Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Now... Which Restroom Do I Use?

For the most part, this is such a ridiculous topic.  And why we’re discussing it in 2016, is beyond me.
But, the topic just keeps getting breached everywhere I go, at work, at church, on social media, while riding on the bus.  We’re talking everywhere.
A couple of weeks ago, it was being discussed on the radio and my wife asked me what my thoughts were on the topic.  I really didn’t have an answer for her because I really hadn’t given it any thought.
So all last week, I did give it some thought and at the end of my contemplation, I decided that both sides are wrong.
Let me explain.
Right now North Carolina is in a court battle over the use of restroom, changing, and shower facilities, requiring patrons to use the room that corresponds to the gender appearing on their birth certificate.  The law stinks, and I’ll tell you why.  It has the distinct odor of Jim Crow.  “You can’t use this room, you have to go to your separate but equal room.  And, are there going to be black trench-coated guards at the restroom doors checking your birth certificate before you can enter to relieve yourself?  “Paper’s Please.” And if you’re transgender, “It would appear that your papers are not in order, you must come with us.”
Is this where we’re headed?
There is something decidedly unamerican about such an idea, and yet North Carolina is doing it anyway.
I don’t know about you, but I’m a pretty private person and when I walk into a men’s room and find that there are no dividers between the urinals, I just hold it, or I walk into a stall and use that. I’m just not comfortable with peeing in public, no matter what gender the person standing next to me proclaims themselves to be.
The same goes for showers.  I have to have a shower curtain or some other kind of divider.  Those single pole, “prison” style showers are horrific to me and I will find any reason to not use one or will wait until the place is empty before taking a very quick shower, lest anyone happen to wander in.
This is the basis for my idea that the Pro-Trans Restroom people are wrong as well.  Yes, they have the law behind them in equal rights legislation and they don’t seem to understand where the resistance is coming from.
Look, what the pro people are fighting against is not (necessarily) bigotry or other form of hate, it is the fact that they are fighting against basic norms and mores (possibly taboos, which are far more immovable) in American society.  And so, when people hear that there may be a person who is biologically the opposite gender sitting in the stall next to them or could be showering at the same pole, they get weirded out.  It’s not bigotry, it’s societal training.  You pro people are pushing against social mores and those mores are going to push back.

So here’s my prescription for the debate.  Patience.  Both sides need to take a step back and breath.
Conservatives and anti folk, you all need to wake up to the fact that this is happening.  Equal protection under the law is a tenant of the constitution that you profess to love, and it applies to everyone, regardless of gender identity and this is a fight that you will not win.
As for you LGBT, and pro people, have patience.  Social norms and mores are hard to break but the good news, for you, is that they can be changed, it just takes time.  You can’t push it until it breaks, or people who hold those mores will flip out.  It’s not bigotry, it’s society.

There you go, my opinion on the topic.  Take it for what it’s worth.  I know that it sounds like I’m on the pro side, but as I said before, I’m not on either side.  I may have to choose a side eventually, but probably not.

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