love everyone without condition. That is why I love everyone without condition.”

        Sorry, it won’t let me edit it.

      • Here’s a clue for you to try to follow: if you have a penis, you are biologically a male. It doesn’t matter one whit to 98% of the population that you’ve deluded yourself into believing you’re female. You can shake your fist at God, the cosmos, or whatever it is in which you believe, but wishing you were born female will never make it so. Get some psychological therapy, get over yourself, and get on with your life so the rest of us don’t have to sacrifice to accommodate your delusional behavior.

        • So, what does it mean for the people who are born with both a penis and a vagina? If nature can do that, why is it so hard to believe that someone’s inner gender might not match their outer?

      • Just beautiful! My heart breaks too…I’m tired of hate. I fall in the “privileged” tribe. We see you. Please know I will fight for you, too.

    • “……rather not do the difficult work of reading and reflecting and wrestling with complex issues, and addressing matters if they become too complicated or time-consuming……”

      I would also add that many of the people we encounter on the street every day, in our offices, and at church are—for all practical purposes—little more than animals. They live lives that have little to do with ideas and thoughts. For them, life consists of sleep—get up—-eggs and bacon—-work—-tuna sandwich and turnip greens—work—steak and taters—baseball—sleep. Just doing the routine from cradle to grave in whichever rut someone drew for them years before. The idea light bulb in their brains was either never screwed in or it went bad decades ago, leaving only darkness. You know who you are because you consistently brought home “Cs” and “Ds” on your report cards K-12.

      • Sorry Dover1952, your prejudice is showing. I got less than wonderful grades because I was BORED in school and learned how to goof off early on, there was no real challenge while waiting for all the others to figure out the concepts. I am now considered a go-to person when someone needs practical repair advise in most areas related to housing and the mechanical systems that go along with it including HVAC. Please don’t judge by grades. I know some whip smart people that couldn’t have gotten into college if they would have wanted. As to only running in their particular rut, I understand where you are coming from but some of those people are there because no one shows any interest in what they can offer otherwise. And they have no interest in disputation about finer points of doctrine so they don’t go reading much theology or psychology. However, if they are taught truth about the nonviolent God and have no ego to prop up with false comparisons to others taught by teachers of such divisive doctine, they actually are open to the real gospel. I better quit, but you touched a nerve.

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  13. “How did I become the bad guy because I don’t want guys in the bathroom with my daughters and their friends. Just pee in the damn bathroom your supposed too!”

    This is a case of the mirror working to reveal this persons motivations and truth about their ‘self’. This is the opportunity for repentance not self justification.

    • Or instead of “reading into” it and going out in left field, you can realize the man had legitimate concerns that not 1 idiot on this page has actually addressed. You just blow off and dismiss what you don’t want to hear. You people are so tolerant you’re dangerous and easily manipulated

      • His concern is for how he looks to others, he doesn’t want to be perceived as the bad guy. He is also astounded that ‘he’ of all people is considered the bad guy and not the real bad guys. All this finger pointing at bad guys, idiots and ‘so called’ dangerous and easily manipulated people doesn’t make us any safer, just like trying to police what sex or gender you are under your clothes or in your DNA doesn’t make us any safer.

  14. Another great post, John. IMO, what’s going on here is simply right wing politicians fear-mongering, bamboozling, and pandering for votes. We are in no danger from transgender folks, but oh my, how they love to create scapegoats.

  15. So this law that some of the states are pushing through barring transgendered folks from using the washroom they Identify with is one of the most hateful and spiteful laws ever concocted , and those people who try to justify it by saying crap like we don’t want men in the women’s washrooms… are equally as ignorant and ill informed , and their ignorance is going to get many transgendered folks beaten or killed…. and I put each assault and death of a transgendered person squarely on their shoulders….. I am ever so grateful I live in Canada and do not have to deal with this sort of HATE!
    and you will get exactly what you want from this law, and since you are so hell bent on keeping anything remotely male out of your women’s washrooms …. have any of you misguided fools stopped and thought holy shit … what about the TransMen? … hey they were born women and now they have to use the women’s washroom … and guess what ladies … you just put men in your washrooms lol … have fun with that ….

    and for those still can not the concept of gender…. gender is NOT what is or isn’t between your legs … gender IS what is between your ears.

    • You are a major drama queen. It’s sad that an adult is so ignorant that they think a law protecting women and children is “one of the most hateful laws ever” first of all, it’s a bathroom, be an adult quit pretending you’re something you’re not and use the correct bathroom, problem solved, but no, the world must be forced to play along and pretend with you, it’ll add unnecessary risk and problems to other people’s lives but screw em, huh? You don’t even realize how good you have it here, you are literally following an agenda that communist high jacked in the 60’s and are whining about oppression while giving your freedom and everyone else’s away, you people have no idea what tyranny is really like, what oppression is really like, but you will, Muslims won’t argue with you about bathrooms, they’ll cut your head off, go ahead and dismiss me as a hateful fearmongerer, but I’ve seen tyranny and oppression and it leaves scars not panick attacks

  16. This law, and others like it, actually INCREASE the access of a male sexual predator to the ladies bathroom, instead of decrease it. Before, a predator could don a dress and wig and go into the ladies room, claiming to be a trans woman (ie: born male). Now, under these laws, he can stroll right into the ladies room, even with a full beard, and claim to be a trans man (born female). That’s what this law DEMANDS a trans man to do, remember? Do we really think anyone will be checking birth certificates, or that a store clerk could recognize a bogus one? Personally, in the case of pedophiles, I don’t want them in the MEN’S room, (where young boys are much more likely to be unsupervised by a parent), either!

    • Dawn. A person does not need special, gender-related clothes and grooming to sexually assault someone in a restroom. It happens in restrooms right now. One of my best friends (female) was raped at work one morning in her own office building. She had gone into the women’s restroom to use the potty—and there he was—in normal male street clothes.

      So yeah Dawn. This is all about male sexual predators who need special uniforms and makeup as a prerequisite to raping women in in the Ladies Room.

      “For them, life consists of sleep—get up—-eggs and bacon—-work—-tuna sandwich and turnip greens—work—steak and taters—baseball—sleep.”

  17. To add to the confusion, some states allow your birth certificate to be altered to reflect your new sex after surgery. There are transgender women and transgender men who have birth certificates that show their current, post surgical sex.

    • The new bathroom bills specify that a person has to use the restroom based on the gender indicated on the ORIGINAL birth certificate issued by the state at birth. If a person’s gender were legally changed on a later birth certificate issued after transgender surgery (etc.), one would need to retain the original birth certificate for bathroom access purposes, if anyone like a cop was checking restrooms. Notice the next deeper level of official gender discrimination here. Even if you get your second birth certificate to finally feel the state recognizes you as fully female, the state still insists that you can never be totally free of your original birth certificate.

  18. Actually, the original intent of HB 2 was purely political. It was seen as way to aid our current governor in his bid for re-election against the popular state attorney general, Roy Cooper. The thinking was that Cooper could either back the bill and lose the support of his liberal base or oppose it and risk alienating moderates across the state. But, the NC GOP miscalculated public sentiment around LGBT issues and things didn’t turn out the way they planned. The addition of the minimum wage clause and stripping local governments of the power to pass their own protections for their citizens made things even worse.This cynical ploy has blown up in their face and now they risk losing not only the governor’s job, but also their ironclad grip on the General Assembly. If there’s a bright spot to this abomination, that’s it.

  19. As they say, “ignorance is not knowing that you don’t know”. Christians have bought into the lie hook, line, and sinker. Scary!
    I agree 100% with your response to the person who replied to your post. Also, many good ( civilized, non-venomous) replies/comments thus far.

  20. I know a trans woman who is very attractive, with a slim, shapely figure, beautiful long hair and perky breasts, but still has a penis. She would be much more likely to be assaulted going into a men’s restroom than a women’s. As long as nobody peeped over the stall wall she would never be noticed in the women’s (except for the gay women that might try to catch her eye).

  21. We do not “know” if someone is gay, lesbian, etc. unless they TELL us. The transgender is Different!!! Outward Physical traits are Visible!!! That is why the Male/feels like female needs to Stay Out of the ladies’ Restrooms/showers, etc!!!

    • Jan,

      I’m a woman. I’m not a man. I know this. My friends and family know this. My doctors know this, all of them abreast of the latest science on gender, endocrinology, and sex. Also, there are plenty of trans people whom you could not tell are trans unless they told you.

      “Transgender” is something of a misnomer, because my gender isn’t actually changing. What I’m changing are cultural signifiers for gender, as much as I’m able to with such resources as I have at any given time. Like most trans people, right now, that’s “not much.” We say “transgender” because “trans-cultural-signifiers-for-gender” is clumsy and overwrought. And people are already struggling enough with “transgender,” as a word, in the first place.

      But the first half of the word — “trans” — refers to the journey across those sets of cultural gender signifiers (breasts, facial hair, genitals, etc.). It’s called a transition for a reason — it takes time. It’s not like flipping a switch. It also puts us in between, in many ways, usually for years.

      Case in point: me. I have grown my own breasts. But I still grow my own facial hair. I’m not happy about that, but, see above RE: resource levels for most trans women. Permanent facial hair removal is expensive, time-consuming, painful, and still considered “cosmetic” for trans women by insurers. I’m going to guess that there weren’t any PCOS or otherwise bearded women on the panels voting for that decision. I paid for it while I could, out-of-pocket, and I went for roughly an hour a week for a little over a year. Then I ran out of money, and had to stop.

      I no longer have testicles. They were surgically removed at my request, and now my risks from medications for my hormone replacement therapy (HRT) are reduced — I no longer need the anti-androgens, the testosterone suppressants, because I no longer produce any more testosterone than the average cisgender woman. My HRT regimen has dropped from three medications, to one. But I still have my penis, and unless one of the many violent threats I’ve received promising to “rip that dick off for you and fix your troubles” comes to pass, I will have it for a few years, yet. Much of the penile tissue is used in constructing the neovagina (yes, that’s an actual word, and that’s actually what it’s called). So, as much as I’d love to be rid of it, I’ve come to terms with keeping it, for now.

