Feb 26, 2008

Bathroom issues and TV shows

Good Tuesday Morning to you. I spent the better part of a ½ hour writing a blog only to lose the darned thing and have to start all over again. Today we are on the cusp of more bad weather (Snow, Ice and Rain) with more snow due on Friday. I guess you just have to love New England. I'm feeling a little under the weather today and am afraid I am coming down with something. Keep your fingers crossed for me that I'm not.

I wanted to start by discussing an issue that's happening in Maryland currently. Several areas of the country recently have passed anti discrimination laws for gender variant people (IE covering gender identify) A group of people have circulated a very large petition to have this law over turned citing the privacy and safety of women and children in public bathrooms. They are stating that by allowing gender variant people in the bathroom you open women and children up to safety issues because by definition it means men can enter the women's room.

Currently to my knowledge there are no laws segregating men and women in public restrooms, it is taught to us as we grow that we use the correct facilities. Just look a the stick figure on the door. In circulating this petition these people aren't being forthcoming about the intent behind it and are suing the guise of "Do you want to keep women safe, please sign this"

I'm sorry to say people as I previously have that gender variant people are already there without issue and have been for a very long time. They blend in as they wish to not draw attention to themselves. I'd be willing to bet that with all the discrimination that gender variant people deal with, the last thing they are looking for is attention in the bathroom.

By stating you don't want these people in the so-called wrong restroom you are essentially telling them that their class of people have no claim to basic human rights. Think about it this way, A male to female tans person in transition isn't allowed in the women's room, what happens to this person using the men's facilities? You can sure as hell bet that they aren't wanted in there either and now their safety is put in jeopardy for being there. So what alternative are they provided? The public is against spending tax dollars for a minority and build unisex bathrooms, why should they have special privilege. Lets face it, there is no easy answer to this problem and it gets further complicated

One of the things that Gender Variant people in transition are expected to adhere to are certain standards of care, Harry Benjamin standards of care to be precise. This is a standard set forth me the medical community to have set parameters and assure that anyone transitioning needs to do it and meets the criteria to do it in a successful manner. Lets face it, changing gender isn't something that is taken in to consideration lightly, it's a completely life altering event.

In putting forth the standards of care there are tiers to be met that allow a transitioning person certain care. For one you need to be evaluated for a set period of time just to meet Hormone Replacement criteria. One of these standards of care is cross living 100% of the time in the target gender for a period of at least 1 year. As this happens the person is continually evaluated and at some point the decision is made if they meet the criteria for a referral for surgery.

In essence what happens is that we give our lives fully over to our Dr's and follow their standards of treatment just like any other medical issue. In doing so and being required to live to these standards means full time, not fulltime unless you need to use a restroom. The very society that binds us to these standards (for good reason) ridicules us for having to follow them. Let's face it, I no more want to be in a restroom with men than any other women, yet I'm sure the men feel the same about me. I do have some funny experience with this

At times being out in male attire I've had to use public facilities. Not wanting to cause an issue I would go to the men's room but even in male attire I would still illicit odd looks form the guys coming or going from these facilities. This happened to me on our trip to Chicago in the airport bathroom. As I entered the room the urinals were all full so I headed for a closed stall. The look of some of the men in the bathroom was almost laughable to me. When I got out of the bathroom I told Dee we needed to get out of there just in case someone complained. So given
what's happening in Maryland under the premise of overturning that law I would have been questioned for being in the very restroom they are telling me that I have to be in.

Not long ago Dee and I went to see a movie at a local theatre. After having a little too much to drink I found I needed to use the facilities. Every time this happens to me at this point in my transition I stress over not only which restroom to use but also what happens if someone complains. After entering the men's room and doing what I needed to do I walked out with a young boy of about 10-12 years of age walking in. I caught him looking at me as I walked by and he turned and followed me back to the restroom entrance. I wasn't sure why he had turned around but it became apparent as he had taken a second look at the restroom stick figure. Could a parent have caused an issue thinking that I didn't belong in there?

These aren't easy issues for the public to have to deal with but they are necessary ones. We aren't second class citizens by any means and we deserve the same privilege any other person deserves. Time and time again I read that we should not be making a majority uncomfortable for the rights of a minority. By this very definition "Slavery" would have never been abolished. We as a society cannot yield civil rights to the vote of a majority in this manner, it just isn't right and so many things that we have come to realize as a basic right wouldn't have happened if we were allowed too.

C'mon people, we are finally making ground in being just people, lets not fudge it up in the process.

Last up I wanted to talk about television for a second. If you have the chance today, Tyra Banks is doing a show on a Trans M2F form beginning to end. This is to say that they follow this person all the way through the process and documented it. It should not only be interesting but it should be very educational. At one point without showing this girl Tyra Banks exclaims how beautiful this girl is. If you get a chance to watch please do so. I may blog more on the subject after I see it.

I hope you are all well, I wish I was but at least life itself is good

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