Blogs Apr 3, 2013 at 12:50 pm


What's with fucking Arizona? Heat and UV rays burn up their brains?
I wish my cousins would move out of this fucking hell-hole of a state - I love 'em to death, but I refuse to spend even a penny to support the bat-shite craziness that seems to be SOP down there.
I think it's pretty clear the law is designed to make trans people want to move somewhere else.
Oh good lord... I have to go home to AZ in two weeks for some family stuff. NOT looking forward to being in that bat shit state. I like to think that I have enough in-born moral fortitude that I wouldn't have turned out to be a wing-nut like most of my extended family are but I'm glad my parents moved us to Seattle when I was 10 so as not to risk it.
Any state that houses John McCain and spent decades refusing to recognize Martin Luther King Day as a national federal holiday is obviously Bigoted Douche Central and this is just the latest iteration of that truth. Sorry for the generalization but in this case the shoe fucking fits...
Well, yeah. And didn't Sarah Palin buy a house in Scottsdale recently? It shows what kind of people Arizona attracts.
@5, McCain and the MLK Day kerfuffle represent the MODERATE wing of the AZ GOP. The Joe Arpaio wing is far more extreme and lunatic.

Trans women and men are involved in assaults all the freaking time, in AZ and elsewhere -- as the victims.
While I admit I don't totally understand transgender stuff and peoples I am going to go out on a limb here... No one has ever been (become?) transgendered for the purpose of getting the opportunity to stare at other people's bits in a public bathroom. Identify as a woman, pee in the women's bathroom. Identify as a man, pee in the men's bathroom. Does not seem that difficult to figure out but I am also not that bright.
I can absolutely get being uncomfortable around trans-people. I feel that way sometimes myself, and I work with a couple so it's not an unusual feeling. But it's MY discomfort to deal with, not theirs to make me feel better. Christ, if someone has to go through the horror show that is gender reassignment, cut them some fucking slack and let them pee in the bathroom of their choice.
The problem is that any guy in a dress can say he's trans, and then use a woman's restroom. That's what most people are creeped out about. Weird pee perverts, and you of all people know they are out there, could crossdress and loiter in women's rooms.

Although I will agree that Arizona is a horrible place. But climate change is soon going to make it unlivable, so there's that.
And when I say weird pee perverts, I mean as opposed to normal pee perverts, who enjoy their perversion in the privacy of their own homes with consenting adult partners.
@10: And if some guy is in there pulling his pecker while listening to women pee, they can arrest him and probably demonstrate pretty quickly he isn't, in fact, transgender. No therapist or medical doctor will be there to back him up.

And while I'm at least partly sure you're playing devil's advocate, do you really think there are nearly the number of urine fetishists waiting to hop into something slinky and prowl around Arizona's public restrooms in the hopes of catching something hot and yellow as there are legitimately transgendered people being forced into places they don't want to be?
Uh oh, Dan Savage wrote a post about trans* people. Someone alert tumblr - I'm gonna go make some popcorn.
Both sides have a valid argument. That's why the men's facility should be the default for men and misc. no one should be allowed in a ladies facility unless you are a real woman. Men and women are not equal in the way that predators will get creative to prey on women and girls. If you're any kind of misc you can simply use the men's room.
I'm totally serious. I date crossdressers and this issue comes up all the time. It gets a visceral reaction from lots of people and slows down progress in other areas like equal access to public spaces, protection against job discrimination, etc.

Dan would probably know the ratio of trans people in the general population (tiny) to the ratio of creepster pee fetishists (probably less tiny).
This is crazy.

And what problem was this law designed to address?
Marrena @10 above is on the right track, though it's not "pee perverts". The people who object to this the most believe in the outrageous concept that cis-gender male-identified men will deliberately cross dress as women so that they can then use women's washrooms for the express purpose of sexually assaulting children.