      Point being, my body is, as my label suggests, in transition right now. Before I started, I knew I was female. Now that it’s in process, I still know I’m female. When I’m “finished,” whatever that looks like for me, I will still know I’m female. The state of my body has nothing to do with my gender, and yours doesn’t, either. Nobody’s does. Most people just think it does, because they’re not interested in doing the work that taking a deeper look at things requires, as John wrote above. I’d be happy to help you understand this, if you’re willing to engage with me about it.

      On top of all that, if what you’re really upset about is the “outward physical traits,” I’m actually required to use women’s facilities as part of the WPATH Standards of Care guidelines for determining absolutely that I’m a woman in the first place. I can’t get vaginoplasty, and I wouldn’t have been able to get my orchiectomy, without living as a woman 100% of the time for a full contiguous calendar year, first. That’s when I can get in line for those surgeries. AFTER that year. I’ve written about that here: https://medium.com/@seranine/basic-science-abbd9b38bf08#.mjoj7trvg

      If that’s the thing you have an issue with, then, please join me in calling for an end to that one-year “trial run” concept. It’s outdated, draconian, and cruel. I knew I wanted vaginoplasty the moment I realized I was female, and always had been. I’ve never wavered in that. But, things being what they are, I had to wait a year before I could apply and get in line for it. That line is over two years long. And I promise you, I am more unhappy about that than you or anyone else is.

      Be safe,

      Sera

    • You know people get gender reassignment surgery, right? If someone has breasts and a vagina, but their birth certificate has an M on it, you want them to use the men’s room and get beaten up? People should use the restroom that matches their *appearance.* Which is exactly what trans people do. Trans people who aren’t out use the restroom that feels “wrong” but matches their looks.

  22. So you would prefer that a transwoman (“Male/feels like female”) be kept out of the ladies’ room, where she poses no risk to anyone, and forced instead to use the men’s, where she will almost certainly be assaulted herself?

    How very compassionate and Christlike of you.

  23. It is quite a bit more than just “feeling” a certain way, but that is certainly the “cinnamon” in the recipe (yunno, a baking analogy, where cinnamon is such a small part of the recipe but is quite noticeable).

  24. Congratulations for this informed and balanced perspective. In high school, as an intersex male, I would not use the restroom at all until after the bell had rang and preferably with a bodyguard. The boys room and the locker room were just too dangerous for me. I feel schools should be allowed to determine on a case basis whether or not to allow a particular Transgender to use girls bathrooms. In this I would hope they do not give in to unfounded fears. I am not myself enthusiastic of teenage boys in girls bathrooms, and certainly not in the girls locker room. Biologically (unless on hormone blockers) they are still teenage boys.

    • So, what you are saying is that even though gender-wise they identify as female, their worms are still hot only for teenage girls. Where did you come up with that Tom. Did you read it—or just assume it?

  25. Over 20% of college women report they have been victims of persistent unwanted sexual advances. 10% report being raped. Men feel it is their right to harass women as they walk down the street. In the cities that have allowed trans people to use the restroom of their gender there have been zero incidents. ZERO. Heterosexual men are the problem. Perhaps they should be banned from all public restrooms

  26. One of the most problematic issues of this debate — that is being overlooked — is that Government cannot become the arbiter of the subjective. What I mean is that, being “transgender” is not something that is quantifiable or objectively proven. We have to trust that the individual is feeling what he or she says they are feeling, and government cannot be the judge of what I or others are feeling. Once we allow this, what other personal feelings or thoughts will the authorities claim to be the judge and jury of? Government authority must be limited by what objectively verifiable — and thus that means anatomical gender should be the only determinant of who uses which public restroom.

    • Mike,

      The issue you raise is not overlooked — it’s just not an issue. DSM-V has guidelines for diagnosing Gender Dysphoria, and those were developed with literal decades of scientific research. The vast majority of the medical and scientific community agrees that gender is a function of mind, not body, and ongoing research supports that. The works of people like Paul McHugh and Alice Dreger live on because people want to be able to justify their hatred by giving it a patina of scientific merit. All that’s required to use their work to do that is to ignore the fact that they’ve produced nothing but bad science, which has been rejected by the medical and scientific communities, broadly.

      There are also processes already in place at the state and federal level for trans people to modify documents to reflect their actual gender, rather than the one they were misidentified as at birth. My gender is not a way I feel. It is to me as yours is to you. It is fundamental to who I am. I will not respond to the rest of what you wrote because it is based on an easily provably false premise. We are not new. We’re just a lot more visible, and a lot more of us are aware of what we are, because we have the internet to turn to for answers to impossible questions, now.

      One problem I can help solve is that most of the people talking about what a big problem trans people are don’t actually know any trans people, themselves. They are arguing not about people, but about an idea of people, an idea that rarely has more than the barest of connections to the actual people in question. That’s why I welcome everyone to get to know me as a person, and not an idea. I run seranine.com as a window into my life. You’ll find lots of pictures of me, and my cats, and whatever it is I’m out in the world doing — which is modeling and acting, lately. And lots of busing, because my car died.

      I hope you’ll consider Liking my Page, and just getting to know me as a person.

      Be safe,

      Sera

    • I really dislike people like you. No offense intended. I just don’t. If you were injured by the side of the road, I would be the first to take you to a hospital—anyway. Most of the people I know who are frightened by creeping government authority are people who live in some form of unbridled paranoia that has its roots in some past negative aspect of their lives outside of government.

    • Anatomical gender is complex, though. If a trans person has had top surgery but not bottom, where should they go? Should they just hold it until they “match”? What about an intersex person whose genitalia are not clearly “male” or “female”? Do they have to just hold it indefinitely?

  27. So, I’m not transgendered. But what’s to keep me from claiming I am so I can use the women’s bathroom. And maybe find a nice 12 or 13 year old to fondle while I’m in there?

    • What’s to stop you from finding a 12 or 13 year old to fondle anywhere? Prison. Prison is what’s stopping you. And if you’re going to fondle someone despite the threat of prison, as I think the author is pointing out, what’s to stop you from fondling someone in the men’s room?

    • Roger,

      I try my best not to be cruel. Please forgive me as I am blunt:

      If your plan for finding a 12- to 13-year-old girl to fondle involves changing your name, changing your pronouns and asking everyone everywhere to respect them, changing your entire wardrobe, arguing with doctors to please diagnose you with gender dysphoria so you could start hormones, and on top of that, facing all of the abuse and ridicule and rejection you’d likely get from all sides, just so you can “sneak” into a women’s room and hang out for a few hours (because nobody’s gonna notice that weirdness) in hopes of finding one, you are either the stupidest child molester in the universe, or the hardest-working one, and I honestly can’t tell which. Maybe it’s both.

      You know what stops me from fondling little girls in the bathroom? THEY’RE CHILDREN, AND I THINK IT’S ATROCIOUS THAT ANYONE WOULD EVEN THINK ABOUT ABUSING THEM. That’s actually enough for me. I don’t even need a threat of prison or punishment, because we’re talking about sexual assault, which I’ve suffered exclusively at the hands of cisgender people, by the way, and we’re talking about CHILDREN.

      This is strikingly similar to what keeps me from sexually assaulting people, in general. I don’t do it, and I don’t think about it, or how to get away with it, because it’s an abhorrent violation of someone’s body and agency and autonomy. It does damage that cannot be truly understood until you’ve suffered it, and I would not wish that upon anyone.

      I promise I’m not usually so blunt (or sharp!). I find that much of the problem around this whole kerfuffle is that not enough people know an actual transgender person, themselves. You’re welcome (and encouraged) to get to know me via my Facebook Page, at seranine.com. Like the Page to follow my life. See how ordinary it actually is. We probably have a lot in common. I bet we both eat, every day, for example. I have a lot of cats. Probably you know what a cat is.

      We’re not an idea. We’re actual, living, breathing people. Get to know some of us for awhile. Then tell me if you really think I should get legislatively compelled to use a men’s restroom, full of ignorant and angry men who have been programmed to think I’m a pedophile, a child molester, a monster who forces herself sexually on anyone smaller or weaker than her, a clear and present danger to their daughters. Tell me if you really think I deserve to be raped or beaten or killed or all three, all because people would rather spread fear based on specious lies for political gain, than do any real work, as John wrote, above.

      Be safe,

      Sera

    • If you do, you will be arrested and checked.. And your birth certificate will be checked. Oh and by the way “transgendered” is not an appropriate or correct phrase as it applies that somehow teams people had something done to them to be trans. Using transgendered is considered to be offensive to transgender people. You might want to educate yourself more on terminology and other issues toward those who suffer so much emotional pain that they need to transition. It’s not a simple matter of wearing a dress…and they most definitely are NOT pedophiles.

  28. I am a middle-aged ciswoman. Back in the dark ages of 1979 or so, I met the first transgendered person, M to F. Toni (not her real name) was poor but was able to get the correct hormones to transition up to a point. She developed breasts, grew her hair long, and after months of that, dressed as the woman she was (not always in a dress by any means since, duh, women wear jeans, etc.).
    Toni would be 60 by now. I doubt she ever pulled the thousands of dollars together to get genital surgery. I do imagine she’s been using the ladies’ for…40 years.
    The thought of her being legally mandated to use the men’s room at this point, putting her at risk of who knows what kind of maltreatment…and asking her to deny who she has been for forty years…why? What on earth would that accomplish? Who, exactly, would that protect?

    • I would just like to make an observation here for the record. The real issue here for fundies seems to be people born with a penis who later change their gender to female. I think one reason for this is that the gender change is often not a “complete take,” as alluded to by one transgender person (male to female) poster above.” This means that they still retain male traits that are easily recognizable.

      Some of you may not be aware of this, but women born with a vagina who later decide to change to male often display virtually nothing of their past gender condition. The change is so total and complete that if you were seated with such a person at a restaurant table, there would be literally no noticeable clue that the person sitting in front of you was born female. Zip!!! Been there. Seen that. I dare say that many a fundie has been duck hunting with a man that was born female and never even knew that Joe was transgender. Neither I nor any other male is afraid of being in the same restroom with one of these people simply because they are “so guy” that one would never even notice that a change had occurred. And I doubt that anyone would beat him up even if they did know.

