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Transman files complaint against spa

A Commentary

Timothy Kincaid

January 17th, 2013

From Windy City News:

Levi Pine, a Chicago transgender man, has filed an Illinois Dept. of Human Rights (IDHR) complaint against King Spa & Sauna in Niles, after a manager told him he would have to use a private shower or leave.

“The experience I had was particularly degrading,” said Pine.

Pine has been on masculinizing hormones for a year. When he went to the spa on Dec. 9 with a friend, he used the men’s shower facilities. Pine said the manager approached him while he was naked and asked to speak with him.

Both the manager and Pine tell the same story about what happened next.

The manager, who identified himself as John but declined to provide a last name to Windy City Times, questioned Pine about his gender. Pine told John that he was transgender, and John said he could provide Pine with a private shower.

Pine said he did not want a private shower and that he could use the same facilities used by other customers. But, John said, other customers had complained.

I support the rights of transpeople to self identify as to gender. I support the rights of transpeople to live in accordance with their gender identity.

And I understand that a transman is a man. Not a woman masquerading as a man. Not a kinda almost man. But a man.

However, if you happen to be a man with a vagina, you really do have to take that into consideration.

It’s no one’s business whether you have a penis, a vagina, both or neither. But when you get naked in front of their children, you make it their business. And the King Spa (a Korean Jjim-Jil-Bang spa) allows children.

As Kelli Busey eloquently blogged at planetransgender:

It’s not optional, it’s not a case of discrimination regardless of consequences, its our duty as citizens if a person has not had bottom surgery, full nudity must be considered a condition reserved for consenting adults. If children are present or the possibility exists a child could enter the room under those conditions, it’s not just wrong, it’s immoral.

NOTE: the original title “transman sues spa” has been revised for accuracy

Comments

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Boo
January 17th, 2013 | LINK

It’s immoral that children might have to be confronted with a situation they don’t understand and that would need to be explained to them? Doesn’t that kind of make all of childhood immoral?

We’re already talking about a situation where nudity is expected. Are there other sorts of body differences that one must keep shamefully hidden away so that others will not suffer the horror of seeing that people sometimes have differences, or is this just a special burdened reserved for the transgendered? If a man loses his genitals in an accident must he make sure never to take a public shower as well? Where exactly do you want to draw this line on the proper amount of body shame?

Boo
January 17th, 2013 | LINK

Oh, and if a man with a normal penis and testicles get naked in front of you in a public shower, is he too making his junk your business?

Robert
January 17th, 2013 | LINK

Boo-

These showers are gender specific and not mixed showers. Now if the person had had bottom surgery (term from the linked planettransgender site, not my own) then it would be perfectly acceptable.

It is a difficult situation, but the parents of three year olds should be able to take their child into a mens shower without having to explain why that man has a vagina. YOU are making a choice for them as to when it is appropriate for them to discuss this issue with their child. If this had been an adults only gym, I’d be in agreement with you, but this becomes a situation where one set of rights steps on another set of rights, and I have to aggree that it is not an appropriate situation. I also think it was appropriate for the manager to offer a solution, even if it didn’t meet the expectations of the customer.

This is not just about using a bathroom, in a bathroom when doing your business you usually don’t have company or an audience.

Marcus
January 17th, 2013 | LINK

So a child seeing a stranger’s penis is okay, but a child seeing a stranger’s vagina is immoral. Makes perfect sense.

gsingjane
January 17th, 2013 | LINK

Just out of curiosity, would people feel the same if the situation were reversed… if the transgender person had male genitalia and was showering in a women’s-only shower area, and young girls were exposed to it?

And, also out of curiosity, I wonder how many people here do have or had young children? Do you think your opinion is the same or different based on whether that has been within your life experience?

Priya Lynn
January 17th, 2013 | LINK

Gsingjane said “Just out of curiosity, would people feel the same if the situation were reversed… if the transgender person had male genitalia and was showering in a women’s-only shower area, and young girls were exposed to it?”.

I’m not one of those people who thinks if its okay for one sex, or bad for one sex to do its the same way with the other. So, I think it is worse if a transgender person had male genitalia and was showering in a women’s only area and young girls were exposed to it.
I think it is worse when a male teacher has sex with a female student than when a female teacher has sex with a male student. I don’t think the crimes are equal.

Sami
January 17th, 2013 | LINK

“the parents of three year olds should be able to take their child into a mens shower without having to explain why that man has a vagina. YOU are making a choice for them as to when it is appropriate for them to discuss this issue with their child.”

the parents of three year olds should be able to take their child to a park without having to explain why that man is holding hands with another man. YOU are making a choice for them as to when it is appropriate for them to discuss this issue with their child.

