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
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
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
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.”