Just last week my boss’s boss (who knows I’m trans) told me in conversation that if “someone with a penis” was sharing a locker room with his teen daughter he would personally march over to the school to rectify the situation. No amount of delicate explaining about the realities of trans kids and teens made a dent in his perception that all teens with penises were pervy teen boys.
…And there’s nothing more personal than taking a piss in public. So, just my luck that the month I’m easing out of the closet about being transgender, we have decided to start a national dialogue about trans people. And when I say dialogue, I mean series of misinformed rants, hateful statements, boldfaced lies, and unsuccessful attempts to counterbalance with facts.
For people like me, all this debate has a very real, very practical effect. I’m literally scared shitless. Since this debate has started on the national stage, I’ve been nervous to be called out for using any public restroom. I still mostly get called ma’am, but not always, and I have a fear that whether I’m in the ladies’ or the gents’, some riled up asshole with a point to prove is going to shame me or hurt me for being where they think I don’t belong.