The Great Bathroom Debate

Once upon a time, going to the bathroom was just about urinating or defecating. Occasionally, one would step into a public facility to just wash their hands or change clothes. But the overall function simply involved performing number one or number two. The slew of ‘bathroom bills’ getting approved at various local and state levels around the country has changed this simplistic view of the bathroom and has brought more vitriol to the toilet than Montezuma’s Revenge.

Here is a brief recap of the issue: Transgender people would like to use a public restroom that corresponds to the gender with which they identify. The ‘bathroom bills’ would force such individuals to use the facility that corresponds to the gender on their birth certificate.

The transgender community would like to relieve themselves in a place in which they are comfortable. Those opposed to their choice of bathroom have come up with various unsubstantiated — and frankly, hateful — reasons to keep them out, such as keeping kids safe. Of course, this line of reasoning does nothing to stop the male sexual predator who currently legally uses the men’s restroom with the sons of those who favor bathroom usage according to birth gender. These thoughts also conflate going to the bathroom with other activities.

Proponents of these ‘bathroom bills’ should just come out and say that they disagree that a person should be allowed to change their gender and so they will force them to urinate where they think they should. That’s the truth. These bills have nothing to do with protecting one’s children. Rather, these legislative maneuvers disparage a group of people for no other reason than those in power do not like them.

Haven’t we been through this before? It doesn’t seem all that long ago that places in the US contained drinking fountains for those in power (i.e. those of white skin color) and those without power (i.e. those of black skin color). The simple function of the fountain — to provide water to those who are thirsty — was turned into an emblem of hate. In much the same way, the ‘bathroom bills’ are designed to point out our differences and punish those who are different from the people in power.

The fact of the matter is that everyone needs to expel waste from their digestive system, and unlike other animals, humans have created venues in which to empty their bladders. So, until we all get comfortable enough to just have unisex bathrooms, or create several individual rooms instead of the traditional multi-urinal, multi-stall bathroom, let’s dispense with these illogical and unjust bills and let people pee where they want.

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