Wednesday, June 4, 2014

What Would Daniel Boone Say?

If you were asked what the next "Frontier" for human rights was going to be (or is), would you say just peeing in a public restroom? If you face "potty panic" as a transgender woman or transgender man-you might. Often times, the public will give you your gender space until you just have to pee.
We talk about the potty quite a bit around here in Cyrsti's Condo, as we did in my workshop at Trans Ohio and Bobbie was kind enough to further this discussion by sending in this story from the Globe and Mail and the University of Toronto.

Here is an excerpt:

One day this spring a team of volunteers set out to scour the dark recesses of the University of Toronto. Their aim: to catalog and map every public bathroom on the downtown campus.
This was not a bizarre geographer’s quest, but part of a broader trend affecting schools, offices and all manner of public spaces across the country. The humble public toilet is under pressure. Changing times have brought new demands from religious groups, people with disabilities, parents of young children and the elderly, all of whom are pushing for amendments to the traditional architecture of stalls, sinks and urinals.
(It didn't take thescholars who have studied the way we organize bathrooms to point out to us that it’s sensitive territory. Bathrooms have played a role in major social shifts, from the emergence of women in the public sphere, to racial desegregation to the opening of opportunities for the disabled.
“The toilet [is] a symbol of exclusion or inclusion. Do you provide for people or not?” said Barbara Penner, who teaches architectural history at University College London. “I’ve always thought of bathrooms as a very useful index of status for a variety of social groups.”
Then of course, many in the transgender - cross dresser culture used their ever prevalent male egos to proclaim their success at merely using the women's room was proof of their superiority passing the world as a woman. Even If you are one of the trans nazi's I mentioned above or live deep in your closet-there is something you can do. 
Vote out the socially conservative dinosaurs who won't change the system.

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A Life in Gender Flux