Letters to the Editor

In either privacy or anarchy of restrooms, why does gender matter?

Lee Churchill of Raleigh shows her support of HB2 during a rally at the Halifax Mall in Raleigh, N.C., on Monday. While demonstrations circled North Carolina’s statehouse on Monday, for and against a Republican-backed law curtailing protections for LGBT people and limiting public bathroom access for transgender people, House Democrats filed a repeal bill that stands little chance of passing.
Lee Churchill of Raleigh shows her support of HB2 during a rally at the Halifax Mall in Raleigh, N.C., on Monday. While demonstrations circled North Carolina’s statehouse on Monday, for and against a Republican-backed law curtailing protections for LGBT people and limiting public bathroom access for transgender people, House Democrats filed a repeal bill that stands little chance of passing. Associated Press

There is a lot of frantic objection to letting transgender people use the public restroom of the gender with which they identify. People say they will feel threatened or invaded upon.

I can settle this with a single observation: A women’s public restroom has a row of stalls with locking doors — total privacy. Women do not do anything in the common area but wash their hands, maybe fix their makeup, things they would do in public. A men’s room has a wall of stalls and a wall of urinals. The only way to use a urinal is to expose your genitals in a group setting.

Anyone who has been to a large public event in the modern era knows that there is a line for the ladies’ room, and there are just as many women in the (usually shorter) line to use the men’s room. Inside, the ladies form a row waiting for a stall, and the men take turns pulling out their junk at the urinals a few feet away. Nobody thinks anything of it.

To summarize, a public women’s restroom is a totally private affair. Men’s rooms are anarchy. In this context, why would one’s gender identity ever enter the picture?

Bryan Parker, San Luis Obispo

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