Having transwomen using a women's washroom would merely be the gateway of opportunity for pedophiles.
@14, 12, 9 - uh, as the numerous links in the post show, there's no magic invisible barrier that keeps men out of the women's room unless they're wearing a skirt. There's like, a door. That's it. Ya'll sound fucking crazy when you say that allowing people to be who they are is going to unleash a torrent of hairy-legged pee freaks in skirts in women's bathrooms. "Trans people are not assaulting non-trans people in public restrooms."

All this bill does is harass trans* people for being who they are.
@16 - those men who assault women and children? They've had ample opportunity to this point to dress as women to gain access. They haven't, and they don't. They clearly have had no issue with going into women's bathrooms to assault women and children, and they've done it dressed as men literally every fucking time.
Dan Savage why don't ask women (real women) what they think about men in dresses in their bathrooms/locker rooms? Men could give a shit. I certainly don't but men and women are not equal in this regard and never will be. Men don't need an atmosphere of safety in these types of facilities. Why don't take a break from force feeding your agenda to consider that?
@19: Because transwomen ARE women. Crossdresser =/= transgender. And if they and medical professionals say that a transgendered woman is, in fact, female, who the fuck are you or I or any other biological woman to say they're not?
@7: Point taken. But I shall paraphrase Chris Rock: I don't have time to dice the AZ GOP into little groups. I hate EVERYBODY!
Jesus. Leave it to AZ to make AK look like fucking Frisco.
As a trans person who has experience working to defeat a similar law that they tried to pass here in Maine, I would like to point out that non-transgendered people already go into 'opposite-sex' restrooms with no complaints or consequences: mothers with young sons, fathers with young daughters, care givers with elderly or handicapped family members, regular cis-gendered women who have gotten tired of waiting in the long line of the ladies room, etc. So why can non-transgendered people have access to either bathroom but transgendered people cannot?
As they'd most likely believe cross dressing would be demeaning to their male identity.
Anyone have any idea yet why restroom gender segregation is legal? Obviously womens safety is an issue, but segregation clearly isn't preventing women from being assaulted as Dan's links (or Saudi Arabia) can attest. Many black people had safety concerns during desegregation as well, but it was clearly the right thing to do. If we start treating women and men as the same species, patriarchy will lose some of its power.
Much like their "papers please" laws for driving while Mexican, this is designed to keep people they are bigoted against out of Arizona, of course. They are using the legislative system to keep their state white, straight, and Republican as fuck. It's sorta working, too.
Also 19: Dan's article addresses the issue of women's safety when it comes to letting in transwomen (namely: safety isn't an issue with trans people in the bathroom). He also addresses their "perceived" safety when he talks about how a transwoman, who looks like a woman (even if you don't believe she *is* one), won't be as disruptive in a women's room as a transMAN.

I mean, what do you think they're up to in women's restrooms? Do you think they inspect each others' genitals with magnifying glasses while they shit?

But maybe I'm being too hard on you. After all, if you're dumb enough to be transphobic, you're probably just too dumb to read the article that invalidated your points before you even made them. Poor thing.
I'm not transphobic. I'm phobic of pc thought police cunts like you forcing their pc euphemisms and agenda on me. You can call yourself whatever you want. You changed your DNA huh? If you're in a bathroom with my daughter you better be one.
@19... good lord, you do realize that with your logic, this here bearded bald gentleman would be forced to pee in the stall next to some seriously freaked out women. is that the result you are looking for? and again, transwomen are CURRENTLY allowed in women's restrooms and locker rooms in Arizona without having to show their birth certificate. Please show me ONE case of a straight man getting gussied up and assaulting someone in said women's space. The closest thing I've ever heard to an argument with any logic is from victims of rape who find seeing penises to be highly traumatic (since that organ was the instrument of their violation) and those people insist that transwomen be post-op. I have many issues with this, but even those are irrelevant since there are STALLS. This really makes my brain asplode.
@28 - why do people who are what they are - transphobics, racists, whatever - why do ya'll get so offended when you're pointed out for what you are? You are as transphobic as you are a bad listener. Either own it or read more carefully.
28: It's not "political correctness" so much as just plain fucking "correctness." Hence your inability to back up your claims that transwomen pose a danger to cis-women in restrooms.