      So, just like fundies are fixated mostly on males who are gay, they are also mostly fixated on men who want to become women. Wonder why that is? Anyone have any ideas on that?

  29. This bill shames transgender folk even more than they already are…now a transgender man or woman using their birth bathroom is causing all sorts of questions and fear…especially someone who has transitioned to male and looks thoroughly male going into a women’s bathroom. I think the creators of this bill knew this all along…this bill is all about shaming transgender people…not about security for women. Since when did the right wing care about women anyway?

    • These bathroom bills have nothing to do with making female restrooms safe for women. They are all about taking out vengeance on LGBTQ people because the U.S. Supreme Court just turned their little fundie, white bread cultural world on its ear.

  30. Hello,

    As ever (since that last post), when I see John’s written a new blog post that involves girls like me, I am here to encourage you all to get to know me via my Facebook Page, at seranine.com. I welcome honest questions, and am happy to engage in dialogue with anyone who can do so respectfully. We are not theory. We are people, just like you, and whether you know 50 trans people, or none at all, I welcome you to get to know me for who I am.

    Thank you, be safe,

    Sera

  31. If an incident were to occur, as did recently in Texas, the veracity of a claim to being transgender could easily be verified by checking with friends, associates and looking for a “footprint” in counseling services.

  32. I admire the courage of your stance.

    I say that as someone who joined the Gay Liberation Front at 16, marched against Anita Bryant in the 70’s and survived the darkest days of the AIDS Epidemic.

    The world in which I was born uniformly believed that I deserved to suffer in alienation and die.

    Imagine how it feels for me to marry the man I have lived with and loved for 23 years.

    Imagine the relief I feel because I can legally turn my love into a family that has a legal right to exist.

    The question of who has a legal right to exist is at the heart about all of our civil right’s debates in the United States.

    Who is fully human?

    The fact that we continue to evolve in our understanding of each other gives me hope.

    When I read your blog I am always moved by your love for your community your mission to serve them by asking them to stop for a moment and question themselves.

    You do it with tenderness and respect.

    And I think you make a difference.

    • “… if they and you think you can intimidate the human race into bowing down to your perverse agenda, you had better guess again. You cannot hide the reality of your condition and motives forever. WE are the human race and you are tolerated only to a point.”

      — Steven Mark Pilling, Chair of the Harris County TX GOP, on Intersex kids.

      • You have only one problem there Zoe. The American people are split 50-50 on most controversies, and on those peculiar to fundie thinking, the split is more like 70-30 against the fundies. For those who want to start a war on your side, those are not very good odds to face—and the other side from yours has just as many guns as you do—and some of us have Russian-made RPGs sneaked out of Afghanistan and Iraq.

      • Zoe Brain: I have been trying to contact you. When my brother died he ad an extremely rare symptom you have also written about (3bhsd). I’m on facebook as Thomas Huggins in Charlottesville, Va.

  33. What bothers me most is that the whole “bathroom issue” was really just a distraction that allowed the legislature to:
    1) Eliminate gender identity and sexual orientation as protected groups in anti-discrimination laws in NC.
    2) Prevent any local governments from enacting any anti-discrimination laws at all.
    3) Prevent the citizens of NC from suing in state court when they are illegally discriminated against. (So essentially, there are no protections in the state against discrimination whatsoever.)
    4) Just for good measure, preventing local governments from increasing their minimum wage. Because that’s completely related to the rest of the bill, I guess.

    # 2 and #4 in particular seem to be designed to prevent locally elected Democrats (who do tend to cluster in the bigger cities) from actually governing as they were elected to do.

    Furthermore, Governor McCrory seems to think that if he just continues to insist that the bill is about “common sense bathroom privacy” we’ll all just ignore the rest of this travesty.

  34. As a followup to what I posted above….when a transgender person identifying as man goes into a woman’s bathroom guess what’s going to happen? All the ladies will come running out screaming. Then the transgender person will have to try to explain to them why he’s in there but all they care about is that a man is in the bathroom. Then the trans person will be arrested for *obeying* this discriminatory law. And don’t think the lawmakers didn’t think about this ahead of time…they most certainly did….or perhaps some truly didn’t think it through. One trans man tried to hand out a card but the lady in the bathroom didn’t even want to hear it.

  35. Sera, I would say that we know relatively little about the influences in utero upon the developing fetus with regards to sexuality ….while most people fall into the “main” categories of male and female, there are people born intersex, there are people born outwardly one sex, but genetically are the opposite sex.

    I also note that in Scripture, God is both male and female….all the Psalms about mother and child, all the tender mothering imagery throughout the Bible is most feminine, combined with the masculine. Humankind, ha’adam, is created imago Dei, in the image of God – humankind is both male and female.

    I don’t know a whole lot about being/becoming/existing transgender, but I think a person is driven to discover who their true self is – and sometimes that self is of the opposite gender present at birth.

    I think some Christians interpret a transgender person as indicting God; if one is born with female genitalia, but is actually male – has God made some sort of “mistake”? I wear corrective lenses, being nearsighted – is wearing glasses an indictment of God because my eyes cause light to be focused in front of my retina, instead of focusing light on it ?(nearsightedness). Why not have my eyes remain in the condition they were at birth? Is Lasix wrong?

    • Yattwood,

      I’ve written elsewhere about my answer to the “God doesn’t make mistakes” line of thinking. It’s basically, “then I was made this way for a purpose, and if God’s ultimate command is to love, then perhaps that purpose was to test the faithful’s capacity to do just that.” As you pointed out, we’re all very quick to change things about our bodies, whether it’s altering our biochemistry with drugs, buying some Clairol and coloring our hair, or using surgery and radiation to combat a cancerous growth. Even if one were to argue that sin is sin, why single out one of the most marginalized demographics for further abuse? What about all of the scientific advancement we’ve made? If God has made everything, all for a purpose, and never in error, then we have an awful lot of people who have been fulfilling God’s plan by becoming world-class sexologists, endocrinologists, and so on. And the vast majority of them agree, gender is a function of mind, not body.

      I would clarify one point — nobody can actually present a gender at birth. Not yet, anyway. It’s possible that future technology would enable us to reliably predict gender with some kind of brain scan or other analysis, but right now, we can’t tell. We can guess, because genitals do have a high correlation rate to the gender categories we’ve been enforcing, but the real trouble arises when that guess turns out to have been wrong. Especially if that guess was accompanied by pediatric genital reconstructive surgery to fashion genitals that that child will ultimately come to dissociate from. The only real way to know someone’s gender is for them to tell you. And as far as I can tell, the more I’ve looked back, and the deeper I’ve dug, I’ve always been a girl. It’s just that nobody asked me, when I was born, what my gender was — they declared it.

      It took me a very, very long time to realize I was female because everyone and everything around me, from the moment I was born, and probably a little bit before that, said I was male. So, I tried to be that. It didn’t even occur to me that I could do anything else. I was miserable, with a ceaseless depression that colored everything in my life for over 25 years, but I didn’t know WHY I was miserable. That misery didn’t just affect me; it affected everyone close to me. The moment I realized I was actually a girl, that vanished. Over two decades of constant depression, a war I couldn’t win and didn’t want to fight, ended, instantly.

      I can’t speak to scripture, because it’s not a thing I’m well-versed in (haha). But I’d be happy to give you my best take on how a passage that is often used to attack trans people could be interpreted otherwise.

      Be safe,

      Sera

      • Yattwood and Seranine: The phrase “God doesn’t make mistakes” may be the most common line used by religious persons to deny what you are both supporting here. The Bible itself does not support this. Only a few pages in we find that God realizes ‘that it is not good for the man to be alone’. So the Bible itself admits to having made a mistake, that is after all what happens when you create a situation ‘that is not good’. There are other cases as God struggles with his ‘learning curve’. As for INTERSEX, In Hebrew, Adam is the “first human”, becoming “the first man” only after Eve is separated from one of his Sephira “aspects” not “side” as in location. God has five male and five female sephira, Adam, in his image…likewise. How could Eve be separated with two X chromosomes, unless Adam had two himself? So It looks to me like Adam is also the first recorded “gender-normalization.” This is a thousand year-old Jewish tradition. PS: if God thought “The Flood” was such a good idea, why does He immediately promise ‘never to do it again?’ I’m Christian and INTERSEX.

  36. Just a thought here. As commonly done you use LGBTQ, guess what the next letter is! It’s “I”. Do you know what “I” is? It stands for intersex and this is the tragedy of all this. Intersex is the only group within the LGBTQIAA (yes it’s that long) alphabet soup that describes medical conditions also known as Difference of Sex Development (DSD) over 30 of them (used to be known as hermaphroiditism). These conditions have one thing in common, the affected individual has atypical combination of chromosomes, anatomy, physiology. So you might have someone who outwardly appears female but has XY chromosomes and testes. Or someone who appears outwardly more male but has XX chromosomes, or someone who has a mosaic condition such as 46,XX/XY mosaic. I could go on. This actually proves that sex, yes sex, is not binary, it’s not clear cut in male or female, no there are many variations. Conservative estimates say that Intersex/DSD is as common as natural redheads. So stupidity, ignorance and failure to educate people on this fact is the real problem. Of course so called “normalizing” surgeries are performed on children and infants with Intersex/DSD, so they appear as if they were male or female. These surgeries often prove devastating for the individuals. To add insult to injury we now have binary bathroom laws. So where are those who are neither male or female supposed to go? I have yet to hear from one single politician or clergy person what they propose, I guess they just deny their existence. The binary myth whether it comes to sex or gender, is the root of the problem, humans are not binary, never were!!! Get over it!

    • They just ignore it—but even better—I would dare say that most of them are never even aware of it. CBS “60 Minutes” did a long show on these people several yea rs ago. It was really surprising and enlightening.

      And Tennessee says:

      “Them’ uns at those thar 60 minutes is all part of the liberal media, and they have a liberal media agenda to hoist perversion as an American virtue. Why I’d bet the two corns on my right little toe that three quarders of what CBS said was nothing but a damned lie—just like all that evolution and big bang stuff my kids izza brangin’ home from skool all the time. Hell, I can read Genesis, and by God I know 2 +2 =5.”

