North Carolina Bathrooms   North Carolinians and conservatives, I have looked at your Facebook memes and your photos on the Internet of what horrors await if you have to share a bathroom with transgender people. I have come to the conclusion that we are clearly using different bathrooms.   If your daughter, wife, mother, or grandmother is in a restroom with a man in spandex, body glitter, and a feathered boa, you might want to inform her she is probably attending a gay pride parade or are in a gay bar so flaming you could light your cigarettes on the walls.  I have been in thousands of public restrooms over the years because I have this thing called a bladder and once you reach your late 30s you are constantly asking Siri on your iPhone where every public restroom is between you and your destination, even if it is only a five minute trip (because “Ol' Man Bladder, that Ol' Man Bladder, He must know somepin', but he don't say nothin'. He just keeps rollin', he keeps on rollin' along.”)   (Hey, it is a column about fear of gays and transsexuals. I need a Broadway show tune in it someplace.) I can truly say I have never been in a restroom that resembles a music video of It’s Raining Men   Most transsexuals or people struggling with gender identification are not there to do a little window shopping. They are there to use the toilet or to take care of some personal matter so important that is worth burning their shoes because of all the germs crawling on the floor.   For the most part, they dress like you or me. I have met women over the years that truly need a good shave because they could sport a better beard than I could and men that would probably look better than their wives in a string bikini, most of them straight. Most transgendered people don’t look like Uncle Miltie in a pillbox hat and pearls after a five-day bender.      Life does not come in neat little boxes. People don’t even come out of the nine- month cosmic oven into life with everything being perfect all the time. God (aka genetics and chemistry) over cooks or under cooks a batch here and there.  Parents and doctors often make the choice on which sex the child should be when inside they might be the opposite. And there are people that have always looked like G.I. Joe on the outside when inside they just want to live in Barbie’s dream house, and that’s okay.   Life is hard enough. I cannot imagine the Brady Bunch house, where the exterior in no way resembles the floor plan inside, the real you. I don’t know what Jesus would do, but I am pretty sure He would not be asking to see someone’s birth certificate to see if under the law they are flushing the right biological toilet. After all, President Obama would have to go all the way to Kenya to get his. Poor Ted Cruz would have to go to Canada with all their free health care and social programs that keep people from living in cardboard boxes, and who would want to make him suffer like that. You can either try to be a little sensitive or go around kicking over their sandcastles. What would Jesus do? I don’t know, but it would probably not be stalking around restrooms wanting to see other people’s birth certificates and private parts.   I know conservatives have flooded the Internet with stories of men in drag raping women, taking photos with a cell phone of grandma changing her corset, and humming Jimmy Buffett tunes. All that stuff that is keeping North Carolinians and conservatives up at night is already illegal, or, in the case of Jimmy Buffett, should be no matter what law is passed to allow whomever into whatever restroom is available. Raping, whether male, female, transgender, straight or gay, is against the law. There is not a slippery slope between allowing Caitlyn Jenner to use the toilet she is comfortable with and saying rape is okay. None. I can say with almost certain assurance that transgendered people are not the main rapists in the world.    If I had to find a babysitter or needed someone to spend the evening looking after my aged grandmother, I would rather have Chaz Bono do it than the average “still have all the same body parts they were born with” Republican family values politician. Gender identification has nothing to do crimes of power. People like former Speaker of the House Denny Hastert did not go into restrooms wearing a nice frock and high heels when he molested whose children he was supposed to protect.  One has nothing to do with the other.   I have seen a lot of vile and strange things in restrooms over the years. I have seen people doing blow and other drugs illegally. People having sex, illegally, and, if you have ever been in a male restroom, the idea makes you want to barf. The strangest thing I ever saw was someone forgot their artificial leg, not illegal, but I am still trying to figure out how a person forgets an artificial limb. It is not like a cell phone, wallet or car keys. No matter how great an evening you might be having, I cannot come up with a scenario where a person wakes up the next morning going, “Where did I leave my leg?  I know I had it when I left the house last night.” Ninety-nine, point, nine, nine, nine percent of the weird and illegal things done by people in restrooms that do not have a gender identification issues.   