Manhood Has Limits For Transmen Who Prefer Women’s Facilities
June 30, 2016
Something that’s been lost (and by lost I mean ignored) in the Great Transgender Bathroom Debate of 2016 is the number of women who “identify as male” but balk at subjecting themselves to the risk of sexual assault and violence involved in using male facilities where they are vulnerable as female-bodied-persons disrobing in proximity to actual men. You know, men, those individuals with penises: the kind single-handedly responsible for perpetrating nearly all crimes of rape, sadism, and bloody mayhem in every human society in recorded history since the beginning of time. Those guys.
Passing as male may be swell when it comes to walking home at night, improving your queer dating pool bonafides and saving money on haircuts but when it comes to pulling your pants down around strange men, not so much.
North Carolina’s HB2 which legally regulates single-sex facilities may drive a stake in the fantasy heart of men who wish to use women’s facilities as validation of their gender feels and to avoid other dudes side-eying them over their wardrobe choices, breast implants and bad wigs, but to some FEMALE transgenders – women who “identify as male”- it’s a bit of saving grace.
Unlike the high profile “transmale” bathroom hoaxers who apparently felt forced to fabricate mensroom hate crimes to save face around their desire to continue using female restrooms, women like male-identified North Carolina resident Charlie Comaro seem quietly relieved by the legal mandate to use facilities based on sex, not gender.
“It’s literally against the law for me to use the men’s room, and it’s also risky. Even though I’m more than a year on testosterone—I’m getting facial hair, my hair has receded a little—I still don’t always pass as male,” she reports to MotherJones.com.
Heterosexual female Sawyer DeVuyst, who “identifes as” a gay man and produces a transgender selfie blog project documenting her body hair growth on testosterone describes the discomfort of changing tampons in the men’s restroom to Mic.com:
“You’re in a men’s room and somebody hears you rustling a paper in the stall because you’re changing a tampon — that outs you,” she relays.
Sawyer has signed on as a model for the BoyShort model of SheThinx menstruation underwear, which function as washable blood diapers for women.
“They say, like, “stars, they’re just like us!” but also, trans people, they’re just like us,” Sawyer helpfully informs fellow bleeders on their website.
For every widely promoted media story featuring hormonal moon-faced women with Amish beards who demand a spot at the table of men, there’s an equal undercurrent of male-identified females like UK food blogger Jack Munroe whose medical transformation away from womanhood is defined by harm reduction from male abuse: “The aim is to be able “to pass for a young man on public transport,” She explains succinctly.
The utter absence of female “transmen” garnering various Man of the Year Awards, Father of the Year Awards, and Sports Illustrated and Vanity Fair covers like their male sisters, and the failure of testosterone-injecting females to sweep any male sporting championship, ever, as transwomen do in female events with regularity, is duly noted. Sex matters, and women can’t identify their way out of –or into- the legacy of male violence and the eugenics resulting from generations of inbred ultraviolent male rapists.
Los Angeles Santee High School eliminated their second floor fifteen-stall female restroom, opening it up to males, after a male-identifying female student “transman” was humiliated by a janitor who momentarily “gendered” her as her “desired gender”. The student, Yasmin “Alonzo” Hernadez is a “transman” who “identifies as” male. According to the LATimes, she began demanding male pronouns and adopted a traditionally male name a year before, and wished to be perceived as male. As a result, a custodial worker accidentally perceived her as her desired gender and pointed out that she was entering the girl’s restroom. The janitor immediately corrected herself and apologized when she realized Alonzo was not actually male, but Alonzo was humiliated at having to explain that although “male” in identity she preferred female facilities due to the risk of harm to herself as a female person from actual males.
“A High School Janitor Wouldn’t Let Him Use The Bathroom. So He Started a Movement” read the headline on Fusion.net.
“When he’s out of school and in public, he uses men’s restrooms. But at school—when he absolutely has to use a facility—he continues to use the girls’ restroom because he says he does not want to make anyone uncomfortable. He said he also was concerned about being harassed,” Fusion reports.
The female restroom was changed to a unisex facility to accomodate males. Male facilities remained unaffected and retained the same number of male restrooms.
“As a Transgender Man, Choosing Which Bathroom to Use Can Be Agony“, writes Jake Damien.
“I do not enjoy using men’s bathrooms.
As a transgender man, I am not supposed to admit this. I am supposed to proclaim that I finally “feel at home,” and that I will fight for my right to access them. And I will! But the truth is, I don’t feel safe in them—nor do I prefer them to women’s rooms.
The thing is, I never felt wrong in women’s bathrooms and locker rooms; I felt wrong in my own skin. Growing up, I remember so many instances of what medical gatekeepers call “gender dysphoria”—of feeling like I was trapped in a mismatched body. After a childhood of being the only little girl playing on all-boys soccer and baseball teams, in middle school, I was ripped away from my social and athletic communities and told I was no longer allowed to play with the guys. I can still feel the sadness and confusion of that loss.”
She goes on to suggest that, like Santee High, women should sacrifice hard won female single-sex facilities and open them to men, so that women like her can continue to use them while identifying as male:
“I use the men’s bathroom now mostly because I am perceived as a threat in the women’s room. But I’ve come to believe that a long-term solution is not to make transgender people choose between two gendered bathrooms, but to make all bathrooms gender neutral.”
She describes the danger she experiences as a woman in male facilities, an experience she hopes all women will opt into by forgoing, like herself, female single-sex facilities:
“Every time I enter a male locker room, I brace for what may be around the corner. Frequently, if men in the locker room see my body as I change or as walk into the showers, they follow me. In a few horrific cases, men have pulled back my shower curtain to “better see” me, or worse, pushed their genitals at me.
In these spaces, I seem to spark a unique and terrifying mix of sexual objectification and male-to-male aggressiveness. The men’s locker room is a place where I have accidentally, and unwillingly, become a Rorschach test of people’s sexuality, open-mindedness, and ideas on masculinity. And it’s not a fun place to be.”