      Hey man. I have to live with this stuff 24/7/360 here in East Tennessee. Don’t you dare tell me I don’t know what I’m talking about.

  37. Dover, 1952 I am just expressing a concern that young teenage girls may probably need more security than those same will need later. As for the boys, unless on hormone blockers, teenage boys, whether transgender or not, are still biologically teenage boys. Do take note that I identify as “not enthusiastic” about it, not opposed to it. I think it best for schools to be free from legislation prohibiting them from deciding for themselves by the individual case.

    • So are you saying that people with penises are slaves to their genitals and feel an unstoppable compulsion to rape? Cuz that’s kinda what it seems like here…

    • I am against local schools being able to decide these things for themselves because I grew up in a small, miserable Southern town where all governance was “Boss Hog” backroom cronyism with a Southern Baptist aroma floating up from it. I (and my friend Alexander Hamilton) much prefer to see the federal government come into these little Mayberry outhouses; tell them what their bathroom accommodations are going to be; and use the law (and troops if necessary) to slap the shit out of the crony locals that do not like it. Just sayin’.

  38. Dover1952: The idea that someone can take advantage of access by simply claiming to be Transgender is as much a false issue as many others discussed here. A sexual predator, like the one in Texas, masquerading as Transgender, will be lacking supporting testimony / history of being Transgender. At most the false claim will only serve to slow the police down a little at first. Sexual predators can get into a women’s bathroom almost whenever they want now. These proposed laws do nothing to prevent that. On the other hand, freedom to use the women’s bathroom does improve Transgender safety, as they are segregated from homophobic males. I was not myself Transgender, but as an INTERSEX teen was very feminine in appearance. I quickly learned the dangers of being alone with one of these homophobes.

  39. Kris Moonhand, You are the only one suggesting these things, as your inflammatory words are not found in my comments. I am only agreeing with John Pavlovitz, on one of the central themes of his article, that is natural to be concerned also about the need for women (especially teenage girls) to feel safe in secure places. Sharing this concern does not make either of us bad people, if you have read the article. As I said before, an MTF transgender is still biologically a boy. The latitude we give adults cannot ALWAYS be shared to teens who are not yet adults. That is why I prefer for the individual school to be able to decide these things, hopefully in a spirit of love, compromise, but most importantly responsibility. I should not have to remind that many MTF transgenders remain exclusively attracted to women. If you don’t believe that I suggest you visit “Autostraddle” one of my favorite websites.

    • Yeah, I’m a trans woman. I’ve seen all the arguments before. So please, enlighten me… What is it you are trying to say by “helpfully” reminding everyone that trans women are “biologically male”, if you’re not trying to imply that some kind of biological imperative makes them dangerous?

      Why do cis girls get to feel safe, but not trans girls? If it’s dangerous for allegedly “biological boys” to be around girls, why is it safe for trans girls to be around cis boys? Aren’t you worried about their safety?

  40. I cannot understand from the tone or voice of your article whether you are for or against this law. You seem to contradict yourself, apparently in an effort to mask which side of this issue you are actually on. Well played.

    • From the article: “HB2 is a bad decision made for the wrong reasons to solve a problem that didn’t exist.”

      Seems pretty clear to me that he’s against it.

  41. Just in case anyone is willing to hear additional thoughts ….
    Consider the part of HB2 that includes dressing rooms. Now imagine an 85 year old lady sent to water therapy by her doctor. Imagine her feeling comfortable undressing in an open room with a stranger of the opposite gender?
    Consider women who have residual trauma from sexual assault & rape. As a pastor who has called in jails & prisons for 16 yrs I can tell you it is reasonable that at least 10% of these women could never feel safe even imagining sharing a space with a person of the opposite anatomy.
    Consider women of orthodox Jewish, Islamic or other faiths who are never alone with a male at any time, including worship.
    But …..I bring these things up just in case there is someone on this thread who is willing for even a moment to consider that there are added possibilities that don’t make it appropriate to label differing opinions as “ignorant, haters, or bigots.”
    I am in my 60’s & have experienced 3 sexual attacks. If the law is repealed I will quietly censor my activities for the rest of my life – planning all trips around availability of single use facilities. I will not call names or seek to hurt anyone in any way.
    I simply could not feel safe in a mixed use space.

    • M Crandall — I will attempt to sort through your post, assuming you are genuinely interested in discourse. As I wrote earlier on this thread, I want to move away from tribal identity in hopes of meeting others in an authentic attempt to understand and be understood.

      Starting with dressing rooms: While a right to assume some sense of privacy based upon physical phenotype has existed since public bathrooms became common in this country, I doubt that extends to public dressing rooms in quite the same manner. After all, the latter is an open space, rather than a stall. More importantly, what is happening in this moment in history , is a broadening of our understandings of sex and gender. That will inevitably lead to new traditions and customs in the public arenas we all traverse.

      Sex is a complex manifestation of the interaction of genes and hormones that play out in varied primary (genital) and secondary (hair, skin, fat distribution, etc.) characteristics. Other replies have already mentioned how this diversity goes beyond our oversimplified binary representations.

      While phenotypic sex has some influence upon gender, the latter is more about one’s identity and expression. There is a crucial internal component as well as the varied external manifestations such as mannerisms, voice inflection, gendered clothes, and on and on.

      Medicine and therapy usually refer to gender as a “spectrum”, anchored by polar opposites. I find it more helpful to think of gender as non linear. That is, its articulation is a complex interaction of details cobbled together from a wide array of cultural, ethnic, and sexual expressions.

      As such, “‘the opposite gender’ is neither” to borrow a phrase from Kate Bornstein. So, when referring to “the opposite gender”, I assume (correct me if this was NOT your meaning) you are referring to someone with genital characteristics that differ in some way from what you were expecting.

      While I would prefer to honor any individuals personal desires as an expression of respect, that can become difficult in situations where two individuals needs and desires may be at cross purposes. In such cases I would hope that sincere concern for each other would allow for accommodation. Obviously, retreating into tribal identities is going to erect barriers instead.

      The issue of victims of abuse was raised in the replies to John’s previous post (Getting Out of Bedrooms & Bathrooms). My first response is that I can not help but be moved by the trauma of such experiences. As I wrote then, sexual assault is NOT to be trivialized.

      But that said, neither can I allow myself, nor would I expect another, to be controlled by someone else’s fears and/or traumas. The same goes for those whose religious and/or cultural/ethnic differences limit them with boundaries that they wish to honor. Rather than disrespecting their needs/choices with epithets, my preference is to find ways to help them adapt. We are a big country with huge resources. It seems to me we should be able to get along without criminalizing something that is clearly not criminal.

      As I wrote in that reply: “Just because someone was traumatized by an experience, — say someone who dressed as a clown so they could abuse children — we don’t go passing laws and criminalizing everyone who dresses in a clown outfit. If the victim finds clowns trigger their PTSD, they need to avoid them.”

      Vets dealing with PTSD learn techniques that will increase their ability to cope in the present. Their long term goal is to reintegrate their traumatic experiences into their everyday lives in ways that will maximize their abilities to live full and productive lives. We don’t rearrange our realities around their fears.

      In much the same way, as our society and its culture adapt to the emergence of new understandings of gender, as well as greater ethnic and cultural diversity, I hope I can be a source of welcome rather than resistance. I too am clinging by my fingernails to the last two years of my sixties. I can relate to how much harder it is at this point in life to change what I thought I knew. But I would prefer to enrich what is left of my life, rather than retreat into the comfortable parameters of what I may have thought in the past.

      I do not wish to insult you. Rather I wish you well. I do hope you might reframe the beliefs you have about those you may think of as “other” in ways that will allow you to meet them. You might just be surprised by who you meet. You might just be enriched by what they have to offer. Perhaps your experience might even enrich them in some ways that you may not yet have imagined.

      My best to you.

      • I spent many years traveling the country with my job as a consultant. I am biologically female and live life as a female. Having to walk into a company knowing absolutely no one, and being exposed for the first time in my life to non-traditional lifestyles (I grew up in the deep South), I learned rather quickly to not fear what I did not understand.

        I have, over the years, cultivated many friendships with all kinds of people. Gay, lesbian, trans, etc. My point is that I do not fear sharing a bathroom with anyone that is biologically female and is lesbian or a male living as a female. That being said, an awful lot of people have hitched their human rights wagon to a NC bill that was never intended to be the granting of human rights. To be honest, if I were a member of the LGBT community, I would be rather insulted that a two page piece of legislation was all that our legislators could muster!

        HB2 was a forewarned response to an illegal ordinance enacted by a local government. Again! It is AGAINST THE LAW for local governments to pass ordinances that differ from State law. This is to provide consistency among all communities in NC. I appreciate that fact! Consistency is good!

        North Carolina has not yet tackled the issues represented by the LGBT community. Is it time? Yes, I believe so. Do I support equal rights for the LGBT community? Of course I do! However! We need to separate ourselves from what HB2 is and stop the misinformation! More than anything, people need to stop trying to make a mountain out of a mole hill! The mountain is getting our State government to tackle the issue now, rather than later. Punishing North Carolinians is not the answer. HB2 is a mole hill and nothing else.

        • You seem to be missing the point here.

          First, no one is arguing that this bill was intended to GRANT anyone human rights.

          Second, more importantly, is that this bill expressly does the following: (1) prevents local governments from granting such rights even if they see fit; (2) stripped individuals of the right to sue for discrimination in state court; and (3) excluded LGBT people from the class of citizens who are protected from anti-discrimination laws in housing, employment and public accommodations.

          In other words, not only does it NOT GRANT anyone rights, it goes out of its way to single out a class of people for whom those rights would denied without any recourse. (Although the right to sue has been added back by the EO and LGBT are now included in the protected class so some progress is being made due to financial pressures.)

          So, yes, people are upset about this. And rightfully so.
          And your statement that “North Carolina has not yet tackled the issues represented by the LGBT
          community” is patently false. They just did. By denying them equal rights via HB2.

          You said: “It is AGAINST THE LAW for local governments to pass ordinances that differ from State law.”

          Again, was this the case in North Carolina before HB2? If so, please cite the law.