I know conservatives are asking, “What about having a pervert in the restroom with your daughter, wife, girlfriend, mother, or grandmother, Trevor?” I, like every male, would like to believe that when women go to the restroom they act like Kim Kardashian and Emily Ratajkowski, whip off their shirts, and start taking selfies to post on Twitter. It makes the world a little bit more of a magical place for me. It does not happen. I understand the ladies rooms are pretty nice. I also understand they have these wonderful things called stall doors. I don’t know if you have heard of them. They are a new invention. It gives women privacy, not like the communal trough in men’s rooms. With this thing called stall doors, it is obvious if someone is trying to do a little peeping and women can call the cops or talk to the people that own the joint. As for changing clothes, I have been in a lot of locker rooms over the years and I am more uncomfortable with old men and children in locker rooms than transgendered people, but I am not asking North Carolina to forbid them. For some unknown reason, old men love to stand around naked and talk for longer than is comfortable. I don’t need to see my future and what gravity is going to do to me. Knowing that I am going to look like a melting green plastic army man from the front and an elephant’s ear from behind is not comforting. They also have lost all sense of personal space. I don’t need to be trying to tie my shoes as they reenact the D-Day invasion in front of me because it is like I am there.   Kids, I get it. Fathers are now hands on with their daughters, wonderful, and children are not old enough to use a restroom to change or answer the call of nature by themselves. Still, it is uncomfortable.  No story ever ends well that begins with the words “I was naked when this little girl walked in…” I am not asking for law making their lives harder. If I am uncomfortable, I just take my clothes and go to this thing called a stall. They have doors that give you privacy.   I have yet to be traumatized by a transgendered person in a restroom, mainly because the few I know are always concerned about making sure everyone else is comfortable. They have been through a lot of pain in life, which makes them thoughtful people.  They usually try to be as private as possible. Staring eyes are never kind.   Laws like the one in North Carolina are just irrational tantrums about not liking something rather than well thought out opinions. Transgendered people should not be banished to cornfields. Gay people cannot be bullied into being straight. Sometimes you have got to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes, and at my age occasionally ask, “Siri, how many public bathrooms are along this route.”      
North Carolina Bathrooms   North Carolinians and conservatives, I have looked at your Facebook memes and your photos on the Internet of what horrors await if you have to share a bathroom with transgender people. I have come to the conclusion that we are clearly using different bathrooms.   If your daughter, wife, mother, or grandmother is in a restroom with a man in spandex, body glitter, and a feathered boa, you might want to inform her she is probably attending a gay pride parade or are in a gay bar so flaming you could light your cigarettes on the walls.  I have been in thousands of public restrooms over the years because I have this thing called a bladder and once you reach your late 30s you are constantly asking Siri on your iPhone where every public restroom is between you and your destination, even if it is only a five minute trip (because Ol' Man Bladder, that Ol' Man Bladder, He must know somepin', but he don't say nothin'. He just keeps rollin', he keeps on rollin' along.”)   (Hey, it is a column about fear of gays and transsexuals. I need a Broadway show tune in it someplace.) I can truly say I have never been in a restroom that resembles a music video of It’s Raining Men   Most transsexuals or people struggling with gender identification are not there to do a little window shopping. They are there to use the toilet or to take care of some personal matter so important that is worth burning their shoes because of all the germs crawling on the floor.   For the most part, they dress like you or me. I have met women over the years that truly need a good shave because they could sport a better beard than I could and men that would probably look better than their wives in a string bikini, most of them straight. Most transgendered people don’t look like Uncle Miltie in a pillbox hat and pearls after a five- day bender.      Life does not come in neat little boxes. People don’t even come out of the nine-month cosmic oven into life with everything being perfect all the time. God (aka genetics and chemistry) over cooks or under cooks a batch here and there.  Parents and doctors often make the choice on which sex the child should be when inside they might be the opposite. And there are people that have always looked like G.I. Joe on the outside when inside they just want to live in Barbie’s dream house, and that’s okay.   