Even in Liberal Communities, Transgender Bathroom Laws Worry Parents

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In  an article for Time, Belinda  Luscombe chronicles some of the challenges that present when women (and in this case, young girls) are scared of using the bathroom with some transwomen. This sort of thing is happening, and will happen in greater and greater numbers as policies and legislation like Bill C-16 are passed and applied in society. This is a must-read article. As usual, here are a few excerpts:

Girls from a swim team in New York City’s Upper West Side are too scared to use the women’s locker room at a Parks Department swimming pool. In March, a sign appeared noting that everyone has the the right to use the restroom or locker room consistent with their “gender identity or gender expression.” Around the same time, the girls, who range in age from about seven to 18, became concerned after they saw a “bearded individual” in the women’s changing room.

They are now using the family changing room to change in and out of their swimsuits, but it is not big enough for all 18 girls.

Even in states that have had more progressive gender identity policies in place for a while, like New York, unforeseen headaches have arisen. Not all restrooms are alike. A bathroom with individual stalls that offer some privacy, for example, is different from a locker room or changing room. A locker room in a school is different from a changing room in a public facility such as a recreation center or local pool, which people of all ages use at the same time.

An employee at the center who spoke on condition of anonymity says the individual using the locker room appears to present as a man—wearing swim shorts or trunks to swim, with sideburns going down into a beard—which is partly what alarms the girls and their parents. Staff members have also been warned that asking individuals to prove their gender identity would be discriminatory. “Our hands are tied,” the worker said.”We can’t say anything about it.”

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