I don’t know about you, but this transgender bathroom issue has got me as jumpy as a long-tailed cat in a roomful of rocking chairs.
I don’t care what somebody else’s sexual orientation is. In my book, this whole thing falls under their private lives, and their private lives are none of my business, just as mine is none of theirs. It’s not something I want to know about. It’s not something I want to discuss with them. Call me puritanical–and none of you will– but I consider the use of a restroom as one of the most private things we do, and I hate to see it going public. I don’t even like talking about it. That’s the way I was raised, so if that troubles you, I can’t help it.
But since it’s in the news, here we go.
The idea, as I understand it, is to allow people who identify as transgender to use the bathroom with which they identify. Apparently there would be no qualification for identifying as transgender. One simply identifies.
President Obama is telling our public schools they must do this, and several states have introduced similar bills into their legislatures. I don’t intentionally try to offend folks, but my first thought was that we need something more important to worry about. To me, it’s no more important than legislating stepladders for those of us who identify as short people. If you feel that’s politically incorrect, well, I suppose it is. I like lots of different sorts of people. But I know a stupid idea when I hear one.
I wondered what percentage of the population is transgender. It turns out that nobody knows for sure. A survey by the Massachusetts Department Of Public Health asked respondents if they identified as transgender. The percentage of those answering yes was 0.5 percent. That could be wrong. It could be more, and it could be less.
I speak only for myself, but I’m pretty sure that if I am standing in a public restroom and someone comes in who is female, or who obviously thinks they ought to be female, I will be pretty uncomfortable. I don’t think I can do what I went in there to do. So for me personally, this is going to result in a lot more time in the restroom, staring at the ceiling. I’m going to guess that if this occurred in the ladies’ restroom, there would be quite a number of uncomfortable females in there as well. And if they are high school or college age females, they’re going to be really uncomfortable, because if I were a hot-blooded male youth, I’d take advantage of this. I’d march into the principal’s office and tell him I am feeling sort of female and I feel I need to use the girls’ shower. Don’t ask why I thought of that. It’s the juvenile in me.
My wife, Saint Mary, was a kindergarten teacher. For many years, she dealt with little tiny people who didn’t want to use the bathroom at all. They wanted to wait until they got home. And aren’t we all that way, to some extent? As we matured, we simply forced ourselves use the public restroom, and got over it. Maybe I’m wrong, but I bet most of us still go in there with a slight tinge of apprehension. Deep down inside, aren’t we all more comfortable using our bathroom at home? Maybe I’ve got that wrong, but if I’m right, transgenders aren’t the only people walking into public restrooms with a degree of anxiety. Two wrongs won’t make it right.
I will generously assume that whoever came up with this boneheaded idea was concerned with the comfort of individuals who identify as transgender. But if I’ve got it right, and if the Massachusetts Public Health Department has got it right, then it seems to me that it’ll make 0.5 percent of the population comfortable and the other 99.5 percent uncomfortable. They’ll all probably be in there, staring at the ceiling.
I try to be good. I try to mind my own business. I pay my taxes. And now, I feel like I’m going to have to hold it and cross my legs until I get home, and I absolutely know that I’ll be hurrying, and that’s going to result in a speeding ticket and this is all because Obama and Congress apparently don’t have enough to worry about.