Opinion

View From The Third Bathroom: The Transgender Rights Movement Needs To Relax

Bee Jones Freelance Writer

I pride myself on being the most down to earth transsexual person that you’ve ever met, but I’m lucky. People won’t admit it, but I’ll give it to you straight: when you’re transgendered, passability is everything. I’m lucky enough that you may have already met me and not even known.

The qualities that I possess are ones that I did nothing to achieve, though. I’m not patting myself on the back. I’ve honed my presentation but God gave me everything I need to successfully navigate the world as a trans lady.

Because of these gifts, my view from the “third” bathroom looks remarkably similar to the one from the women’s bathroom. That’s where I pee. I’ve never even seen a third bathroom. Maybe it’s my age — I’m 35 years old and there was no such concept when I started my transition at 25. I spent a lot of that time mostly not peeing. The difference between me and the girls of today is that I didn’t blame anyone. I realized that my appearance might be confusing to your everyday woman. I didn’t demand a conflict-free existence. I realized that my life choices came with some consequences.

I don’t think that the argument for the need for gender-neutral bathrooms really gets to the heart of the issue. If you’re worried about people noticing you or judging you, does that not happen outside of the bathroom as well? If your appearance is enough to cause alarm in ladies room, do you not attract the “bad kind” of attention everywhere? In some circumstances, one must conform. Maybe it is on you to figure yourself out: If you don’t seem to fit appropriately with either bathroom, maybe that’s your problem.

Society as we know works like this: girl or boy. Gender-neutral bathrooms are all well and good if they are recommissioned bathrooms. However if universities, workplaces, restaurants, etc. were forced to create these facilities, incurring costs that they otherwise wouldn’t have had, to satisfy this teensy minority, that would be sheer silliness!

The movement of today clobbers you over the head with, “This is who I am!” and the discussion is over. It’s very take it or leave it. God forbid you have any questions, you transphobe! Well, I have a question, who says that you’re the only one who is allowed to unequivocally get what they want? It’s childish. Maybe I want to be a fashion model but you don’t see me throwing a tantrum at the front desk of Wilhelmina. Models become models because they fit the mold.

Maybe not everyone gets to become a woman. It’s easy for me to say because I’m one of the chosen ones. I’ve known more than a few “girls” coming up that undoubtedly had and still have transgendered hearts. But they realized that this life would be just too challenging for them and adjusted accordingly. My view of today’s movement is that anyone, even the grossest, bad TV-y tranny going, is encouraged to pursue her dreams of womanhood. It ain’t easy. Even when you’re a fish like me!

I’ve found myself very close with some of these aforementioned “girls with transgendered hearts.” My brother is a year older than me. And he’s gay. We came up together. We were drag queens when we were 17 and 18. I saw that our lives could share a trajectory. I thought we were both girls, but as we grew up, I saw that he realized that maybe we wouldn’t do everything the same. It all comes down to passability. I think that he felt that he might not have as easy a time and asked himself if it was worth it. And he’s fine. He didn’t jump off of a bridge. Even though I was very passable as a drag queen, a “T-girl” (as we called them back then) would, as I found out over the years, have to endure major ordeals. It is not a process for the faint of heart … and it’s all expensive.

Before anything, I started with laser hair removal on my face and neck. It hurt really bad and cost a ton. I’ve also had my chest and stomach lasered. I had to have my scrotum lasered prior to sex change surgery, for goodness sakes. Still, just today I had electrolysis on my face. All painful, all expensive. Before my dad died in my mid-twenties, I chose not to have health insurance. It was too expensive. But you need to be on health insurance to get on hormones. They could be bought on the street, but I wanted to do things the right way. So I had to get health insurance, see doctors and therapists, and more. I never think of myself as having accomplished anything by following my heart but in retrospect I realize that my life has required incredible commitment.

I’m not saying anybody should be restricted from doing what they want. Please don’t misunderstand. This is my motto: Do whatever you want, just don’t get anything on me. If you want to go out there and look like Herman Munster with a two dollar wig on, have at it. Just be aware that when you go out into the world, you involve other people. If you look a damn mess, it’s not their fault for staring. You’re different. It’s natural for people to be curious when things don’t add up.

If this is the life that you want, be prepared. Be a real advocate. You’re 1 in 30,000, embrace your uniqueness. Answer peoples’ questions. I’ve never been offended by a genuine question in my life, even if it’s as clumsy as can be. You’re not going to get anywhere with the people who really will make a difference when you refuse to admit that you were born a boy. Quit preaching to the choir, get your delicate hands dirty, girl.