When I was a little girl and a volunteer at my mom’s library (I mean, she didn’t own it, but she worked there), I wasn’t allowed to use the public restrooms. It wasn’t even an unspoken thing — kid volunteers were supposed to use the staff restrooms (which required a key code) because, and I wish I were kidding about this, they had an issue with heterosexual male predators who liked to hide in the women’s restroom to watch women use the toilet.
It took me years, honestly, to feel comfortable using a public restroom because of this.
Those are the only individuals who cause me major concern when it comes to the usage of public restrooms. First of all, they’re not even there to pee — they’re there to peep — and despite there not being an actual set of rules of what you can and can’t do inside a restroom (middle school and high school aged girls will prove this because it’s rare they ever actually go instead of take selfies), that’s totally and completely wrong. I think this is something that everyone, Peeping Toms aside, can agree upon. Bathrooms aren’t meant for snooping.
I have absolutely no concern over individuals who are using the restroom to empty their bladders. I’m a woman. In every restroom I enter that houses more than one toilet, there are stalls, which are as close to privacy as we’re going to get except for those extremely uncomfortable moments when we accidentally make eye contact and one of us sacrifices our own lives by flushing herself down the toilet because it’s just too mortifying. So to be perfectly honest, if a well-meaning man were to enter the restroom to pee while I peed because for some reason the men’s restroom were simply unavailable to him, I wouldn’t mind. If he tried to peek over the top, then we’d have a real problem. But then we get back to the whole issue of him being there for all the wrong reasons.
And sorry to get all anatomical on you, but if a trans male enters the men’s restroom (which is the way it should be), then either he has the plumbing and will use a urinal LIKE EVERY OTHER MALE or he doesn’t and will use a stall CREATING A CERTAIN DEGREE OF FALSE PRIVACY. So I see no problems there either. I’m not a man, but seriously it shouldn’t be a big deal.
So let’s not talk about my sanctity or safety any longer. Frankly, I don’t need or want you to because I am definitely able to deal with life on my own. This “sanctity” is just a fancy, religious way to cover up what’s really going on — a high level of bigotry, prejudice, hatred, sexism, and transphobia that shouldn’t exist, especially in 2016, especially when we should all agree that human rights apply to everyone who’s a human.
And for the record, since it’s not resonating with so many of my acquaintances when an LGBT person says it, perhaps it will because I am a straight, religious woman: homosexual people, queer people, those who are gender binary, and the transgender are not somehow more apt to commit heinous sexual crimes than heterosexuals. In fact, statistically speaking, they commit significantly less. When a man says, “I believe I should be a woman” and then goes through all the emotional and physical pain of transitioning, far be it from me to then tell her she can’t use my restroom because I don’t understand how that feels. And it is INCREDIBLY unspeakable that I (or anyone else on this planet, especially other Christians) should ever imply that she is a criminal when really she is just about as incontinent as the rest of us.
You’ve already shared the restroom with a trans person and lived to tell the tale (I’ve shared the women’s restroom with PLENTY of boys who were there with their mothers, who crawled around under the stalls and decided to hang out in mine, which was far more alarming than the possibility of a transitioning/transitioned woman being next to me, washing her hands). We closed the door on segregated bathrooms already in American history, and I don’t think we need to open it ever again.