Saturday, May 21, 2016

Gender Dysphoria and Bathrooms

On Saturdays I take my 6 year old to the local Y for swim lessons.  Afterwards, we go inside to the Family Locker Rooms to change.  Essentially there are 6 single bathrooms that include a toilet, sink, a shower, and sitting area to change.  My son is autistic.  He's perfectly fine to go to the bathroom on his own, but he lacks modesty.  I've seen him come out the restroom with his shorts and underwear around his knees as he wiggles them back on.  My husband and I constantly work with him about not pulling down his pants before he goes into the bathroom too.  He's getting better.

Needless to say, when it comes to changing himself out of a wet swim suit, drying himself off, and getting himself dressed, he needs help.  He's too old to go into the ladies locker room and the gym requests that children use the Family Locker Room anyway.

That's why I don't understand why some transgendered persons or those suffering from gender dysphoria or the government is insisting that they use the bathroom of their choice.  My son and I don't get to use the bathroom of our choice.  He's disabled and we still don't get to use the bathroom of our choice.

And you know what? That's fine with me.  It's understandable that a 6 year old can't go into the ladies locker room.  I respect those women's privacy.  I'm not going to force them to use the Family Locker Room with it's single sex bathrooms or change uncomfortably in front of a 6 year old male just to accommodate me and my son.  It's stupid.  It's like a wheel chair bound person insisting on squeezing themselves into a narrow bathroom stall when there's a larger wheel chair accessible stall two doors down.  There's a place where my son and I can go that accommodates us.  We're good.

It's the same for those with gender dysphoria.  I don't really care what bathroom you use.  But there are other people who are going to feel uncomfortable and would prefer you use the bathroom where you are accommodated.

I also don't think it's good that school districts are being pigeon holed into accommodations either.  On the one hand there are teenagers who are painfully shy about changing in front of anyone as it is.  I as an adult still change inside the shower, dry off, and put on at least my undergarments inside the shower.  I feel weirdly uncomfortable seeing half dressed women in the locker room even though we are biologically all female.  I was that way as a teen.  Many of my friends were.  In college, we'd change in the bathroom or politely face the wall.

Then on the other side is the gender dysphoria suffering teen.  While I understand they may not want to use the bathroom of their biological sex, they can easily use a single sex bathroom.  It's not good to indulge the mental disorder that they are a different sex.  This is akin to allowing an anorexic person to go on a diet.  You want to encourage good eating habits but you don't want them to count calories.  Accommodations but not indulgences.  A one-size-fits all doesn't work in special cases such as these.  Schools should make accommodations like they do with people who have other mental or physical disabilities.  

Today is Saturday and swim lessons.  You might see my son and I entering the Family Locker Room.  We won't be whining about it or making demands for more accommodations.  We're fine.  We understand.  I just don't understand why it isn't that way for others.

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I love to read your thoughts. Thanks for sharing!