As this Transgender Day of Visibility comes to a close, I’d like to share something I overheard this afternoon.

It was a discussion behind me about trans use of bathrooms in North Carolina between (what I presumed to be) a married couple in their fifties or older.

Husband: It’s not hard. Men use the men’s room; women use the women’s.
Wife: Something about trans people getting beat up in the opposite bathroom.
Husband (with a laugh): Is that my problem? If you dress like a women….. (the implication being simply to not dress like a woman.)

I didn’t hear the rest, and no I didn’t call him out. They were having a private conversation, they weren’t that loud, and I was eavesdropping.

But I will answer his question – yes, it is your problem. It is everyone’s problem when anyone is afraid to use a bathroom; when people are being persecuted and assaulted in a public bathroom because of their gender identity.

When the women’s line is too long, how many of us use the men’s room? Show of hands? Mine’s raised.

What about bringing our opposite gender children into the bathroom with us? How old is too old? Because to be honest, in Penn Station, my eleven year old is still too young to go by himself.

What about bringing our opposite gender disabled family member into the bathroom with us?

I honestly don’t understand the uproar.

The only thing I want from a public toilet is to get in, get out and have as little interaction with anyone as possible.

So yes, it is your problem unless you want to live in a society that is so prejudicial that we won’t allow people to use the bathroom.

It’s not about comfort; it’s about safety.

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