You might want to re-think your baseless desire to control how people identify themselves before you go around levying that "thought police" accusation against people. The irony just makes you look even dumber.
@28: Yes, because slavering transwomen are lurking around the corner of the bathroom stall to rape your daughter. As compared to the much higher likelihood that it'll be her father/stepfather/brother/uncle/cousin/boyfriend who does it.

Congratulations. As far as irrational fears go, yours rates up there with being afraid of killer klowns from outer space.
I'm fine with asking trans people to not use gendered restrooms, so long as there are single-user unisex bathrooms there for them to use. That's not all that nice and a little transphobic, but at least acceptable. DEMANDING that they use the restrooms of their biological gender is just stupid.

Easy way to combat this law, should it pass: trans people go to public venues and use the bathroom like the law mandates. Eagerly await backlash against the law by citizens sick of boys in the girls' room, girls in the men's room.
@30: clearly she never looked up the meaning of 'phobic'.

Hint: it means afraid of, which she so is it's fucking hysterical.
@10, got any examples of this happening?
@ 28 - Whoa, we can change our DNA now?? Kewl! I was just thinking how I'd like to be a lovely shade of light purple, with green tendrils twining all over my limbs... Maybe have black'n'white zebra striped hair, too, while I'm at it...

Where do I sign up?
There was one incident recently where a trans woman was walking around naked in a women's locker room when children were present and the moms and kids were pretty upset seeing a penis on the premises - and rightfully so.…

Frankly, I've been skeeved out by some cis-women walking around naked in locker rooms - seriously, I do NOT want to see your bits on display. Exhibitionism isn't okay without the viewers' consent, no matter who you are.

However, restrooms are either single user or have stall doors. I've never seen a vagina on display in a public bathroom, so I do NOT know what the REAL problem is.
Good heavens there are some nutjobs on this thread. But I was wondering why I panic when I think about people with bodies which developed as male using female toilets. (Totally my issue, yes. But I do panic a little bit when I think about it.)

I think it's because I am a woman with relatively low strength and mobility, and I have to employ cognitive dissonance to feel safe using a public toilet. I really don't want to recognise that anyone bigger and stronger than me can just walk in and attack me, in a place from which I could not escape and where nobody would see.

All my life I have thought of ladies' toilets as safe spaces, because all other women, like me, think of the toilet as a safe space and would not violate that; and because all men were conditioned in their youth to feel horror and shame at entering ladies' toilets. Of course neither of these things are true. But opening up the idea that there is nothing to stop someone bigger and stronger than me coming into a closed-off public space does create fear and anxiety.

Rightwing political arseholes therefore have a brilliant way to whip up unifying rage and fear among women, and among some men who see themselves as women's protectors. They can 'defeat' a 'threat' which everyone can safely get worked up about, because it's nowhere near any of the real issues about attacks on women, and because the victims of their 'solution' are a much-misunderstood minority.

God I feel depressed now.
@31 Yes, verbal combat is easy when you can put words in others mouths but you can do better. Never did I insinuate that it's the actual trans people who were the threat but those who might use that excuse to go into women's locker rooms. Keep it coming pc thought police. Everyone who doesn't swallow your agenda is Fred Phelps you know!
@36 Did you even read that post you dullard twat?
Wow PC liberal seattlites showing their true freaked-the-fuck-out-by-genderqueers colors! This thread is disgusting.
@20 Crossdresser = transgender. Crossdresser =/= transsexual, please make a note of it.

I see all sides of this issue. The birth certificate litmus test is outrageous, along with the draconian penalties--Arizona really is the asshole of America. But on the other hand, this bill is obviously trying to draw a line in the sand against activists in the LGBT community who are trying to get bathroom rights put into law.

