I would like to commend the efforts of Open Door Community Health and their staff for listening with an open heart and taking pro-active efforts to address the needs Humboldt County residents. Many people do not realize that Transgender people often face discrimination and challenges in accessing basic medical care not only transition related care.
Thank you Open Door!
I truly believe that this is a great opportunity for education to you, your wife, and the community at large. There were a lot of assumptions made about this situation and the person involved…assumptions about the reason a seat would be left up, the “type of person” who would leave a seat up, their gender, their sexual orientation, their appearance, as well as their level of “masculine/feminine” characteristics. First of all there are an infinite number of reasons a seat might be left up in a “dirty” public restroom. There is also an infinite range of gender expression with people from masculine to feminine. I would venture to say that even your wife might feel more feminine on a particular day or if she is wearing a particular outfit/makeup than another.
That said, if what your comment was really getting at was, that your wife thought this person might have been a Transgender woman, then there are many other issues to discuss. Transgender people as well as people who don’t fit society’s mold of gender expression often have challenges living in general. They are bullied in schools, decimated in housing and employment, rejected by their families and communities of faith, and even murdered, let alone the realities of how challenging going into a simple public restroom must be for someone who doesn’t fit your image of what “looks right”.
This is an opportunity for some compassion and understanding on your part. Something to think about next time someone says to you “act like a man” or “that’s gay”.
In Print This Week:
Dec 5, 2013
vol XXIV issue 49
The North Coast Journal Weekly
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