Welcome! To read each post in full, click on the post title.

This is not legal advice, which can only be given by an attorney admitted to practice law in your jurisdiction after hearing all of the facts and circumstances in a particular case.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Dear Abby weighs in on bathroom question

DEAR ABBY: I visited a city larger than the one in which I reside and encountered a problem.I was in a women's restroom when a man wearing a wig walked in. It was obvious that this 6-footer, dressed in a floral print dress and high heels, was a man.Should transvestites or transsexuals be allowed to use the ladies' restroom? -- Bewildered in Ada, Okla.

Dear Bewildered: There is a difference between a transvestite and a transsexual. A transsexual is a person who feels trapped in the body of the wrong sex. Before a transsexual is allowed to have gender reassignment surgery, he or she must live for one year in the role of someone of the opposite sex. This includes using the restroom facilities of the opposite gender. It is not against the law, and it was no threat to you.


Dear Abby is a cultural icon of no little weight. The bathroom question has been discussed previously here from the workplace/legal point of view, but the social etiquette issues have been left out. It's interesting how Dear Abby picks up Judge Grady's transsexual/transvestite distinction and runs with the ball. Perhaps they were good friends in the old days. I don't agree with the "trapped in the wrong body" analogy as a distinguishing characteristic of transsexuals, but it does unquestionably get the point across that this is no mere ogler attempting to get a look at the ladies. However, this doesn't mean that transvestites are attempting to do so, nor does "transvestite" mean "heterosexual man," just as "transsexual" doesn't mean "attracted to men." I note, in looking back at my post on Judge Grady, that I promised to discuss the transsexual/transvestite distinction in light of the Schroer opinion, but never got around to it. I'm tying a string around my finger right now, so expect to see something shortly.

No comments: