Are you as confused as I have been regarding transgender restroom & shower facilities rights versus the need to maintain public safety, especially for children?
Do you have any idea how many Americans identify as transgender individuals?
Do you know what the terms gender identity, transgender, transsexual, genderqueer, bigender, pangender, genderfluid, agender, or transvestite/cross-dressers?
This may come under the heading of “TMI” but you need to be conversant on these terms as this phenomena appears to be creeping into the national debate, the 2016 electi0ns, and a bathroom near you or your child’s school campus!
Let’s Start with the Easier Parts of this Debate.
How Many People Identify as Transgender? Efforts have been made since 2000 to try to determine how many transgender individuals there are in the US. Part of the issue lies in which definition of transgender is applied and how the survey is conducted. Survey estimates range from .05% to .3% of the US population identifying as transgender. This equates to 175,000 to 1,050,000 transgender people in the US.
What Gender Identity terms are used today to describe various individuals?
Note, many of these definitions were supplied by American Psychological Association (APA)
Transgender & Transsexual: Are people who experience a mismatch between their gender identity or gender expression, and their sex at birth. (Can also include Transsexual, Genderqueer, Bigender, Pangender, Genderfluid, and Agender.)
Transvestite/Cross Dresser: This person cross-dresses, or dresses in clothes associated with the opposite gender then the one they were assigned at birth.
LGBT: This stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual and Transgender. The “LGB” portion of this acronym indicates SEXUAL PREFERENCE, and not a sexual identity. The “LGB” and the “T” bear no relationship to one another other than the Gay-Lesbian groups have included the Transgender “victims” to bolster their ranks.
Do Not Confuse the Issues or the Discussion of Transgender “rights” with those of lesbians, gay, or bi-sexual persons.
Before we move on, we should define a couple of terms associated with Sexual Predatory Behavior. (No association is made here with transgender people)
Pedophilia is a psychiatric disorder in which an adult or older adolescent experiences a primary or exclusive sexual attraction to prepubescent children.
Sexual Predators includes persons trying to make sexual contact with another person in a “predatory” or abusive manner. Sexual Predators include people who commit sex crimes, such as rape or child sexual abuse, are commonly referred to as sexual predators.
The Transgender Public & School Rest Room & Bathing Facility Issues
Activist Transgender Position: They believe that they should be able to use restroom or shower facilities based on their own perception of whether they are male or female regardless of their birth gender or their current gender assignment post hormone treatments and/or surgery. Public policy may have to differentiate between the two.
Public’s Position: Society has the right to insist that persons using gender designated restrooms and bathing facilities, according to their own biological gender, and not to share these facilities with those who do not identify with their own biological gender? Non Transgender people represent a minimum of 99.997% of the total population while the Transgender people represent from .05% to .3% of the total population. Society has the right to protect its citizens against sexual predators and pedophiles who would use the open access to restrooms and shower facilities to legally enter restrooms of the opposite sex for nefarious reasons.
Top Question: Is Transgenderism a Mental Disorder?
Pro: (Note: The LGBT and American Psychiatric Association disagree strongly with Dr. McHugh’s findings and conclusions. But, Johns Hopkins is one of the few institutions who actually studied transgenderism for any length of time so I thought it may be helpful in this discussion)
If a person has difficulty accepting their birth gender as reality, is this a physical or mental issue? Dr. Paul R. McHugh, the current Distinguished Service Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Hospital and its former psychiatrist-in-chief stated “…that transgenderism is a “mental disorder” that merits treatment, that sex change is “biologically impossible,” and that people who promote sexual reassignment surgery are collaborating with and promoting a mental disorder.”
In an article in the Wall Street Journal he elaborated by stating that “…transgender surgery is not the solution for people who suffer a “disorder of ‘assumption’” – the notion that their maleness or femaleness is different than what nature assigned to them biologically.”
McHugh went on to say: “The pro-transgender advocates do not want to know that studies show between 70% and 80% of children who express transgender feelings “spontaneously lose those feelings” over time. Also, for those who had sexual reassignment surgery, most said they were “satisfied” with the operation “but their subsequent psycho-social adjustments were no better than those who didn’t have the surgery.”
Con: The American Psychiatric Association does not agree and believes that Transgenderism is not a mental disorder. Their website states: “A psychological state is considered a mental disorder only if it causes significant distress or disability. Many transgender people do not experience their gender as distressing or disabling, which implies that identifying as transgender does not constitute a mental disorder. For these individuals, the significant problem is finding affordable resources, such as counseling, hormone therapy, medical procedures and the social support necessary to freely express their gender identity and minimize discrimination. Many other obstacles may lead to distress, including a lack of acceptance within society, direct or indirect experiences with discrimination, or assault. These experiences may lead many transgender people to suffer with anxiety, depression or related disorders at higher rates than nontransgender persons.”
It is obvious that there are polarized positions among psychiatric professionals regarding whether Transgenderism is a mental disorder or a physical misalignment between a person’s brain and his or her reproductive organs that can be cured with hormones and/or surgery.
The APA’s position basically says that if transgender people are not experiencing any distress due to gender identity, then medical treatment may not be necessary. If their birth gender identity is causing them distress, then hormone therapy and/or surgery, based on the individual’s gender identity, may be called for. Further that the procedures have been successful with practically all of the patients reporting both good mental and physical health post-op.