Personally I don't give a fuck. I went to Brown, where we had unisex bathrooms in the dorms. But the problem is this--how do you determine who is transsexual? Drivers license seems a sensible option. Because you can't tell just from looking the difference between transsexuals and crossdressers. Some transsexuals who transition late or who aren't on hormones or without surgery may be much less passable than some crossdressers. And most crossdressers want to use the ladies room too. Once you open up the restrooms to crossdressers, then you do have the possibility of pee creepsters lurking. And you have the certainty of the general populace getting creeped out by the possibility of pee creepsters.

Clearly this Arizona thing is deplorable, but I think restroom rights right now should just be for transsexuals who have transitioned, including drivers license. Restroom rights for the rest of the trans community should wait until we are more out and about in the community and publicly accepted.

No therapist or medical doctor will be there to back him up.

Need I point out that this sort of statement would/does massively piss off the trans community? Trans activists are extremely averse to any "official" definition of what does and does not constitute trans. If you say you're trans, that's good enough, regardless of how you present yourself, whether you've sought out any assistance from a medical professional, or how long you've self-identified with that label.

To some degree, I understand it, especially with how murky the concept of gender can be, but your statement that it would be easy to prove a cisgender man is lying about being trans is, in fact, a false statement.
40: Firstly, with all your qualifiers where you separate "real" women from trans women, and with your line about how only someone who can change their DNA should be allowed in the same restroom as your daughter, it sure as fuck sounds like you're talking about actual trans people. Nice try at backpedaling, though.

Secondly, allowing transwomen to use women's restrooms won't allow men to use women's restrooms. This isn't rocket science. If the goal is to prevent men from going into women's restrooms, whipping their dicks out, and assaulting/flashing/whatever-ing the women inside, then trans people have fuck-all to do with it. Such a man wouldn't be protected by laws allowing transwomen to walk in there and quietly take a piss. No, not even if he puts on a dress and a shitty wig first.

Your flaw here isn't a failure to swallow my agenda so much as a failure to think rationally and realistically.
A meaningless indignity because people don't like to think that the world is complicated.

Mr. Savage points out the issue very well: What is the problem that these laws are meant to correct? Do most places even have laws saying that ordinary men may not use women's restrooms? If there is a problem with people of one gender going into bathrooms reserved for the other gender—any problem—then yes, the law should have something in there to explain how gender is to be determined, but it doesn't sound like there is any.
@25 It's legal because nobody cares enough about it to make a (literal) federal case out of it. Maybe in a hundred years. But I'm totally with you - I don't think the bathroom gender separation really serves any necessary purpose, and the lack of separation would probably do our society some good. One less dividing line.
RTam @38, That was a case where a trans woman was seen in the sauna, and identified as a man. She wasn't "walking around naked", and none of the stories I've seen stated that she was nude in the sauna either. She just looks masculine enough to have been identified as a "man" without any nudity.

Yes, there is some creep factor in her story, but the bottom line is that nothing happened except people felt uncomfortable that she was there.

And really, get over seeing naked people in the locker room. The point of the locker room is a place to change clothes and shower. There's going to be some nudity involved, and there's nothing wrong with that.
Forcing big burly FTM transmen with beards into using the women's room will do wonders to get this law repealed. I can see the looks of horrified indignation now.
48: According to "Susanswerphone," women will immediately identify that big, burly, bearded transman as a "real" woman and they'll feel perfectly safe. But allowing petite, feminine transwomen in there will open the door for men in wigs to sneak into women's rooms undetected to commit all sorts of sex crimes!

Or something.

But you'd better not mistake their irrational fear of bathroom-dwelling trans people for transphobia. Apparently that's not what "phobia" means down in Dipshitville.
Almost 30 years in Arizona. Never assaulted once in a public bathroom. Amazing. Of course, I've never discovered decapitated bodies in the desert either, so maybe I'm just really sheltered and not getting the full Arizona "experience".
This is not about conservatism.
This is not about republicanism.
This is not about libertarianism.