          • § 160A-4. Broad construction.
            It is the policy of the General Assembly that the cities of this State should have adequate authority to execute the powers, duties, privileges, and immunities conferred upon them by law. To this end, the provisions of this Chapter and of city charters shall be broadly construed and grants of power shall be construed to include any additional and supplementary powers that are reasonably necessary or expedient to carry them into execution and effect: Provided, that the exercise of such additional or supplementary powers shall not be contrary to State or federal law or to the public policy of this State. (1971, c. 698, s. 1.)

            This is where local law cannot be contrary to State law. Charlotte’s ordinance was in conflict with what is represented in the ststutes of this state.

            • How so? Prior to HB2, there was no state law dictating rules regarding biological sex of persons using restrooms (the subject of Charlotte’s ordinance).

      • Tim,

        Thank you for such a thoughtful and compassionate response.

        “We don’t rearrange our realities around their fears.”

        This, this, this, this, this.

        There’s a famous quote that goes, “I hate the word homophobia. It’s not a phobia. You are not scared. You are an asshole.” And that’s wrong. When it comes to transphobia, people are actually legitimately afraid. Either they’re afraid because they’ve been told to feel afraid of “those people,” or they’re afraid they ARE one of “those people.” It’s very easy to feel afraid when you start out with memetic discomfort. And it’s very easy for fear to grow into hatred. And it’s very easy for hatred to grow into violence.

        I’ve blogged about my earliest experiences meeting other trans people, after realizing I was trans, myself. I’ve written about my own discomfort with some of them. I didn’t feel fear, but I definitely felt unsettled. I thought about how to reconcile that for a good while, because I supposed that a lot of people probably felt around me the way that I felt around them. Ultimately, I realized a couple of things:

        1. There will ALWAYS be someone who has a weirder/further-from-the-cultural-norms gender expression than you.

        2. My discomfort with anyone else’s gender expression is the problem — their gender expression is not.

        Be safe,

        Sera

        • Sera — Wow! — #2 is so clearly an attitude I want to internalize in the hope that it becomes my default when processing incoming data!

          I recognize that whenever I react to some stimuli, I am revealing myself. And I try to remember the importance of “unpacking” or deconstructing my feelings when they are bothering me so that I might understand what is really going on in ME. It is important for me to “own” and take responsibility for my feelings, rather than hide behind some misplaced blame.

          There is a concept I was taught long ago: I am responsible for my feelings and my reactions. Likewise, others are responsible for theirs. But I am NOT responsible for the feelings and reactions of others to me.

          The only quibble I might have is with your use of the word “weird” in #1. I prefer to substitute “imaginative” “unique””fascinating”, perhaps even “subversive”. >smile< But "weird" carries a negative connotation.

          You seem quite thoughtful, intelligent, friendly, and sociable. So I doubt you are "weird".

    • M Crandall,

      First, as a sexual assault survivor, myself, let me say that I grieve for what you’ve suffered. It is ineffably awful in a way that cannot be understood without direct experience, and I would not wish it on anybody.

      I’m going to address each of your paragraphs in order.

      In general, I try to avoid imagining the feelings of others when it comes to my right to exist. That has actually helped me a great deal, as I manage to keep myself from feeling like everyone must surely hate me for what they think I am. It turns all of those accidents of speech and behavior into simple ignorant, or even just completely benign, mistakes, and not attacks or microaggressions.

      The contention that my gender is “opposite” to other women is degrading, not to mention factually wrong. Gender is a function of mind, not body. I would be happy to help you understand why if you would like to engage with me about that.

      The use of “women who have residual trauma from sexual assault & rape” as some kind of separate group from trans women is specious. Trans women suffer sexual assault and rape at the highest rates among all women. I am among them. Trans women of color get the most, and the worst, of all of it. They also get murdered the most.

      “Opposite anatomy” ignores transitioning genitalia as well as intersex conditions. Forgive my bluntness, but if you want to make a point based on anatomy, this is probably the best avenue for me to dismantle it. Assuming that you mean “opposite anatomy” as in a vagina, cervix, uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries vs a penis with testicles, there are all sorts of conditions in which any number of pieces of those systems are missing or not working in the most common way. There are also ambiguous genitalia.

      There are also girls like me. I’m in a very, very, very long line to get into a very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very long line to get vaginoplasty. Vaginoplasty uses much of the penile tissue to build the neovagina. Assuming I get approved by Medicaid (and there’s no reason I shouldn’t, right now), I will be in line for the procedure itself in about six months. That line is about two and a half years long.

      The line for orchiectomy, the surgical removal of testicles, was much, much shorter. I applied and had the procedure done all within a few months at the VA, since I’m a veteran. They provide orchiectomy as relief for gender dysphoria, among other things, and have staff in-house who are trained in the procedure. Not only do I not think it’s especially relevant in the first place, it’s also not accurate to qualify my genitals as “opposite” anyone’s, anymore. If you think that’s not enough of a change, I’d ask you to think about what’s more dangerous — the penis, or the hormones behind it? I know what I’m more afraid of.

      In considering women of other faiths who are never alone with males at any time, including worship, being around trans women creates no violation of that rule, because trans women are not males.

      I am not here to label you. I am here to educate you. My identity has been proven. It’s not up for debate. I’m more than happy to help you understand the how and why of that. You think I am something I am not. You misunderstand what I am. And that’s fine. I misunderstood what I was for a very long time, too. It took me about 40 years to figure it out.

      It saddens me to know that you’d feel so unsafe in a women’s room with other women. I hope you’ll consider Liking my Facebook Page at http://seranine.com. I run it as a window into my life, because it’s been my continued experience that most people who fear trans women don’t actually know any. If you Like my Page, my posts will show up in your feed like your other Facebook Friends, but I won’t see your posts in mine. It’s a low-risk, low-effort way to see what an arbitrary trans woman’s life is like, and it will be open indefinitely. I hope you’ll consider taking it.

      Be safe,

      Sera

  42. Kris Moonhand: I support without reservation Transgender access. High schools should be free to decide for themselves on the merits of each situation. There are many privaleges extended to teens as they mature or withheld until adulthood.

    • “I support without reservation Transgender access.” Do you? Do you really? Because from your previous comments, I find that rather doubtful.

      “There are many privaleges extended to teens as they mature or withheld until adulthood.” Would these privileges include “using the bathroom”?

      • Kris Moonhand: Yes, at the high school level the school should be free to make their own choice without interference from politicians, ‘bathroom laws’, or even me. I have seen some come up with amicable solutions. I have also seen a few cases that I would not support, but that should be their choice. I have personal experience with the problem of safety. As a feminine (in appearance) Intersex male I was frequently targeted by homophobic males, having been assaulted three times in public by these people.

  43. In Germany, there are non segregated toilets. Meaning all genders share the same room. Same thing for many of the saunas & bath houses – men and women walk around naked, get dressed/undressed, and use the saunas/baths (while nude) together with no problems. Maybe Germans simply realize that a man’s default behavior is not “rapist”.

    • Bully for the Germans! I will not now nor will I ever share a bathroom with what I know to be a man. I have no issue with trans. I have no issue with lesbians. But I refuse to do something very private with strange men in the room. To my know we are not ancient Rome.

  44. Sounds like everyone needs their own space. Outhouses – problem solved. We can thank the progressives for getting us to where we are now, or is that back to where we came from?

  45. This is about red states flailing around because SCOTUS ruled that these states may no longer ban gay people from marriage. These red states want to tie up SCOTUS with these obviously unconstitutional laws as payback.

  46. Would you really like for me to tell you the problem here? The problem is people who choose NOT to do due diligence, then perpetuating BAD information! What HB2 is: a response to a local government on the passing of an “illegal” ordinance. The only thing new in it was the pat about sueing. Yet if you read it, you’ll see that a body of goernment was delegated to handle decrimination complaints. What HB2 isn’t: in no way, shape, or form legislation to define, grant, or protect the LGBT community. That legislation has not happened yet. So itls incredibly unfair for everbody under the sun to pin LGBT rights to HB2 and then perpetuate the resulting misinformation!

    • What? Your post is nonsensical.
      HB2 expressly prohibits local governments from enacting legislation that protects the LGBT community from discrimination (in housing, employment, etc.). That is in addition to the bathroom provision and the provision prohibiting individuals from suing for discrimination.

      • Exactly! It is against the law for LOCAL governments to pass any such law or ordinance! So all NC did was to supersede Charlotte’s illegal ordinance! That law has been on the books for some time. It’s why Charlotte was accused of overreach. Now verify ALL facts that initiated HB2. HB2 is all of two pages long and was nothing more than a response to an illegal local ordinance. So, it is not I who is being nonsensical.

        • Please be careful when accusing others of spreading misinformation.

          First, I have read the law in its entirety.

          Second, the “illegal local ordinance” to which you referred was not illegal at the time it was enacted. It was a Charlotte ordinance that afforded protections to gay and transgender persons in the use of restrooms. Prior it its enactment, there was nothing on the books about LGBT bathroom use. HB2 was enacted in response to it – HB2 made it illegal for local governments to enact ordinances with greater protections than what was provided by HB2.

          Third, I don’t know which law you are referring to when you say “That law has been on the books for some time.” If you have a cite, please provide it.

          And finally, the fact that HB2 is only two pages long is irrelevant. Those two pages contain a great deal of discriminatory and harmful content.

          Fortunately, the governor’s executive order has reinstated some of the rights stripped by HB2 but it does not go far enough.

  47. My late husband, my beloved Montana Farmer Boy, was also a Psy.D., specializing in trauma, abuse, and dissociative disorders. He used EMDR and Ericksonian hypnosis to help his clients, many of them veterans with PTSD and abused children.

    He told me that he saw abuse as becoming ‘crystallized’ in a person’s psyche, and that the techniques he used were a way of breaking these structures and allowing the client to build new ones that could cope with the trauma….

  48. Just in case you have not heard the news just today (maybe just a couple of hours ago), the U.S. Circuit Appeals Court (District 4) has shot down the North Carolina bathroom bill and other similar bills within its district down south—and it legitimates the President’s authority to withdraw all federal education funds from a state if the state fails to comply. In other words, for the rest of the Obama term and the rest of Hillary’s first and maybe second term as President, the Democrats can cock a gun to the head of an anti-LGBTQ state and blow its educational brains out at the drop of a handerkerchief—if they insist on resistance. Good!!!

