Notes From A Middle-Aged Dad #45: Letting Transgender People Use The Bathroom of Their Choice

Written by Alex on February 23, 2017 - 0 Comments

Dear Ivan:

There has been a lot of talk of late about transgender people, particularly young people, and their decision to use the bathroom of their choice.  President Obama, who you may remember (though you were only 5 when he left office) informed schools that they should permit transgender persons to use the bathroom matching their gender identity.  In other words, if someone born a boy, who was now a trans-female, wished to use the girls’/women’s bathroom, that person could do so.

Mr. Trump, who has followed President Obama into the White House has revoked this protection.

While this does not directly affect our family, I want you to pay close attention to this.

First of all, going to the bathroom is important.  It’s one of the life skills that parents literally drive themselves crazy over — i.e., teaching their kids how to use the bathroom rather than pee or poop in their pants (or the bed).  You may not remember this portion of your life.  However, I will say that you did extremely well in this area and graduated to bathroom-ness early in life and continue to flourish in bathroom usage now at the age of 5.5 years old.

Second, going to the bathroom that suits you is critical.  We all know about bashful kidney and situational constipation.  If you have to go, but you can’t go where you need or want to go, it’s a problem.

Third, the notion that leaving choice of bathroom to the transgender person will lead to increased fraternizing or socializing or corrupting of other people’s values in the bathroom, strikes me as a bit far-fetched.  Perhaps Mr. Trump and the people around him have not spent enough time in public restrooms to know that the number 3 priority of people in restrooms (after #1 and #2, which are, indeed, the #1 and #2 reasons people are there) is to get the Hell out of there.  Again, perhaps Mr. Trump and his people don’t realize this.  I suggest they do some fact-finding and investigation to verify, and I suggest they start in the public men’s room at the Port Authority Bus Terminal.  I think they’ll quickly realize nobody in there really wants to be there and that they want to exit (with a minimum of conversation and socializing) as quickly as possible.

The whole point is this: yet again Republicans — who talk a big game about empowering the individual — are once again disempowering the very people who most need protection and empowerment.  And not sticking up for those who need our help is shameful.

So, to be clear, the current President is wrong (he’s a lot of other things too, but I won’t say them because Michelle Obama said ” . . . we go high.”).  Transgender people should use whatever bathroom suits their gender identity.  And, if Mr. Trump doesn’t want to allow that, then we should all march right down to Washington and go to the bathroom on his . . . .

Oops, sorry, that one got away from me.  That was rude.  Remember, “. . . we go high.”

In any event, if Mr. Trump sticks with his plan to revoke bathroom protections for transgender people then we need to fight back.

Meantime, you keep using the bathroom like a champ.  I’m very proud of you.

Love always,


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