Which bathrooms should transgender students use?

Since when did we lose our minds and have to legislate everything rather than using common sense? https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/22/us/politics/devos-sessions-transgender-students-rights.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=first-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-newsObama passed a law saying that transgender students were legally allowed to use the bathroom they most identified with, Trump has stopped that causing people to take to the streets chanting, “No hate, no fear, trans students are welcome here.” This chant makes no sense – no one is saying they hate them, they are scared of them or they aren’t welcome, just that they have to use the bathroom that matches their anatomy. Quite frankly, I think that is fair enough. It’s not like he has even banned transgenders using the bathroom that they identify with, it’s just saying that principals, or whoever it is that makes the decision on school matters, can say that they need to use a specific bathroom rather than being forced to comply to the request. To me, this just makes sense. Some kids are just confused and aren’t going to transition as adults. It is not discrimination to say you use the bathroom that matches their anatomy.

High School Students are too young to be transitioning to the gender that they identify with, so it seems to me that this is more likely to be an issue out in general society where there are people in the process of transitioning. Although in the case of a lot of transgenders they look so much like the gender they associate with that no one is even going to know that they are actually a men using a woman’s toilet or vice versa, so in a way it is easier for them in a public space where no one knows who they are, although a workplace situation would come up with the same issues as the High School students face where people know what gender they are, as well as what they identify with. Disabled toilets are often separate, and this is an option, but it is unfair to someone who is in a wheelchair for them to have to wait for an able-bodied person to use the toilet. So in general society maybe there needs to be more disabled toilets, or unisex toilets which are separate to accomodate.

I too find gender based bathrooms to be difficult. Not for the same reasons as transgenders, but because I am the mum of four boys. Public toilets can be a challenge when you are out with young children. When they are really young it is fine, but then there comes to a point at primary school that they really are too young to use the woman’s bathroom, but who knows who is lurking in the men’s toilets, so you don’t feel that safe about sending them into the men’s bathroom alone either. It also becomes awkward if you are at the event, something like a show – men’s bathrooms are in one area (normally with no queue) but woman’s are in a slightly different spot and have a long queue. So whilst the child is in and out in two minutes, I might have a ten minute wait, having them worry at a meeting spot.

A few years ago I was at the point of my oldest child being on the fringe of being too big for the woman’s toilets, he was 7, but too small for the men’s, so I let my older two go to the men’s toilet whilst I went to the woman’s. I came out first, then my oldest. Sent him back in to check on his brother, he was pooing. I was on holiday my dad and husband, they were about to go and do another activity so all my men took off and I was going to meet them as soon as child number two finished on the loo. I waited half an hour outside the toilets. My child in the pushchair was getting distressed waiting. I was starting to worry. I was asking men if there was a distressed child in the toilet, the answer was either no, or a child was in there singing. Eventually, my dad, husband and oldest son returned, they were worried about what happened to us. So I was able to send them into the toilet. My son had no toilet paper. Not knowing what to do, he was sitting there waiting for one of us to come and help him. He was four. Had he been in the woman’s toilets I would have been able to help him, but instead I was stuck outside stressing about why he was taking so long. It was a busy bathroom so at no stage could I even duck in and call out to him, I really didn’t know what to do. Had I not have had my men to come back and be allowed to go in and check on him I would have had to track down a male employee to go in and check on him for me, since it was at a restaurant at an entertainment venue – knowing my luck the moment I go off to find someone he would go off and I would then lose him – sometimes you just can’t win.

It was also difficult at swimming complexes when my kids needed to go to the male toilets to get changed, the swimming centre we go to said at age 5 boys weren’t allowed in the girls changing room, but at age 5 kids struggle to get themselves in and out of wet clothes, so unisex individual bathrooms rather than men/woman’s would help a lot of people, not just transgenders. This is my story, but I’m sure men have the same troubles, just the other way around. Men likely also have issues because the change table is also normally in the woman’s bathroom, or if the mall has a ‘parent’s room’ they feel uncomfortable going in there as that is where woman are feeding their babies.

In this day and age maybe men and woman’s bathrooms are outdated. Maybe we need to come up with another solution. But screaming discrimination because transgenders have to use the bathroom based on their anatomy rather than what they identify with at High School is ridiculous. This decision seems fair enough. Maybe as schools are built, or as they renovate they consider having a separate bathroom for transgenders, or the disabled toilet separate and granting permission for the transgenders to use it. It is law for disabled toilets to be available but when I was at school there were no kids permanently in a wheelchair, a couple who broke legs and were in them temporarily, but not permanently, so often schools have disabled toilets that are never used by a disabled person. Schools just need to find a workable solution because I can see it from the other point, girls might feel uncomfortable, particularly Muslim girls who need to have their heads covered around boys. Schools need to be able to have the power to make decisions based on individual circumstances and what works best for all the students at the school. Unfortunately for the transgender student it might not always work out the way they want it too, but that’s the way life goes sometimes. The transgenders need to also respect the way others feel too, respect is a two way street.

Author: revisionisteditor

Editor in charge of Revisionist Media.

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