Dr. McHugh disagreed with this position and stated that even those who underwent gender reassignment surgery, and who were happy with the surgery, had the same psycho-social adjustment problems that those who did not undergo surgery! Others who have undergone the gender reassignment surgery disagree with Dr. McHugh.
Missing Link: What the APA nor other institutions have not tested or studied to any meaningful degree, is giving the person presenting as a Transgender hormones and therapy that match their biological gender! The assumption has been made that someone not identifying with their gender should be changed to the mental perception of their gender rather than to the physical fact of their gender. Simply stated, a male identifying as a female would be given testosterone treatments and a women identifying as a male would be given estrogen treatments. Associated psychiatric counseling would be required to insure that the person’s mental well being is being monitored.
Sexual Predators & The Restroom/Shower Facilities Issue
There is no doubt that society has to protect children and women from being subjected to sexual predators and pedophiles while using public, private and school restrooms and/or shower facilities. There cannot be any disagreement with this.
The issues are:
(These examples use men as the possible predators but you can substitute women as the predators although the incidence of female sexual predators is much less than for males)
If you allow men, who claim they identify as a women, to use the “Women’s” restroom, how do you preclude a sexual predator or pedophile, from falsely claiming that they identify as a woman and have a right to enter? Women and girls may be present in the restroom.
If an adolescent schoolboy identifies as a girl, should the schoolboy be allowed to use the “girl’s” shower and restroom facilities? In this instance there may be a low physical threat to the girls. But, is the co-mingling of boys and girls in shower and restroom facilities acceptable in our society?
If you allow men, who claim they identify as a women, to use the public showering facilities designated for women, how do you preclude a sexual predator from falsely claiming that they identify as a woman and have a right to enter? Women and girls may be present in the shower facilities.
Needed Public Policy:
Live and Let Live-Before the Courts Intervened: John Hayward wrote in Breitbart last week the following observation: “Moreover, Americans have already solved the problem: They just politely ignore the fact that public bathrooms are quietly used by transsexuals–both those who look like the other sex and those who really don’t look like the other sex. That decent-minded, live-and-let-live compromise means Americans don’t have to pretend that men are women, and they can call the police if they feel threatened, for example, when a transsexual wants to use a changing room in a school.”
Progressive Activism: But, the reality is that the progressive supporters of the LBGT/gay marriage are going to attempt to force unfettered access by transgender persons to whatever restroom, bathing or changing rooms they wish. They are coming off of victories in gay marriage and are off on their next quest. There is no acceptable middle ground to the progressive left nor will they support alternative medical approaches and procedures in dealing with the transgender condition.
The Courts and the Mississippi and North Carolina State Response: Recent court cases are forcing schools and public access facilities to allow transgender persons to be able to choose the gender designated restrooms, changing rooms and shower facilities of their choice based on their own perception of their gender. This caused North Carolina and Mississippi State governments to pass legislation that ties the access to gender designated facilities to the gender of the person at birth who wishes to use those facilities. The left claims that this is discrimination against transgender persons without regard for public safety.
Federal Vs State Laws Needed?
Since the lower courts have intervened and decided that gender specific facilities have to be open to all, the only way to protect women, children, and men who may become subjected to abuse by sexual predators and pedophiles who will seek to take advantage of this openness, is through legislation. Once again it is sad that we cannot engage in an open and honest debate on the best approach to this issue.
Once again, it is doubtful that our Gutless Congress will attempt to address this issue. It will be left to individual States to protect the 99.97% of our population against sexual predators and pedophiles!.
Sadly, this will result in a fragmented remedial approach with each State codifying the remedy in possibly different ways. There will be some of the liberal States who may seek to adopt “Open Facilities” legislation leaving the nation with a hodgepodge of gender specific facility laws. Be that as it may, here are a couple of possible approaches to protecting those who may have been made vulnerable to abuse because of these court decisions.
Gender Definition: The gender of the student would be the birth gender of the student unless the student has undergone treatment and surgery to change his or her gender, and the parents have had the gender of the child legally changed.
Restrooms: Gender specific restrooms should be restored and only those who are biologically the same as the restroom designation should be allowed. If a student is identified as possibly being a transgender adolescent by the parents to the administration, at the parents request, the administration should make an effort to allow that student to use restrooms that have been set aside in the faculty lounge area or other suitable restroom that is not being used by the other students. The student has the option to use the gender designated restroom that is the same as their biological gender and utilize the segregated stalls.
Non-Private Shower and Changing Areas: Gender specific non-private shower and changing area should be restored and only those biologically the same with the shower and changing area designation should be allowed. If a student is identified as possibly being a transgender adolescent by the parents to the administration, at the parents request, the administration should excuse the student from activities that would require him or her from using the shower or changing areas; or, if available, other facilities could be designated for the student’s use.
Public Restrooms, Bathing Facilities and Changing Rooms:
Gender Definition: The gender of the person would be the birth gender of the person unless they have undergone treatment and surgery to change his or her gender, and the person has had his or her gender legally changed.
Restrooms: Gender specific restrooms should be restored and only those who are biologically the same as the restroom designation should be allowed. The person has the option to use the gender designated restroom that is the same as their biological gender and utilize the segregated stalls.
Non-Private Shower and Changing Areas: Gender specific non-private shower and changing area should be restored and only those biologically the same with the shower and changing area designation should be allowed.
It is doubtful that this issue will be resolved anytime soon. At some point, since Congress will never act, this issue will be decided, poorly, by 9 men and women in black robes at the Supreme Court.