Friday, February 8, 2013

Pissed off???

Honestly, I don't have an undue fascination with the ladies room. I'm just amazed at how inflammatory it is.

Riki Wilchins wrote a great commentary about her restroom travails 30 years into transition. It scared the you know what out of me! What the heck chance do I have to avoid bladder disease if she has issues in public restrooms after 30 years! Some of the comments were strident trans responses. Some of the comments were strident feminist responses. I couldn't help but respond as follows because this whole thing just tires me out. Sometimes I think that SRS isn't the real answer, getting a giant bladder implant is the answer.

My comment on the article at

 Thanks! Seriously!  Finally, Nedra Johnson  has linked to some "men/crossdressers disguising themselves to commit crimes" articles. ( )  I looked and looked for something like this a while ago. Unfortunately, all I could find were dozens of incidents where trans women had been beaten or assaulted for using the women's room for simple, legal bodily functions. The gal in Baltimore had the additional misfortune of being videoed while she lay on the floor having been beaten into a seizure while people laughed! This link, and the other somewhat trans related incidents, do show that there is some incredibly tiny shred of truth to the "Trannies in the Rest Room" meme. So should we be segregated because a small number of vaguely trans people have been involved in crimes in restrooms? Should we keep brown haired people from driving because of the number of brown haired people who have been involved in fatal car crashes?

I totally understand women just wanting to pee in peace. That's all I want to do also. I don't want to get shouted at, I don't want to make anyone uncomfortable, I don't want to get beaten into a seizure. I know it's selfish, but I also don't want to be judged as a potential rapist because a quirk of molecules made me get born as a guy. If you met me and knew me, not just saw me in the restroom, you would find it crazy to think of me as a threat. An that's true for almost every trans woman I've met, I throw in the "almost" simply to be cautious. I'm just trying to quietly go about my life. Riki is just trying to go quietly about her life. EVERY transitioning trans person I know is trying to just go quietly about their lives, and there is no "almost" there.

This doesn't come from some sort of latent "male privilege." It comes from simple human dignity. I'm not demanding entry into the sacrosanct refuge of womyn born womyn. I just want to go pee without confrontation. Honest, I'm quiet and clean and safe. So what do we do? How do we fix this? As a culture we gave up on segregating black people. So can we start on this now? Can we just see someone who looks a bit more husky or square jawed than most other women and not assume that they are an imminent threat?

1 comment:

  1. Just a thought.

    Much of the reaction we receive is based on the attitude we project. While I respect Riki Wilchins' ideas, she is writing from the perspective of someone who began to transition in the 1980's. Back then, transition was like going to war. Every little step was a battle, and there was almost nobody who even had the slightest inkling of the issues of trans* people. This leaves scars. Riki projects those scars.

    Today, we have moved into the public eye, and mostly in a positive light. When the President of the United States can openly mention LGBT issues in his inaugural address, we have clearly moved into a new era.

    Honestly, I believe, and I base this on personal experience that this remains an issue for only two reasons. The first is that out of our own fear we keep revisiting it. We perceive that the look we get from that woman in the bathroom is because she read us, when it really was that she didn't like our shoes. The second is that a small, small minority of radical feminists refuse to let it die.

    Every time we engage the the RadFem minority in a debate on this, all we do is broaden their platform. I know how hard it can be to walk away from the debate, but I really believe that it is the best course. Responding to ignorant hate only legitimises the hate. It is a slow process, but if you do ignore them, they do eventually go away.

    I'm not silly enough to believe that everything is wonderful everywhere, and I'm not advocating ignoring potential risks. What I am saying is that we belong there as much as anyone else, and if we walk in like we belong there instead of tiptoeing in like a thief, we will be accepted most of the time.