Want to know what is great about kids? They aren’t adults. It is true that they can most definitely be little shits, but all in all, they are usually kinder, less judgmental and way, way, way more accepting than the older (particularly post-pubescent) versions of themselves.
When George transitioned to Jess in the middle of the week in the middle of 4th grade, how many kids cared? Hmmm, let me think. Still thinking. Oh, right…not a one. In fact, during one of my many, many, many conversations with the school principal (who, by the way, could not possibly have handled it better) I vividly recall her telling me that it wasn’t the kids she was worried about it was, yep, their parents. And, truth be told; only one parent expressed concern. Of note is that that parent is the same parent who sent her kid to my child’s 6th birthday party and told her that she could “watch the other kids” swim and have a blast, but they had plans afterward so she didn’t want her hair messed up…so, um, there you have it.
Perhaps you have caught wind of the national conversation regarding transgenders’ use of bathrooms in public places. Or, if you have not, perhaps you have been in a coma or had exactly zero access to tv, radio, internet or another human being. And, it is possible that you think that the ban is appropriate, although given the fact that you read this blog, I suspect otherwise. Either way, I view this as a great time for us judgie, fearful, mis- and uninformed grown-ups to take a page from kiddos’ playbooks and ask ourselves: who cares?
In all my bathroom experiences (of which there have beenmany: I am, after all, a woman of a certain age) I have never:
- Been in one that did not have stalls. In “female” restrooms, trough peeing is generally frowned upon and, from my admittedly unscientific research, even men’s rooms with urinals have stalls for the urgent poop or the pee-er with stage fright.
- Seen one single solitary vagina other than my own, and even that I don’t really see. I mean, really.
- Felt uncomfortable for any reason other than having the bad luck of being the next visitor after a poor soul had their bowels explode. And trust me; it was no better for her having to make eye contact with me on her way out.
- Lingered one moment longer than was necessary to empty my bladder, wash my hands and fiddle with my hair. Okay, there’s been the occasional lipstick application and chat with other bathroom goers, but it is generally a wham bam thank you ma’am experience.
I have, however:
- Emptied my bladder. And, in situations under which I had no control (Chipotle, anyone?) had to go #2.
- Waited on line, often with adults who have children doing the I’m-going-to-cross-my-legs-and-jump-up-and-down-and-hold-my-crotch-while-whining-so-I-don’t-pee-in-my-pants dance, during which I have always given up my spot on the queue because, well, voiding and evacuating are done in private. Duh.
- Waited until midstream to check for toilet paper only to discover none. One would think that would only happen once, but, well, whatever.
As for the rampant issue with molestation in the bathroom and everyone’s fear of such? Well, here are my thoughts on that:
- Implement a hard and fast rule: no one ever goes in the bathroom alone, anywhere, anytime, anyplace, no exceptions, Problem solved.
Listen, I am not so naïve as to not understand the trepidation. I am not insensitive to anyone’s fear of the unknown. In fact, I personally have so many fears of so many unknowns that one could, and maybe has, called it a full blown neurosis, but, but, but please consider focusing on something more important that could ever possibly effect you or your children. I, for one, would be much more concerned about the person next to me with a handgun in her purse, or the drug addicted fellow who is so desperate for his next high that he will attack you for your wallet or the registered sex offender who is hanging out at the town playground. Could any of them be transgender? Sure. But, and of this I can assure you, they are not packing heat, looking for their next hit or eyeing your little cherub because they are transgender. No way. No how.
Kids don’t care if you have a penis or a vagina. I am pretty confident they wouldn’t care if you peed out your nose. They do care, however, if you are an asshole and, might I point out, their asshole radar is spectacular.
So, next time you have to pee in public, go in, do your business and stop worrying about other people and their parts. Or, hold your bladder and bowel until you explode all over Home Depot which, for me, anyway, would be way worse than sharing a bathroom with someone who is transgender.