We’re all women
I got to thinking about this after reading some of the posts here on Medium and decided that maybe this is worth saying.
Biological women who identify as female are women. Transgender women (with potentially male or ambiguous biology) who identify as female are ALSO women. The biological distinction is rather small in comparison to the mind’s interpretation of itself as a person.
A transgender woman who goes to a women’s restroom is going to walk into a stall. Her biology makes no difference in this instance. Women’s restrooms only have stalls (by and large). A transgender man who walks into a male restroom is either going to have enough biology to use a urinal or he, too, will have to go into a stall. At no point will either of these strangers have their non-conforming private parts on display.
So arguing about which bathroom they should use is the most pointless and degrading conversation we could possibly be having.
As for locker rooms:
- A transgender child may end up in a locker room with children of the same mental but different biological gender. I have no idea what you think might happen in this instance, but I think the most nefarious thing to come out of it — unfortunately — will be the bullying of the transgender child. Sad but true, kids aren’t very nice to “different” if they don’t understand it and the world stigmatizes it.
- An adult may end up in a locker room with a transgender adult. The two adults in question should both really know how to respect one another and their personal/shared space. If the biologically-conforming adult is having trouble not staring at the genitals (or body) of the transgender person, he or she is a voyeur and should really rethink his or her behavior.
Any child or adult uncomfortable with the people in a locker room is welcome to change in the much less comfortable confines of a restroom. They can also move to a different part of the locker room. Etc.
It is NOT up to transgender people to hide their bodies. They are not second-hand citizens! It’s just us all being stupid, and we need to really cut it out. Transgender people are no more perverted than the rest of the population. If you’re OK changing in front of the rest of the female gym attendees, you’ll be fine even if a few of those attendees happen to be transgender. Don’t worry, your boobs won’t fall off.
On the topic of “women only” spaces, let me just repeat my first line, “transgender women (with potentially male or ambiguous biology) who identify as female are ALSO women”.
Individuals who don’t readily identify with any gender will probably have to pick the restroom that makes the most sense to them. Gender neutral restroom are a must going forward, but they’re not prevalent right now. Which sucks.