    Alexander Hamilton and I like that. Alexander Hamilton believed that a great country cannot operate with 13 or 50 disagreeable states who all want to operate on local cronyism and spin off into space in their own separate directions on every issue that comes up. A truly great nation must be mostly ruled from the top by an iron hand that has the power to normalize issues and directions across all 50 states. One of the reasons we have so much dysfunction in Washington right now is because every man and group wants to lead a little revolution to spin some decision off in his or his group’s own separate direction. George Washington and Alexander Hamilton were the closest of friends their whole lives after 1776. Washington understood that neither an army nor a nation can long survive if all the men decide to do whatever whim comes to mind.

  49. “How did I become the bad guy because I don’t want guys in the bathroom with my daughters and their friends. Just pee in the damn bathroom your supposed to!”

    Ummm. . .

    I’ll admit that I’ve never been in a “women’s” bathroom. Now being a guy I know that due to the specifics of male physiognomy, “men’s” rooms tend to have urinals (porcelain conveniences specifically designed to accommodate the fact that male urination is easily accomplished in an upright posture) which do not typically have stalls with doors, and may or may not feature a privacy separator between them. And while I do recall that many years ago there were some men’s rooms where the stalls with toilets (the kind you sit on) sometimes didn’t have doors on them (which shows my age) – it’s been many years since I’ve seen such an arrangement.

    Now, in my admitted ignorance of what it looks like on the other side of the door with the pictograph of a human stick figure wearing an inverted triangle below the waist, I am assuming that these facilities lack open urinals, and that toilet stalls include doors.

    People . . . I’m 60 years old. I’m a business professional who travels on a regular basis, and I have done so for the past 40 years. As such I’ve been in more mens rooms than I can count (I don’t bother to count, ’cause I’m only in there to take care of nature’s call) . . . and never, not once, have I witnessed overt inappropriate behavior in a public bathroom.

    This is pure fear-mongering for political purpose.

  50. We should care about transgender people because they truly face access problems when it comes to male female segregated places like restrooms, locker rooms, clothing boutiques and shops, even the public transit when asking for a courtesy stop late at night. No one should have to face harassment or violence— being able to use a public bathroom is a right not a privilege. It has always been an issue for fathers caring for their daughters, or mothers caring for their sons to use bathrooms which are strictly male or female. Yet many of the malls and public places have created family bathrooms to accommodate them. Those who have a caretaker of a different gender face access issues as well— so this affects us all! Why not equally care about transgender people who face problems due to this issue? Why not join together to solve it? Because, the reality is— if a person wished to go to a restroom in order to assault someone a sign won’t stop them, nor would it give them more access. If people put their heads together maybe we could come up with some ideas to make things better for everyone. Create bathrooms with choices for those who are concerned such as having a single restrooms. Some places have options for multiple unisex restrooms. Stop building restrooms down long corridors or in areas off the main concourses in malls or in basements in restaurants. Make bathrooms more open and accessible. Think about ways to help people gain access to restrooms rather than prohibit them. Make life easier not more difficult.

  51. as a part time trans woman for the last 9 years in the UK I have used the women’s restrooms and changing rooms in clothes stores without any problems at all, It is obvious what I am, being 6 foot 3 inches tall does not help! every woman I meet and or talk to are happy for me to “be myself” and have no problems with me at all, going out as a woman takes a lot, if I had to use the men’s room whilst dressed as a woman then I would be petrified, I couldn’t do it, a lot of men don’t accept me, it seems that they feel threatened by the fact I want to be lessor of a person as women are not looked on as equal (this is generally the case from what I see) but they are wrong, women are so pleased that I want to be one of them, they are so welcoming and have no worries at all, because they treat me as one of them. this rule about Trans people using the rest room suited to their birth certificate is a big step backwards……

    • Debe,

      I totally agree that you should have the right to choose your bathroom and not be discriminated against. However, what is the issue with using your birth certificate? Didn’t you get it changed? Would driver’s license be better? The reason for requiring this is so creepy cisgender guys don’t try to sneak into women’s bathrooms and pretend their trans. It’s nothing against you… it’s just a way to filter out the bad guys.

      Justin

  52. You suggest that education is what these people need (and I agree), but haven’t you noticed, anytime the people who need such education have to accept a reality they don’t want to be true, that education gets labelled as indoctrination and manipulation. This is why education has not swayed people on global warming or any number of other things.

  53. You might be right — I don’t know if that is real or not. Either way, for the ones I know personally, I knew right away without a word being spoken.

    That’s really all beside the point. There should be laws to prevent trans people from being discriminated against. They should have every right anyone else does. However, it’s obviously proved tricky to pen a law that does this properly. Charlotte went too far in one direction, and Raleigh too far in the other.

    • J,

      When someone says “I can always tell when someone is trans,” what they’re really saying is “I have been able to tell when someone is trans sometimes, so I assume that I always can.” They’re unable to talk about all the trans people they’ve met or seen or walked by in daily life without realizing those people were trans, because they believe they can always tell who is or isn’t. But you’re right, it is beside the point. “Passing” is an awful game to be playing in the first place, because it reinforces the idea that we all need to be neatly sorted into boxes marked “male” or “female,” when the reality is that gender is a continuum.

      Legislating trans people into nonexistence is literally part of the GOP party platform. This is not a matter of the left and the right each going “too far” in their respective political directions. This is a matter of one side saying “trans women are women, we should not allow them to be discriminated against,” and the other side saying “trans women do not exist, and rather than acknowledge the fact that they do, we want to make it so awful to be a trans woman that they’ll just never come out and be who they are.”

      Claiming there is a balanced path between two extremes is disingenuous. Trans women suffer discrimination and violence at epidemic rates. To say “trans women are women” is not an extreme or dangerous viewpoint. It’s simple fact. To say “people deserve equal treatment under the law” is not an extreme or dangerous viewpoint. It’s simple humanity. To say “how do we tell trans women from sexual predators?” creates a false connection between those two demographics, which exacerbates the discrimination and violence we already face. That IS an extreme and dangerous viewpoint, and I would not wish for anyone to be the subject of it. I can tell you firsthand that it is terrifying and awful.

      Be safe,

      Sera

  54. People just don’t realize they work, eat, drink, share a bathroom with transgender people EVERYDAY and have for years!!! They are much more afraid of being “discovered” they any thing we could be fearful of……

    Having a “bathroom checker” is crazy!!! Most trangenderphobic people you would never know!!’ Some of those people you are so sure you know are just unattractive real men and women.

    The last thing we need in any state or our country right know is more descrimination . Educate yourselves so you understand when there is something to be afraid of and not.. Learn to accept differences— I didn’t say you have to approve but you can accept people’s differences, Let’s research you we in NC are voting for and vote some forward thinking people in. And most importantly, be kind to people different than you….. I know you just want to protect you family and so do I……I am a heterosexual female… But please think of others too and know what you are doing… Kindness and education ….. Let’s not go backwards but move forward ……

    • JunebugsAtMidnight,

      It looks like you’re trying to be an ally to trans people, so I want to thank you. When people step up to defend my identity and my basic right to exist as I am, I feel seen and acknowledged for who I am, and that makes me happy and grateful. I also want to make a few points that will help you be an even better ally.

      When people say “real women” to distinguish transgender women from cisgender women, it perpetuates the idea that we are NOT “real women,” too, which is false. Instead of “unattractive real men and women,” please consider something more like “cisgender men and women who aren’t conventionally attractive.”

      Be safe,

      Sera

        • JunebugsAtMidnight,

          I could tell! You can also come Like my Page at http://seranine.com, and Share any of my posts that really resonate with you! It’s a window into my life, so that people can get to know me as a person, and not an idea. I leave it open for everyone. Come take a peek. :>

          Be safe,

          Sera

          • I’m a democrat. I absolutely believe that straight predatory men will abuse the ability to enter bathrooms now, in much greater numbers than before. It’s terribly naive to think otherwise. Basing bathroom use on anything other than biology is ridiculous and unenforceable. Sexual orientation should NOT be the decision maker. I’m totally pro gay marriage, and for listing sexual orientation along with sex, race, religion, etc… as protected. But I refuse to watch a man walk into the bathroom behind me 13 year old daughter, and have no recourse. Period. It’s that simple. It’s not discriminatory. It’s reasonable and rational.

            • Anonymous,

              Denying trans women access to women’s facilities is discriminatory, and neither reasonable nor rational. The disconnect isn’t whether men should be permitted into women’s rooms. The disconnect is that some people, and you appear to be one of them, believe that I am a man. That belief is (easily provably) false.

              Over 250 organizations, not people, but ORGANIZATIONS dedicated to fighting sexual assault have signed on to a statement in support of girls like me using the facilities for every other kind of girl. That means thousands upon thousands of people who have devoted their lives to fighting sexual assault have considered all of the available evidence, and drawn that conclusion. I hope you’ll read what they have to say about it:

              https://www.facebook.com/seraseraseraseraseraseraseraserasera/posts/698731020268898

              Be safe,

              Sera

              • Here’s a clue for you to try to follow: if you have a penis, you are biologically a male. It doesn’t matter one whit to 98% of the population that you’ve deluded yourself into believing you’re female. You can shake your fist at God, the cosmos, or whatever it is in which you believe, but wishing you were born female will never make it so. Get some psychological therapy, get over yourself, and get on with your life so the rest of us don’t have to sacrifice to accommodate your delusional behavior. There IS no such thing as as a “Trans Woman”. The fact that the Left has managed to get any rational person to accept that stupid notion is what created all this baloney in the first place. I’m absolutely disgusted by what we’ve allowed our country to become: a nation of imbeciles.

  55. You don’t need to shout; we’re right here.

    But you are right: instead of enacting laws that are divisive and unenforceable, why not just require all new construction and remodels to include at least one unisex, single seat, accessible family restroom. It would make things easier for transpeople, people who have disabilities, parents with young children, people assisting elderly or disabled people, etc.

