A Game of (Switching) Thrones

When North Carolina passed a law blocking local governments from passing anti-discrimination legislation to protect gay and transgender people, it inevitably became known as the “bathroom bill.” Because America.
A month later, people still seem unhappy about the ordinance because it allows trans people to use the bathroom that corresponds to their gender identity as opposed to that listed on their birth certificate. The thinking is that the sex on one’s certificate should be set in stone. Lost in this haughty indignation is the fact that everything on that birth certificate can be legally changed with the right form and a filing fee. In Connecticut, all you need is a PC-910 form and signed affidavit from a medical professional that you’ve undergone treatment. Therefore, that logic doesn’t hold water.

Speaking of holding water, some worry the passage of this legislation would allow men to stake out public restrooms and showers, endangering women and children. Beyond the fact that more than 100 cities in 18 states already afford these basic protections without a collapse of civilization as we know it, what about the creepy guys that are already staking out men’s restrooms? The guy from the next urinal who’s showing an unhealthy interest in my exposed plumbing or casually swiping through pictures on his phone while he sits in an open stall?

It’s the 21st Century, folks; the knuckle-draggers need to accept that sexual orientation is not a choice. Anyone who’s been to Giants Stadium knows that no sane person would ever willingly choose to stand in line for the women’s bathroom unless they absolutely had to. I’ve seen lines for Space Mountain that were shorter.

Of course, I have a dog in this fight. I’m for anything that lessens the number of men in the men’s restroom. On the whole, men are disgusting. They often have us urinating in troughs, for heaven sakes. I’ve heard some claim women’s bathrooms are dirtier than men’s, but I’m convinced those people are dirty, dirty liars.

For instance, I’ve never seen an actual toilet seat protector, only the empty dispenser. Whereas women have to sit as a matter of function, men sit on the throne only as an act of surrender. They use the toilet as a urinal and “sprinkle” the seat, leaving the next patron to cover that seat in toilet paper as if mummifying it. The patron after that is left with the horrible choice of unwrapping the mummy or calculating how long it might take to find another restroom.

Men have no problem entering the stall right next to you even when several others are open. God help you if the lock on the stall is broken; you’ll need to hold it closed for the “flybys,” where men rattle each door to see if it’s available. Airport restrooms are the worst. All decorum gets left on the plane; everything else seems to get left on the toilet seat and floor. I’m not offended by women who identify as men using the men’s room; I pity them for what they’ll find there.

I’d rather see legislation that punishes people who don’t flush or who neglect to tell you when you’ve got TP on your shoe. I want an ordinance that forces people to wash their hands, or at least wear a sign so I know not to touch them.

Seriously, don’t we have more important things to do than create straw men to justify our fear of the unfamiliar? This Game of (Switching) Thrones is much ado about nothing. Let’s stick to legitimate fears, like worrying whether or not that’s water on the restroom door handle.

You can read more at RobertFWalsh.net, contact him at rob@RobertFWalsh.net or follow him on Twitter @RobertFWalsh.