I am a Woman. You are a Trans Woman. And That Distinction Matters.

Thank you so much for writing this article. I consider myself an open and progressive female so my introduction to the issue of safe female spaces really took me by surprize. Setting, the women’s locker room in the Parks and Rec gym in NYC. My 17 year old daughter and I walk in and there sitting on a bench right out of the shower is a man. When he sees my look of chagrin he points to a sign on the wall saying that anyone who identifies female now has the same priveliges and access to our locker room as he does. I say “man” because other than the fact that he pointed to the sign, there was nothing about him that would lead anyone to identify him as female. In this small space were other teen girls, small female children, older ladies like myself etc. who now had to come to terms with this new reality. Our right to comfort and safety were superseeded by her/his right to our locker room. Needless to say, my daughter and I ended up waiting in line for the one bathroom/shower that was in a separate space. In this line were fathers who brought there female children to use the pool and no longer felt comfortable sending them into the locker room with unknown males present, teens who felt weirded out, and ladies like myself who for whatever reason did not feel comfortable or safe getting naked with any unknown male present. I don’t pretend to know what the answer is but I do know forcing this on women is not it. I am really open to hearing thoughtful responses and suggestions as I have not been able to wrap my brain around this yet.

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