I’m very happy to see that Alabama has started issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. They seem to have a glitch in the fact that some counties are turning people away, but that will be straightened out soon. In a very short time, we can expect that the US Supreme Court will issue a ruling which says same-sex marriage bans are unconstitutional because it goes against the idea of equal protection under the law.
The sad thing is that, just when we can see the light at the end of the tunnel for this group of people, it seems to be getting darker for another group. I’m talking about transgender people. There’s a new bill up for vote in Florida which would require businesses to track who uses which bathroom and prevent people from using the wrong bathroom. This means that business owners would be, not just permitted, but required, to look at every single person who uses their bathroom and judge them as to what gender the business owner thinks they look most like and then refuse to let the customer say for themselves which gender they are and which bathroom they should use.
So… if you’re a woman who is only attracted to other women, the good news is that you can marry the person you fall in love with. But… if you’re a man trapped in a woman’s body, the bad news is that you will be hassled when you go to the bathroom. And maybe arrested.
It seems that there’s this big pile of hatred and intolerance which just has to be applied to somebody. So if one group manages to escape the hatred it just gets redirected at someone else.
Here’s a message to anyone who is upset by the idea of letting people choose what bathroom they use. The world you think you live in is make-believe. You imagine that everyone fits into these neat categories of “men” and “women” and you think that if you go into a bathroom which is reserved exclusively for your gender that you are magically protected from people who might secretly look at you funny. This fantasy world doesn’t exist. Most men are attracted to women, some are attracted to men, some are attracted to both, and some of them are crazy sociopaths who enjoy humiliating and terrifying other humans and don’t care too much about their victim’s gender. So you aren’t safe in the men’s room. You never were. You have this irrational fear that letting people choose their own bathroom will let some pervert attack you. Guess what. You’ve been vulnerable to pervert attacks already. Somehow you’ve managed to live with it up until now. And, unless you’ve led a very sheltered life, chances are you’ve already shared a bathroom with a transgender person and you didn’t even know it. Were you traumatized? Of course not.
The place where I work only has one bathroom anyway. It’s barely big enough for just one person to use at a time. Nobody cares what gender you are. And the bathroom in my house is like that too; only one person uses it at a time so nobody cares. Most public bathrooms have individual stalls anyway, so why get freaked out by the face of the person who’s washing their hands at the sink next to yours? That’s the easy solution, just make all bathrooms unisex with individual stalls.
I’ll admit that locker rooms are a bit trickier problem. People want to change clothes without being ogled. But guess what… separating by (supposed) gender doesn’t accomplish that goal. When you’re in a gender-segregated locker room, you can still be ogled. Speaking for myself, I don’t care. I don’t worry about whether someone will make rude comments about my body or if they’ll make unwanted sexual advances at me or if they’ll fondle me or rape me. I don’t worry about it because I trust people to respect my boundaries. And I’ll extend that some trust to anyone regardless of whether they are the same gender as me, or a different gender, or transgender. And I promise that I’ll respect their boundaries too.
That’s how it works at nudist resorts. You can glance at someone’s body, just like you might glance at someone’s shoes, but you don’t stare with your tongue hanging out, and you don’t make rude comments or unwanted sexual advances, and fondling will get you kicked out, and rape will get you arrested. We all know that those things are unacceptable. Trust people to act like they’re supposed to act. I trust people and people can trust me. That trust is not conditional based on your gender.