Just where you pee, that’s all: toilets and trans people

Someone said to me, in relation to trans people, that they don’t see why someone with male genitals should be allowed to use female toilets. They also said they’d be uneasy taking a child into the women’s toilets if there were men present (meaning, people who have penises). Last but not least, they couldn’t understand why comedian and actor Eddie Izzard was at a football match and used the women’s toilets.

There are some very basic and common misunderstandings of trans issues in the above. I don’t believe it was an expression of bigotry because it wasn’t declaring a position of being utterly opposed or confrontational: note the words ‘uneasy’, ‘don’t see why’ and ‘couldn’t understand’. When people make statements like these on any subject, they are expressing views based on their experiences and beliefs to date. I’d like to think they’re open to change. Maybe they prove not to be. But it’s worth engaging with them. I’d understand if my trans friends chose not to; they have, after all, suffered all manner of abuse in their lives. I can identify, to a degree, having grown up gay-assumed-straight, then coming out in a society that was as vocally opposed to gay rights as it is today to trans people.

Genitals do not make the man or woman

Having a set of genitals doesn’t make you man or woman – gender is assigned/assumed at birth, and it is not a nature thing, it is a social construct. Biology just is, and some people don’t fit the assumptions attached by others because of their biological status. Eddie Izzard is trans. For years he presented himself as a cross-dressing heterosexual man, but that isn’t what he was and he has come out as trans. You wouldn’t go into a male-designated toilet because you are what is called a cisgendered female (meaning that, biologically and psychologically, you are aligned and comfortable with being female). But not everyone is so aligned, a significant number of people are not. That is when they experience gender dysphoria: the sense of disconnection between mind and body, which is deeply uncomfortable at best and hugely damaging at worst. Having ‘the bits’, as some would say, no more makes you male or female than having a hysterectomy to remove your reproductive equipment removes your womanhood, or a vasectomy removes a man’s designation. Gender is an entirely social construct. Animals do not have gender; we assign it to them, but they don’t give a shit about such concepts.

Some folks get real worked up about trans people and toilets
Does this toilet look like it cares about your gender?

More to the point relating to the article that spawned the conversation, I don’t see why someone who identifies as one sex should be forced to use the toilets of another sex. I have no problem if a woman, be she trans or cisgendered, wants to go into the men’s toilets and use a cubicle to pee and poo – if she can stand the fact that they usually reek, that is, because most cisgendered men cannot seem to piss straight and hit the actual urinals or bowls. I have no idea if trans men have the same issues with directional flow, and it would be rude of me to ask, same as it’s impolite for people to ask those who are trans what equipment they have inside their trousers or under their skirts.

I really do not care (I could say I don’t give a shit, as this would be in tune with the general lavatorial skew of this article) who wants to use which toilet facility, and would argue that we should move to having cubicle-only non-gendered toilets for all. If someone is uncomfortable with someone else using the same toilet facilities, I suggest they close their cubicle door and pee/poo in private, ’cause ain’t nobody wants to watch what they do.

Trans people are NOT paedophiles

There is no danger. There is no threat. Trans people just want to piss and shit in peace, behind a cubicle door. Same as most everyone.

Trans people are NOT paedophiles and have no interest in sexually assaulting anyone’s children, for goodness’ sake. Statistically speaking, women need to look to boyfriends, husbands, brothers and uncles for the biggest threat to their children in that regard.

Toilets don’t care about your gender assumptions

I’ve often used the women’s toilets in clubs, because they are cleaner, and women have used the mens because there’s always a huge queue to use the women’s toilets. A toilet is a toilet. It isn’t a status symbol nor does it validate your gender. It’s usually just a bowl of water you crap in and then flush. It doesn’t care, it doesn’t feel, it just is.

I’m done. I need to go pee. Mind your own business as to where. Can the rest of you just get on with your lives, stop even entertaining ideas on how you think other people should live, and quit with the terror of people using the same toilet after you because you don’t think they should? Thank you.

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