The LGBT Bathroom Compromise

restroomsI’m all for letting people live their lives. If you have feelings for the same sex or don’t identify with the genitalia you were given at birth, you shouldn’t suffer discrimination. I’m well aware that it still happens but in the eyes of the law we’re all equal. Our laws have stated for decades that people can not be discriminated against for sex, race, national origin, religion, age, disabilities, or sexual orientation. Recently the SCOTUS made it legal for same sex couples to marry in all fifty states. Federal laws are swinging towards equality of the LGBT community. We can change the laws with the stroke of a pen. People’s hearts and minds take a little longer.

Maybe it’s the age of social media that has the LGBT community constantly in the limelight. Maybe it’s the discriminatory state politics that push back with the equivalent of LGBT Jim Crow laws. Whatever the reason, some of the blow back can be placed in the hands of a minority of the LGBT community (stay with me, I’m on your side). You can’t look at every law and how it affects just you. Sometimes you have to think about the other guy, like the ones who want to support your equal rights but don’t want to deal with a person with male genitalia in the female bathrooms. This is a drastic paradigm shift for our culture and one that might not need to be litigated if we just use common sense.

I know several transvestites. They are non-intrusive. They live and let live. They go in the women’s restrooms and nobody even thinks twice about it because nobody questions whether they are women or not. However, there’s always that one. She has to tell everyone her story all the time. Out of the blue she’ll change the topic of the group to discuss her sex life. She makes people uncomfortable, not because she’s a transvestite but because she’s weird and has no filter. I’d be pissed if she walked into a female restroom and my granddaughter was in there. But it’s not because she’s a transvestite, it’s because sometimes the people who discriminate aren’t the only assholes in the room.

I could substitute a person from any group for the LGBT person I described above and it would make people uncomfortable. People are generally shy when discussing sexuality with complete strangers. Your sexuality may be a defining issue in your life but not everyone needs or wants to know about it – and that’s not a critique of LGBT, that goes for the straight community too. There’s a time and place for everything. All the time is not the right the time.

There’s no sense in making a stand with every person who doesn’t accept you either. The momentum for acceptance of LGBT persons is at an all time high. When you stand to fight every last person that doesn’t accept your lifestyle, you are actually becoming the asshole in that scenario. Face it. Not everyone is going to accept or like you. No group is universally accepted and liked. Get over it.

So be yourself. People are so absorbed in their own lives that they normally won’t take the time to notice you anyway. Whatever sex you identify with may I suggest you give all those people who might be a little squeamish about the transgender issue some of the compassion you’re asking for. Don’t let people discriminate but do give people time to adjust. The bathroom issue will settle down and behaviors will normalize. I believe the real fear isn’t that transgender people use public restrooms, it’s that sexual predators will take advantage of the laws that allow men in women’s restrooms to victimize women. That’s something we should all fight against no matter our sexual orientation.

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