Barry Goldwater would have been appalled by this. So too William F. Buckley, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, all the Bushes, the Romneys, and the Pauls. I don't know where this depraved dialect of Republicans is coming from but it clearly is antithetical to the principles of those I enumerated.

@ 19 - I'm a cis lady and I'll be happy to tell you what I think about trans ladies using facilities (restrooms, locker rooms, etc): I think they absolutely should. And based on your reasoning, you think they should too. If you are concerned about keeping ladies safe, that means that trans ladies shouldn't have to use men's facilities. Google Kim Petras. You really think she should have to change in a men's locker room?

"what I think about trans ladies using women's* facilities"
Don't know about locker rooms but can someone disprove me on the practicalities?
1. In women's restrooms, everyone uses stalls, and any bathroom I've been in, we close the doors. So, even a pre-op trans woman isn't going to be seen or see anything.
2. In guys rooms, you're not supposed to look at guys pissing at the urinal next to you.
3. In guys rooms, there are also stalls, and I would imagine that many trans men would use these--just don't know the logistics of pissing standing up without an actual dick. If you could, see #2 above.
4. Kids of opposite genders are with their parents in bathrooms all the time.

So, the only significant exposure might be that a trans man would have to avert his eyes while walking past the urinal. Am I missing something? And I think I might be particularly with #3.
@47 - You're right. After I posted that I went back and researched further (I'd only heard about the original story in passing) and found that it was a shitstorm about nothing, so I apologize for believing the original report (though in my defense, I assumed it was just one weird person, not representative of trans women as a group). But even though I believed it, my point - badly made - was that anyone being exhibitionist in a locker room is annoying.

However, not only was my point badly made, but it was not germaine to the discussion. I certainly did not mean to imply that the woman in question should NOT use the ladies locker/bathroom. I firmly believe that she should.

Mea culpa
I’m still ruminating over this after several hours.

I’m taking tiny sips of a very nice and delicate Côte du Rhône so I don’t get too blasted tonight. But I’m still trying to calm down.

You see, perhaps my dearest and closest friend in the Seattle area is a male-to-female post-operative (mercy, all those hyphens!) transsexual. He, when he was he, was a date of mine through the gay personals in the Seattle Gay News. We had a couple of “dates” but we both quickly realized that we’d be just great friends instead, and so it has been since then. Then, he, in his fifties, took the very brave step to travel to Bangkok and actually, as it turned out, to get excellent reassignment surgery he could afford in the world at that time. Of course, he had been wishing for this all his life. Even begging his mother as a child coming of age, as Christine Jorgensen was making the news, to please put him on a hormonal treatment for surgery.

It was difficult for me, a real mental pretzel if you will, and a philosophical, if not cosmic, exercise for anyone who has a had a family member or loved one to wrap their mind around why on earth would someone want to change their gender? Its unfathomable to most of us, even to most gays and lesbians, to what would motivate someone to undergo such a monumental change in life. Perhaps the biggest change one could make in life at all.

“It was like I got on the wrong bus and I couldn’t get off” – that’s exactly how it is, as another transsexual friend Janice Van Cleve told me -- who was very instrumental in transsexual rights and early same-sex marriage rights not so many years ago.

Essentially, the need for being a transsexual is because of a birth defect. Normally, the body and the mind match as far as gender identity. So, considering how many other birth defects there are in the world, why is it so unreasonable for a minority of insane Republicans to assume that gender-reassignment surgery is not a viable solution to a birth defect?

Is homosexuality a birth defect? No. Because there are no physiological, pathological, or psychological repercussions from being homosexual. However for gender-identity disorder, for my friend there was, decades of severe very deep emotional pain. Trying to make it as a gay man didn't work in his case.

So that’s why I’m so fumed. Especially as same-sex marriage acceptance is gaining ground recognized even by Fox News, one would think that intelligent people would understand that as civilization grapples with sexual issues, the obvious and scientific reasoning would be unavoidable and ultimately enlightening as our great country adheres to the greatest words of our founding: “The pursuit of happiness.”

