Allen B. West

California city prohibits gender specific restrooms

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[EDITOR’S NOTE: This article was written by Michele Hickford]

West Hollywood is the first city in California to adopt a policy of “gender neutral” public restrooms, giving businesses 60 days to change the little male and female stick figure signs on bathroom doors.

As the Los Angeles Times reports, businesses must comply with a new city law prohibiting gender identifications.

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“City leaders said that the old school “men” and “women” restrooms were outdated and puts transgender people in the difficult position of having to “out” themselves simply by picking a door.”

“I know for a number of transgender people that having to choose whether to go into the male or female restroom is not as easy as it can be for non-transgender people,” said West Hollywood Councilwoman Abbe Land, who introduced the motion, which passed unanimously last year. “It’s all about access and equality.”

“Land said her council office is working to inform other cities about the law in the hope they will adopt it, but she expected it would face longer odds in areas with smaller, less visible LGBT populations.”

Well, frankly I’m not sure how LGBT populations can get less visible.

According to a study by the leading LGBT demographer at the University of California Los Angeles School of Law’s Williams Institute, only 0.3 percent of U.S. adults are actually transgender. How can you get less visible than that? Zero percent?

Besides, isn’t the whole idea to dress like the other gender so convincingly that no one knows which one you are anyway? And if you’re a man wishing to be in a woman’s body, don’t you want to sit down for a tinkle rather than stand just like all the other girls do?

I mean, if you’re spending all that money, time, pain and mascara to change your gender, wouldn’t you be happy to go into the little girls’ room? But I suppose I’m being insensitive.

Look, I don’t care if men who really want to be women go into the ladies’ room and do whatever ladies do in the stalls and in front of the mirror. But I’m not very comfortable about men with conventional feelings about women hanging around my toilet. There’s a reason farmers keep the foxes out of the henhouse.

But here’s the thing that really gets my girlie knickers in a twist.

I also really don’t care if single-user restrooms are just labeled “toilet” or “WC” (water closet, as they are in the UK). It’s not the label that’s the problem for me. It’s the appliance.

Folks, a urinal is simply not gender-neutral. You’ve got to have the right plumbing, and I am offended by the fact I might have to go into restrooms with stinky urinals.

So is the LGBT lobby going to try to expand this policy nationwide to all restroom facilities? You mean to tell me, every single restroom in a football stadium is going to be “gender neutral” to cater to 0.3 percent of the population?

Don’t laugh. The Los Angeles Times says California “state public schools began allowing students to use the bathrooms — and play on the sports teams — of the gender with which they identify, rather than their birth gender.”

And Austin, Texas and the Philadelphia City Council passed a law in 2013 requiring new or renovated city-owned buildings to include gender-neutral restrooms.

This is ludicrous. I don’t deny a tiny percentage of people may not feel comfortable with the plumbing God gave them. But that doesn’t mean the indoor plumbing for the remaining 99.7 percent of us should be changed to avoid offending them.

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