Life is hard enough. I cannot imagine the Brady Bunch house, where the exterior in no way resembles the floor plan inside, the real you. I don’t know what Jesus would do, but I am pretty sure He would not be asking to see someone’s birth certificate to see if under the law they are flushing the right biological toilet. After all, President Obama would have to go all the way to Kenya to get his. Poor Ted Cruz would have to go to Canada with all their free health care and social programs that keep people from living in cardboard boxes, and who would want to make him suffer like that. You can either try to be a little sensitive or go around kicking over their sandcastles. What would Jesus do? I don’t know, but it would probably not be stalking around restrooms wanting to see other people’s birth certificates and private parts.   I know conservatives have flooded the Internet with stories of men in drag raping women, taking photos with a cell phone of grandma changing her corset, and humming Jimmy Buffett tunes. All that stuff that is keeping North Carolinians and conservatives up at night is already illegal, or, in the case of Jimmy Buffett, should be no matter what law is passed to allow whomever into whatever restroom is available. Raping, whether male, female, transgender, straight or gay, is against the law. There is not a slippery slope between allowing Caitlyn Jenner to use the toilet she is comfortable with and saying rape is okay. None. I can say with almost certain assurance that transgendered people are not the main rapists in the world.    If I had to find a babysitter or needed someone to spend the evening looking after my aged grandmother, I would rather have Chaz Bono do it than the average “still have all the same body parts they were born with” Republican family values politician. Gender identification has nothing to do crimes of power. People like former Speaker of the House Denny Hastert did not go into restrooms wearing a nice frock and high heels when he molested whose children he was supposed to protect.  One has nothing to do with the other.   I have seen a lot of vile and strange things in restrooms over the years. I have seen people doing blow and other drugs illegally. People having sex, illegally, and, if you have ever been in a male restroom, the idea makes you want to barf. The strangest thing I ever saw was someone forgot their artificial leg, not illegal, but I am still trying to figure out how a person forgets an artificial limb. It is not like a cell phone, wallet or car keys. No matter how great an evening you might be having, I cannot come up with a scenario where a person wakes up the next morning going, “Where did I leave my leg?  I know I had it when I left the house last night.” Ninety-nine, point, nine, nine, nine percent of the weird and illegal things done by people in restrooms that do not have a gender identification issues.   I know conservatives are asking, “What about having a pervert in the restroom with your daughter, wife, girlfriend, mother, or grandmother, Trevor?” I, like every male, would like to believe that when women go to the restroom they act like Kim Kardashian and Emily Ratajkowski, whip off their shirts, and start taking selfies to post on Twitter. It makes the world a little bit more of a magical place for me. It does not happen. I understand the ladies rooms are pretty nice. I also understand they have these wonderful things called stall doors. I don’t know if you have heard of them. They are a new invention. It gives women privacy, not like the communal trough in men’s rooms. With this thing called stall doors, it is obvious if someone is trying to do a little peeping and women can call the cops or talk to the people that own the joint. As for changing clothes, I have been in a lot of locker rooms over the years and I am more uncomfortable with old men and children in locker rooms than transgendered people, but I am not asking North Carolina to forbid them. For some unknown reason, old men love to stand around naked and talk for longer than is comfortable. I don’t need to see my future and what gravity is going to do to me. Knowing that I am going to look like a melting green plastic army man from the front and an elephant’s ear from behind is not comforting. They also have lost all sense of personal space. I don’t need to be trying to tie my shoes as they reenact the D-Day invasion in front of me because it is like I am there.   Kids, I get it. Fathers are now hands on with their daughters, wonderful, and children are not old enough to use a restroom to change or answer the call of nature by themselves. Still, it is uncomfortable.  No story ever ends well that begins with the words “I was naked when this little girl walked in…” I am not asking for law making their lives harder. If I am uncomfortable, I just take my clothes and go to this thing called a stall. They have doors that give you privacy.   I have yet to be traumatized by a transgendered person in a restroom, mainly because the few I know are always concerned about making sure everyone else is comfortable. They have been through a lot of pain in life, which makes them thoughtful people.  They usually try to be as private as possible. Staring eyes are never kind.   Laws like the one in North Carolina are just irrational tantrums about not liking something rather than well thought out opinions. Transgendered people should not be banished to cornfields. Gay people cannot be bullied into being straight. Sometimes you have got to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes, and at my age occasionally ask, “Siri, how many public bathrooms are along this route.”