    • revsharkie,

      I agree that that’s a good move going forward. I’d still use the women’s room in most circumstances, but having a neutral/family option is great for non-binary people, as well as any kind of family group, caregiver/patient arrangement, and so on.

      Be safe,

      Sera

  56. When Anders Behring Breivik, a Norwegian far-right extremist, murdered innocent young lives in a terrifying attack because he did not agree with a political ideology, the Prime Minister of Norway, Jens Stoltenberg, made an unprecedented statement about the attack, to the people of his country. He said,

    “Our response is more democracy, more openness, and more humanity….We will answer hatred with love.”

    Whilst seemingly completely off on a tangent with the subject matter, I use this account to simply highlight a sobering reality. If you feed fear with more fear you simply expand fear. Fear that is left unchecked and not adequately understood and managed, stops critical thinking and learning, and, crucially, implodes people’s minds to the extent that rationale gives way to what is currently (in my opinion at least) the biggest threat to positive social evolution towards global sustainable peace, the engendering of irrational thought patterns which lead to what I can only describe as, mass paranoia, hysteria and social neurosis.

    HB2 and similar pieces of legislation around the world do nothing more than to feed public paranoia, hysteria and neurosis. This, in turn, does something far more sinister, and dare I say far more damaging to society as a whole; it gives irrational thought license to exercise at will. Not wishing to seem too doomsday, but, condoning and encouraging irrational thought, is to feed into the concept of chaos and self-destruction, clearly, the opposite of peace.

    If the devil exists – I for one choose to experience this phenomenon metaphorically, as an energy interspersed within the ‘ether’ of humanity and created by human behaviour – then need I suggest the source of such legislation?

    Don’t be fooled! HB2 and all such-like legislation is no more than smoke and mirrors, designed to create an illusion of care, an illusion that your government is truly committed to safeguarding the interests of its people. It’s all bullshit! Straight from the behind of the beast. If governments were serious about the wellbeing of their nations they would invest more heavily in health, education, social housing, rehabilitation programmes, as a start, and certainly a lot less on weapons of mass destruction and the military in general.

    It’s time to stand up and be counted. It’s time to counter the long term social damage caused by irrational bills that are dehumanising the human race. It will not stop with transgender issues, I predict the next HB2 style legislation will give parents the right to stop their child being taught by a non heterosexual teacher.

  57. I think this is the first article I have read that actually acknowledges the fact that this is a complicated issue. People have been quick to take up sides and bombastically make posts online against those with differing views, usually with words like “bigot” “homophobe” “pervert” and “zealot” being tossed about.

    I have been sitting on the fence on this issue for weeks now, which basically means that I am being demonized by both sides. But I honestly do see good arguments being made both for and against HB2.

    I tire of sensationalized media, derogatory memes, and hate-filled rants. Why does it seem there is no longer any forum for honest discussion? I think you hit the nail on the head when you said that people want an easy bad guy to target.

    Here is what we can do to help the situation, in my opinion.

    1. Stop targeting NC citizens, for one. None of us voted for this. It was passed in Raleigh without any sort of referendum or discussion with the citizens ahead of time.

    2. Take some time to LISTEN to what people are saying on the other side of the issue – more than one. (Some people really are bigots and/or perverts, so listen to someone you respect who differs in opinion.)

    3. Stop putting up memes and posts that are filled with rancor and are simply bait for trolls. Your meme does not make you a better Christian, nor does it make you a more open-minded progressive. Hate speech is hate – no matter which side of this issue you are on.

    4. If someone does not want to talk about the issue or read about it in your Facebook feed, respect them.

    5. Stop putting words in people’s mouths and attributing ideas to them that they did not proclaim. (For example, I have never heard a single person say that their real fear is trans people will attack them in the bathroom. But everyone is fast to post statistics on how that isn’t happening and therefore the people on the right are crazy. Nor have I heard anyone on the left suggest that we abandon gender bathrooms all together.) People don’t want to be put on the defensive over views they do not hold.

    6. If you are a citizen of North Carolina who has already formed an opinion on this matter, talk to your state representatives and let them know. Or attend an organized rally to support your beliefs.

    7. If you are not a citizen of North Carolina, give us some space and time to work out our differences, please. We know you are passionate and that you care about people and their rights – so are we.

    8. Lastly, to those folks who are threatening to move away from The Old North State because you simply cannot stand this another moment, it would be best if you got on with it. Please go and find the place where everything is perfect and everyone agrees with you all the time. If you are too sensitive to tolerate any debate or discussion, then be on your way.

    –Anne

  58. When you can create ‘ex nihilo’ – create out of ABSOLUTELY NOTHING (no fermions, no quarks, no bosons – NOTHING), then you can dictate to the rest of Your Creation how someone else should or should not be.

    As you are a CREATED BEING like the rest of us, a little humility is in order. And no, an N-Dimensional (where N=infinite), omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, Eternal Being does not need YOU to protect HIM/HER (and ______________GOD___________________ is ____BOTH________ MALE AND FEMALE – READ _________SCRIPTURE_____ if you don’t think so) from LGBTQI people.

    Go and argue with doctors and others who have seen and worked with people born INTERSEX – and YES, there is such a thing. Go and argue with doctors and others who have worked with people born with outward genitalia of one sex, but are GENETICALLY THE OPPOSITE SEX – and YES, there is such a thing

    Someone such as you would tell me that I shouldn’t be afraid that people would lynch me or burn a cross on my lawn or spit at me or the like – I shouldn’t have any fears, but you can indulge yours of something that is Other than yourself

    Grrrrrrrrr.

  59. I’m very well versed in scripture. Please tell me to what “scripture” you’re referring. I’ve even checked the Gnostic texts and nowhere can I find in reference to your assertion that God is both male and female. More importantly, the assertion has no applicability to the subject in debate. Your further fantastic assertion that an individual can be physically male and genetically female is completely false. I’m sure you’re intelligent. The challenge for you is that you cannot change the rules of biology, physics, the human genome, or of nature. Remember, “men are men, and sheep are nervous”….

  60. All discrimination is bad. We should make sure there is no hiring discrimination against unintelligent people. After all, they can’t help themselves, and they were born that way. Employers should not be legally permitted to discriminate against the intelligence-challenged.

    There should be no discrimination against kleptomaniacs. They can’t help themselves, and they are just being who they are when they go into a store and shoplift. They should be free to be who they really are. Anything else is discrimination and is morally unacceptable.

    • What went over your head was that I was using “It could be said” to mean it could be looked at another way. There are other ways to look at scripture but I haven’t told you how I look at. But I think there is more to consider which is why I am questioning things. Btw, you never answered my question: Are you basing all your ideas about human biology and sexuality on scripture alone? Can you define what is exclusively male traits and female traits? And when thinking about feminine traits do you think you have any feminine traits within you?

      • No. You claimed to offer a defensible interpretation of Genesis 5:2, and what you actually offered is 21st century American PC dogma. If you think that Genesis 5:2 was written to mean what you claim, you need to explain why. Your ideology is irrelevant. If your claim is that Genesis 5:2 means whatever your feelings make you want it to mean, you are wasting my time.

  61. We are made in God’s image and as the story goes Adam was made first ‘apparently’ biologically male but must have had all the female traits as well because Eve was made from Adam.

    It could be said God made us male and female— not male or female; it could be said that there is no sex after we die: it could be said there is neither male nor female. Or are you basing all your ideas about human biology and sexuality on scripture alone?

    Take me seriously

        • Nah, that’s crap. Your “questions” were an effort to change the subject from your claim about the meaning of passages in Genesis to somehow get me to go along with your PC ideology. The latter is something I don’t care about. I did take you seriously by making these exchanges and asking you to explain your position about what Genesis means. You failed to do that, and you wasted my time. My time is valuable, and you wasted it.

          • The statement I made is a honest statement with straightforward questions. The clue is how we view ourselves and what is true about ourselves before God. The Bible says in Psalm 51:6 ” Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being, And in the hidden part You will make me know wisdom. ” God desires our truth. John, you can spin it all you want but the fact is I don’t think the Bible is clear nor is it a complete instruction manual for human behaviour and conduct. We need to grow up in our knowledge of humanity, the earth and our Creator God. I think there is more sameness between men and women than difference and the Bible hints at this as well. We all express our gender and sexuality in different ways. The Bible does not give us enough information nor has the information contained in the Bible been fully understood except through the eyes of our world view. Interpretation is personal and received through our individual filters which is why you cannot let go of the fact you misunderstood me.

            Again, what went over your head was that I was using “It could be said” to mean it could be looked at another way. There are other ways to look at scripture but I haven’t told you how I look at. But I think there is more to consider which is why I am questioning things. Btw, you never answered my question: Are you basing all your ideas about human biology and sexuality on scripture alone? Can you define what is exclusively male traits and female traits? And when thinking about feminine traits do you think you have any feminine traits within you?

          • The tradition the of the Jews is over a thousand years old. and cannot be dismissed as PC. Adam was created “in the image of God,” but God is not male, having 5 male aspects and 5 female. Adam, in the original Hebrew, is called “the first HUMAN”, maybe to distinguish him from the co-existing Neanderthals (my speculation, not theirs ?). It is only after the separation of Eve from him that he is called “the first MAN.” Eve is separated from “his side,” but the actual Hebrew word SEPHIRA refers to “aspect” never “location.” So in what way can the separation of Eve transform him from “human” to “male”? The tradition holds that Eve separated with his ‘female aspects.’ From a more modern perspective we can ask “How can Eve come away with two X chromosomes unless Adam had two ‘himself’?” This tradition cites an origin for the genetics of INTERSEX and the entirety of non-conformist gender identity / sexual preference. Among the Jews this is a thousand year tradition, documented in the Talmud, and not argued against in Rabbinic circles in almost 500 years.

  62. the problem is the way the law is stated. “any man” can use “any room” that I am not cool with. sorry. I have no problem transgender using the bathroom. But, men have already took advantage of this law.

