I remember back in 2007 hearing about the transgender issue for the first time. The city manager of Largo Florida, Steve Stanton, wanted to become Susan Stanton by way of having a sex change. When I read about it in what was then the St. Petersburg Times, I thought somebody had slipped a copy of The Onion on my doorstep disguised as the Times.
At the time, the bulk of Largo City Council was conservative if not of an older generation, and considered Stanton’s sex change something akin to sacrilege. Upon hearing of Stanton’s wishes to become a woman, the he who was about to become a she was promptly fired by the city commission who declared the sex change to be a breach of trust. My opinion at the time was that Stanton should have been allowed to stay on as the city manager, and that changing genders in of itself was not a firing offense.
Nowadays, there are new issues revolving around transgender-ism. The biggest question being: if a transgendered person wants to use the bathroom, where does he or she go? Target, and American chain of department stores similar to Walmart, declared that transgendered persons could use the bathroom of their choice. That led to a series of protests targeting the department chain who beg to differ on the issue.
If it were up to me, the ruling I would make would be to use the bathroom appropriate for whatever sex organs the individual had. But, that simplifies a very complicated issue. Last week, President Obama made a similar ruling to Target’s, and stated that transgendered persons could use the bathroom of their choice.
That complicates matters even further. Can kids fully grasp the various issues regarding the transgendered? Do they have the mental capacity to understand the issue fully, and do so without hazing or harassing, for example, a boy who wishes to use the girls room?
True, when we as individuals live at home, many of us have bathrooms that are used by both genders. But, when we go out, the bathrooms are broken down by gender so that strangers of opposite genders don’t get the perverted ideas that aren’t supposed to happen in a family setting. Forcing an inter-gender environment in schools? That’s something that could be abused if not closely watched.
There are no real ways to solve this problem neatly and cleanly. I just hope that while the issue is being further deliberated, arguments are allowed to proceed without things getting violent. No one should be harassed over the gender a person identifies with. It’s just, as Lady Gaga once said, the way they were born.