Sunday, February 27, 2011

Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!

While reading around the web tonight, I came across this story coming to us from Augusta Maine.  And at first was like ho-hum the fear of the transwoman in the bathroom boogy man yet again....and then?  Ok, here is the main thrust of the story.
Fredette, a former member of the Maine Human Rights Commission who was elected for the House of Representatives in November, seeks to overturn a 2010 commission decision regarding transgender students in public schools. In September the commission opted to work with the Department of Education after the gubernatorial election to develop guidelines for how to accommodate transgender students’ use of bathroom and locker room facilities. That process has yet to unfold.
So, once again, people are fighting over letting transpeople use the correct gender bathrooms.  If we have read this once, we have read this what, a million times?  This Mr. Fredette who should know better, gets it ever so wrong.....
 The bill would add a paragraph to the Maine Human Rights Act that would make it legal to designate a bathroom or shower facility “to the use of members of the designated physiological sex, regardless of sexual orientation,” according to a draft provided by Fredette.

Sexual orientation?  Umm, what?  Does this mean that their are lesbians wanting to use the men's rooms?  Or gays who want to use the ladies?  Being transgender is not an orientation!  Sigh....

Reading into this matter futher, following the articles back into the dim reaches of the past, the next one was from eons ago... 16th of February, 2010 and this little tidbit caught my eye.
For some, including the Christian Civic League of Maine, the commission’s guidelines are “the latest outrage by radical homosexual activists” which constitute “an impossible absurdity,” according to a press release.

Cool! There are now radical homosexual activists who want to help transpeople be able to use the correct bathroom! Yippee!  It won't be long now until this entire bathroom waterloo is over!  Oh...wait.... radical homosexual activists are like the easter bunny and santa claus, right?  Well shoot!  Here I was hoping that we had some muscle in the fight, because having a RADICAL activist sounds just so awesome!

Continuing on with that same article, again our jolly little rainbow colored car runs up against the barrier of the same old argument of GLBTA wanting "special rights" that is seemingly always trotted out against any and all requests for civil rights or for protection against discrimination.
“That schools should take all reasonable measures against harassment is something the MSMA (Maine School Management Association ) supports and believes in,” he said. “What [the commission has] done is go beyond the issue of ‘you shall not discriminate’ to say [transgender students] will be given certain specific accommodations. Our sense is that this goes well beyond what the statute says. This is a specific policy issue that should go before the Legislature or at least through the administrative rule-making process.”

The last time I looked in a school, there were "specific accommodations" made for children who use wheelchairs, children who require steadying bars in the bathroom stalls, and for children who are special needs.  What about the specific accommodations given to school athletes?  Schools build sports fields, locker rooms, sheds for and filled with equipment, and hire coaches and the very affluent schools even have physical trainers. All of these sports "accommodations" are only used by a small percentage of the student body.  For a group of"specific" students. 

But you ask for a safe and secure place for a transgender child to use the bathroom or locker room, and suddenly all hellz breaks out.  What do they expect these children to do?  Continue using the wrong bathroom?  Oh...wait, yeah I know now, facepalm!  They want to "fix" these confused transgender students, just like they want to fix the gay and lesbian ones.  All they need to is receive Je-bus into their hearts and they will be healed from their confusion placed there by our old friend, Ol' Scratch himself!

Call me naive, but I really don't understand the worry that christians seem to have with transgender humans.  Except for the admonishment about wearing incorrect gendered clothing, I'm not aware of any biblical verse that is against transgender people, and I suspect neither do they.  That's why they fall back upon the worn out "Oh! Won't you please, think of the children!"  Except this time we are thinking about the children, trans children.

*the A at the end of GLBTA is for asexuals, they too deserve a place at our table.


  1. I wonder what the Welsh is for transgender?

    Sorry that's a little off-story, but I was just thinking of all the (almost identical) fuss about creating bilingual signs for the (let's remember DEFEATED) speakers of the Welsh language in their own country.

    The lengths some conservative English speakers went to to try and block bilingual signage in school to go with the Welsh language classes now generally available.

    Anyone would think they were trying to give the defeated ones their rights!

  2. Do you mean asexuals as in born with no gender-specific genitalia, or simply not interested in sex? If the former, I'd agree.

    If you wanna head into alphabet-soup-land, though, don't forget:



  3. Ya know, I can understand how accommodating transgender students can be an issue. Insofar as bathrooms are concerned, the solution is simple: a unisex bathroom.

    Now, locker rooms can be a bit trickier. I don't know how they'd tackle that one.

  4. Schools in my area do stuff like let trans kids change for PE somewhere other than the locker rooms.

    I met a g2b a couple of years ago who was attending a local school. I say g2b rather than f2m as he was all of 12 years old. Very nice kid, too. According to an article I read later that mentioned him and others, there are several middle and high schools around here with trans kids. I think it's wonderful that they're being supported by the school system.