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  65. Since bathroom gate started, I have never felt so uncomfortable going to the women’s restroom than ever before. These homophobic, and homo transgender-phobic idiots need to go away. I’m a girl, born bred and have the real boobs to go with my body. Even when I’m dressed to the hilt, have my hair in a do, people think I’m a dude. Seriously, even when I was 9 mo pregnant and I got called sir. I’ve learned to deal with it. Yesterday, I went into Target to use the restroom and you wouldn’t believe the looks I got from the women! OMG, you people have created a monster in there! One of our friends caught an old lady staring at her from the crack of the door because she was trying to see if she was a guy! This is far beyond ridiculous. Additionally, I have been in Gay bars in the women’s restroom and never have I been approached or attacked by a transgender person. Now if I’m not attacked there, why the He ll am I going to be attacked in a public restroom? Seriously, I was so angry that I wanted to say bad things to those women! I’m normally a controlled person, however, other people aren’t that controlled. This is fair warning; if this crap keeps going, there will be some cat fights in the women’s restroom and ya’ll will have a serious problem cuz your women are going to be attacked for real! Especially if they are going to start staring at people or try looking under the stalls to see things they have no right to be looking for!

  66. Wow and people like this writer label people that think this whole bathroom agenda is insane as Bigots. Sorry but you can’t just point a finger in one direction. Yeah I do have a problem with my kids being forced to share a locker room with someone of the opposite sex. Thats just common sense for me as a good mom to have a problem with it why should my son or daughter have to see someone else in the showers near them in a locker room? Thats not okay and by the way gender us not a “race” so thats the biggest load of crap I’ve ever heard. You won’t your children exposed to this crap but mine will not be. And by the way if youre for what the Obama administration is duing to NC right now you obviously discriminate against kids anyway. I won’t apologize for wanting to keep my kids safe from predators that will abuse this . Until you’ve had to deal with childhood molestation you shouldn’t be judging those “bigots” who see this as the danger.its going to put kids in. I was molested as a kid I never want my kids to go through that. If you dont like that I’m not going to throw my kid’s safety under the PC too bad. Deal with it!
    The reason most pple have not done this with bathrooms in this country is because it is not only morally wrong but its unsafe for women and children.
    Sex is and never will be a race and it is not wrong or hateful to not want you’re child sharing the showers with someone who is actually a guy or vice versa.

  67. This is a really well written piece about this subject.
    “The heart of these bills is about giving license to refuse service to individuals and to keep those individuals from legally disputing this refusal.”

    Thank you for putting that into words!!!

  68. INSPIRING WORDS!!! Thank you John, for speaking boldly from a place of love and Christ-like compassion.

  69. Pingback: Bathroom Battles: A Contest of Character, by Megan DeFranza – EerdWord

  70. If it were just bathrooms, it would be a little more simple. But even that is not all that straight forward. My assumption is that transgendered people have been using the bathrooms of their choice for quite some time. Short of having an inspector (which is stupid), there isn’t really anything to be done.

    Here is my problem(s):

    First, there are 25% of women who have experienced sexual assault as children. There are many more who have experienced it as adults. If in any facility (most likely a locker room), a physical male is exposing his genitals to women and girls, there is a huge price to pay for them. The shock and psychological assault is enormous.

    Take it from a male who was raped by four different perpetrators as a child and who has spent decades in male locker rooms. I still find it stressful to undress or observe others in that condition.

    Number two: in my neighborhood, there is a man who claims to be a transgendered woman. He is a registered sex offender. He dresses as a woman and has legally changed his name. His victims include both boys and girls and adult women. He is considered likely to re-offend. Under current law in my state, he is welcome in any facility, bathroom, locker room or anything else. There is also a registered sex offender in the west side of the state who is suing because the law now says he can go into the girls locker room and watch young girls undress.

    Neither of these men are under any supervision by the Department of Corrections.

    We simply can’t treat this issue so simply.

    • The solution that makes sense here, and protects women and young boys (who if you take bars out of the equation are the ones most likely to be attacked in a bathroom) is much longer sentencing, post release supervision, and banning offenders from public bathrooms and dressing rooms…in other words, punish those who actually do the crimes. Of course, the amount of politicians who have been in trouble for this may make it hard to get laws that could actually do something passed

    • Tedd,

      It is easy to float solutions that hurt people we don’t know, in ways we can’t understand. To think the world a better place after implementing such solutions is to bury my head in the sand while condemning people to death for being something unfamiliar, something I don’t care about. But we are all only still people. And we do still live and experience and feel.

      When we are seen as whole people, parts of the community due consideration as much as anyone else, “bathroom bills” of the kind we are seeing proposed these days vanish. Everyone understands “we need to ban a certain class of women from the women’s room” is discriminatory. The problem is not that we aren’t women. It’s that people don’t understand how we are women, and refuse to consider how it could be possible; thus they deny themselves the capacity to know what is real. The harm we do to each other in this way is in direct proportion to our distance from reality. This is why I am not angry at people who hurt me for being trans. I know they are not attacking me, but their idea of what I “must be.” I forgive them as they do it. I forgive them while I break.

      When people understand that trans women are women, they float solutions that are much more narrowly and specifically targeted to the actual source of the problem, like Monica did. In this case, prior offenders as a class, rather than trans women. Punishing a harmful action, rather than a mere state of being. This model would capture the prior offender you referred to, punishing her for HER actions, without criminalizing and denying my existence.

      It sounds like the only trans woman you know is pretty sketch, and also that you don’t know her as a whole person. I’m a trans woman. I hope you’ll consider coming to get to know me on my public figure Facebook page, at seranine.com. Being trans is like having a certain eye color. It’s just a facet of who someone is. That someone could be trans and also a sex offender does not surprise me in the slightest. But the suggestion that someone who is trans necessarily is also a sex offender is flatly untrue, and as absurd as suggesting that people with heterochromia are sex offenders, or that left-handed people can’t be trusted.

      Be safe,

      Sera

    • So because one man who’s a sex offender does what you claim he does, we should base our entire national transgender policy on that?

      OK, sure.

      Let’s also ban the driving of any vehicle of any kind. I mean, DUIs happen all the time so we must ban any and all use of cars.

      Same logic.

  71. This is boring. The question is whether there is any such thing as sexual morality or not, and where there is any such thing as sexual reality or not. Leftists deny both. For Leftists, there is no sexual morality and no sexual reality. There is really nothing else to discuss.

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  73. Absolute equality demands that there be no standards of any kind. If one defines himself as a straight man who wants to hang out in the women’s restroom, he has an absolute right to do so. If you disagree, you’re a BIGOT!!!!!!!!!!!

  74. Dear John,
    I became involved in this discussion when, a transgender ‘woman’ with male genitalia was allowed to shower with women and girls at the local YMCA.
    The real problem with this conversation is the naive assumption that a “one size fits all” legislation is the appropriate solution. Telling women and girls that males in transition or with male genitalia in their safe spaces is something they need to accept and get over is abusive. Worse still, they are told they are bigoted. This shows a lack of understanding and compassion for victims of abuse.
    As a parent, I want my daughter’s first exposure to male genitals to be on HER terms. Not forced upon her by someone who demands it regardless of the circumstances.
    We are a complex culture and we CAN come up with solutions that benefit ALL.

    • SueAnne,

      It sounds like you’re concerned about your daughter’s safety. I understand that. I have kids, too, and I have also suffered sexual assault at the hands of a man. Not only am I no threat to you or your daughter (or anyone else, really; I cry when I realize I’ve killed a bug), but I, too, want everyone to be as safe as possible.

      I’m not a male or a male in transition. I’m female and always have been. Your phrasing suggests to me that you know few or no trans women personally, as whole people. I’m not a right-wing shock demonstrator brodude who forces himself into the YMCA women’s locker room and says “this is legal now,” who ironically and probably unintentionally proves the point that men are the danger, not trans women. Our problem is not that I am a monster or a danger to anyone, but that you cannot distinguish me from those cisgender men who are both.

      I invite you to get to know me at seranine.com, my public figure Facebook page. I hope you’ll consider seeing what a trans woman’s life is really like. If you’re right and I am awful, you will know exactly how awful. If I’m right and I am kindness, it may help relieve some of your worry.

      Be safe,

      Sera

  75. I am so sick of this topic. Honestly unless you are looking you won’t even realize there is a Transgender person peeing next to you! Seriously, they don’t care what is between your legs, so WHY do you care what is between yours? Also, Transgender friends have a MUCH HIGHER instance of being harassed, threatened, or assaulted, in a bathroom they do not identify with, then us straight folks. Also, as a WHITE PRIVLIAGED FEMALE, I can with a certain degree of knowledge, testify that MY rapist was a straight male. End of story.

  76. One commenter said that straight men are the real safety issue. Well most transwomen are really gender non-conforming straight men…so there’s that.

  77. If there is any man in the bathroom past the age of puberty I am going to call 911 and then leave the rest room. Sorry no man tools in the ladies room.

  78. Normally bathrooms have individual stalls. Do your business in there and as long as no one is peaking under the door, it will be your secret what junk is in your trunk. Seriously people, get over this already. Transgender/gay does not equal pedophile.

    • You are not, many of us do not see how this can be a safe thing. Not everyone is honest and this opens this door for men in drag to use this as a way to get into women’s rest rooms and prey on women and young girls who are vulnerable.

      • Beth,

        Nondiscrimination ordinances protecting trans women already provably and observably harm no one in localities where such protections have been in place for years. To speak of this as some sort of crazy theory that we should never even try to test makes no sense while it is already working, and we can observe and discuss whatever ACTUAL problems have arisen from this, if any. To my knowledge, in my experience, there are none.

        For you to call 911 and leave the restroom when I enter, because you are afraid, though I have done nothing but enter the restroom, is not inappropriate. But to create a law that ignores reality, denies science, criminalizes my body, and weaponizes police against me for existing is grossly unkind.

        For you to call my existence a threat does not make it so. Get to know me. I am not hard to find. If you are right, and I am a terrible thing, you will know exactly how terrible. You can look me in the eye, and destroy me in good conscience.

        If you are wrong, I am shut out of public life, more than I already have been, based on the lie that says I am a monster, to people who will never even see me; this makes it that much more difficult for people who don’t know me to ever have a chance. The well has been poisoned.

        Is it not worth a few moments making sure that the human you condemn is really worthy of condemnation before you condemn her?

        Be safe,

        Sera

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