I’m also fuming because I’m constantly after my friend to go out more, enjoy social functions, more shopping wherever you want, more traveling wherever you want, and f**k the bigots. But now I understand her agoraphobia even more. I don’t blame her.

This is so f**king outrageous. Just when you think the tide has turned. That society is forever and ultimately scientifically progressive as time itself dictates. But alas, this is like the sad torching of the library of Alexandria in ancient Egypt.
The desert attracts anti-social, racist, wannabe libertarian assholes.

Scottsdale/Phoenix is a magnet for washed up losers looking for a new start in life.

Scottsdale is a magnet for anti-social, racist, wannabe libertarian assholes.

Phoenix metro is the fucking armpit of America.

This is a public service announcement and not a joke.
@56: Unfortunately, time does not always equal progress, and this country seems only able to work out how it feels about one marginalized group of people at a time. Trans people have been the marginalized of the marginalized for a while, so it is unfortunately none too surprising that they're still left waiting. Now that the tide really seems to be turning against the anti-LGB bigots, this may be exactly the right time to really start pushing open conversation on trans equality. It will necessarily be a more complex discussion than that revolving around gay rights; discussing trans people means discussing the concept of genderqueer and ultimately the very notion of gender itself. Lot of difficult stuff in there for our sound-bite political culture. Reevaluating how we deal with gender does, however, dovetail quite nicely with the much-needed pushback against sexist bigotry as well.
My girlfriend is trans. She rarely uses public restrooms precisely because of this type of phobia. It's stupid. This is not a slippery slope. This is not an excuse for men to dress as women just to assault women in bathrooms.

I don't see two sides to this at all. I see a need for people - all humans - to be able pee in peace. My girlfriend is not out to hurt anyone. Nor are the many trans people I know or am acquainted with. For that matter, neither are the butch lesbians I've known who have also been looked at strangely in women's bathrooms - should they be forced to use the men's room too?
Everything you said. I am far more worried about the safety of trans women forced to use the men's room than about my own safety in a restroom where not all the women were necessarily born that way.

But I think the whole thing is ridiculous anyway. I remember back when I was but a wee lass, that asshole Phyllis Schlafly used "unisex restrooms" as one of her weird talking points to scare the states out of ratifying the ERA. I could not understand what the big deal was supposed to be. Of course, I was picturing private stalls -- I don't think I'd ever seen a urinal at that point in my life. But even so, it just seemed like such an absurd thing to get all het up about.

Pure superstition, I think. It's about cooties.
Genderfuck AZ!
Oh and you too Susanswerphone.
The lack of rational reasoning by people who support laws like this is amusing and disturbing. Lets follow their line of logic (@10, @14):
1. There is currently no legal restriction to allow men to enter women's restrooms and vice-versa
2. Therefore we should make a law that would restrict people to only use the bathroom of their birth sex
3. Because if we don't then there will be men pretending to be women so that they can sneak into the women's restroom.

Two questions to these types of people:
Q1. Right now, what's stopping a man from pretending to be a women so that they can sneak into a woman's restroom? (hint: nothing)
Q2. Follow up to Q1: How big of an issues is this currently? (considering that these supports are citing future hypothetical scenario instead of past events that might give credibility to their augment, my guess is that this is a non issue).

Making a law to solve a problem that does not exist is just stupid.
There needs to be a men's room for people of XY chromosomes and dicks they were born with, a women's room for people of XX chromosomes and uteruses/breasts/vulvas that they were born with, and an other restroom for everybody else who doesn't fit into those categories (trans, intersex, genderqueer, etc).

There. Problem solved.
@64, Seperate but equal! Why has no one thought of this before?!
If a man is already willing to break the law by raping someone, why would anyone think he'd be unwilling to break the law by going into the women's bathroom? Incidentally, where is it against the law for cis people to go into the bathroom of the opposite sex?

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