Cleveland is being asked to pass a law that would force everybody except churches to allow transgender persons to use whatever bathroom they wish. Of course, in the age of Tolerance, those who think this might not be such a good idea are labeled Intolerant and even to debate the issue in the name of Tolerance is deemed Intolerable.
On the one hand I understand the concern. (Deep in taking of breath from the collective audience reading this.) I remember my first experience with a transgender person. My Aunties would take me to the double header Indians games and Municipal stadium (gads I miss that place) when I was in grade school. We generally got the mid range seats and so there were never many people around us – neither those going for the really cheap seats nor those who could afford really good ones. So people around us stood out. One day there was what appeared to be a woman in a lime green miniskirt. I knew something was different here even as a kid. I had no idea that there was such a thing as transgender people and so what I was seeing didn’t compute.
He was a slender African American person having some of the attributes of woman, (to my little boy’s brain: “Okay, there are those. Check. Makeup. Check. Long hair. Check.”) But other things that didn’t fit. (Adam’s apple. “?” Big hands. “?” Deep voice. “?” Stubble. “?”)
Now, here is where my understanding would kick in. What if this person suddenly realized that the need of bathroom was desperate? How would I feel being this person going into the men’s room with a bunch of testosterone rich, drunk, men? So we are asked to be compassionate and, by law, make this person feel comfortable with the bathroom he or she chooses to use except at a church.
POR OTRA PARTE: Tolerance is a one way street here. What about the people who would feel uncomfortable having a person who appears to be of the opposite sex in their bathroom? How safe would a woman feel with a man, even if he is identifying himself as woman, in the bathroom with her at a downtown bar or any other number of scenarios? What if of one hundred women, only 3 felt uncomfortable? Are they Intolerable wretches that need to be sent to a counselor to get over their prejudice? Why should they be sent to counseling and not the man who identifies himself as a woman? He could dress like a man and go to the bathroom but women have no such option to end up in a place in which they feel comfortable carrying out their sensitive business.
Anyway, the argument could go on and on about on whom the duty falls to be the one to have to be tolerant of the other. They can’t both be accommodated without building owners constructing numerous bathrooms from which people could choose. “Women’s bathroom for those born and who remain female.” “Women’s bathroom for life long females and those born male but who identify as female but have not yet had an operation.” “Women’s bathroom for those who identify as female but beyond that don’t really care who else is in here.” THERE is true but very expensive tolerance.
What is happening here is a defining of what is “normal” beyond a setting on a dryer and exactly who must be tolerant of the sensitivities of whom. Opening this door does not make Clevelanders more Tolerant, it only defines of what they will be Tolerant and of what they won’t be Tolerant. At the core of all wars on Tolerance, there is the determination to eliminate the voice and rights of all who are not Tolerant of my Tolerance. And in this and similar cases it will be enforced by law.