Rick L.
January 17th, 2013 | LINK

What do women do there? Sami, were you ever a child? Did your parents answer every one of your questions immediately and completely? Did you never hear the words, “I’ll tell you later.” or “You’ll understand when your older.” Why are children showering with strange men anyway? Wouldn’t it make more sense for the child and his or her parent to use a private bathing area? In any social context, balance between the good of the many and the good of the individual must reach some (albeit uncomfortable) balance.

chiMaxx
January 17th, 2013 | LINK

Sorry, but Kelli Busey’s comment is as inane as her post is illiterate. A case can be made one way or the other whether Mr. Pine’s showering in a public shower where there may be children is “wrong”–rights of the children and their parents ve the right of Mr. Pine to be accepted as fully male even before completed surgery.

In the comments to her own article, Busey argues that this sort of case can work against increasing social acceptance of transgender people (“forcing establishments with public accommodations to allow our nudity in front of children is an agenda killer if there ever was one.”)–and I see how that might be true–or it might cast trans people as wimps who won’t stand up for their own rights. In short, it recapitulates the old assimilationist vs. confrontationist arguments in the gay rights movement.

But immoral? Mere nudity is never immoral. Unexpected nudity may be shocking or socially unacceptable. But nudity in and of itself is never immoral.

Boo
January 17th, 2013 | LINK

“These showers are gender specific and not mixed showers. Now if the person had had bottom surgery (term from the linked planettransgender site, not my own) then it would be perfectly acceptable.”

So once again, a man loses his genitals to an accident, is he now a woman who should not use male showers? (And yes as far as I know “bottom surgery” is a fine term to use although I am not FtM so do not take my word as gospel) You either accept the gender of transgendered people or you don’t.

“It is a difficult situation, but the parents of three year olds should be able to take their child into a mens shower without having to explain why that man has a vagina.”

It is a difficult situation, but I should be able to take my niece to the park without having to explain why those two men over on that bench are kissing. After all, two men kissing is DIFFERENT, and every child has an inalienable right to go through childhood without having to confront the reality that sometimes one runs across things that are DIFFRERENT. You know, cause it’s icky n’ stuff.

“YOU are making a choice for them as to when it is appropriate for them to discuss this issue with their child.”

YOU are making the choice to act as though you have some sort of right to exist in the world with a body that is different from the statistical norm, and that might require a brief explanation to those who have not yet encountered said difference. Which is of course nonsense. The correct response to the sin of posessing a body different from the norm is to maintain an appropriate level of shame. For the children. Which is also why all gay people stay in the closet where they damn well belong. And blacks should probably stay at least somewhat out of sight. Because children. And confusion. And immoral. (Jews too)

“If this had been an adults only gym, I’d be in agreement with you, but this becomes a situation where one set of rights steps on another set of rights, and I have to aggree that it is not an appropriate situation. I also think it was appropriate for the manager to offer a solution, even if it didn’t meet the expectations of the customer.”

Yeah, because an adults and children common shower is not the sort of place where you should expect to expose your children to other adults. Particularly not those who are DIFFERENT and who fail to maintain an appropriate level of shame regarding their DIFFERENCE.

“This is not just about using a bathroom, in a bathroom when doing your business you usually don’t have company or an audience.”

As opposed to a public shower where you do expect to have company but also for some reason expect the random cross section of humanity within will respect your right to police their bodies.

Okay, here’s the thing: I love this site and the awesome work it does, and at the end of the day, I don’t think Timothy is a transphobe, but let me say this as delicately as I can: FUCK your privileged assumed right to police other peoples bodies right in its ear.

People whose bodies are different than the norm exist. And if you have a problem with that, it’s YOUR problem, not their’s.

Boo
January 17th, 2013 | LINK

“And, also out of curiosity, I wonder how many people here do have or had young children? Do you think your opinion is the same or different based on whether that has been within your life experience?”

I don’t think your right to police other people’s bodies increases in direct proportion to the number of children you have, no.

charlie
January 17th, 2013 | LINK

The manager handled this perfectly appropriately. He did not denigrate the customer, publicly shame him or kick him out. He offered him a private shower and is being sued for it. This is a homophobe’s wet dream. Everything they say is coming true.

The customer is doing himself and the community and huge disservice. He has a vagina. Screw the kids argument. I don’t want to see that and candidly he is a her in the eyes of the law and his current anatomy.

This is just an act of selfishness. Everyone else be damned and I will do what I want.

charlie
January 17th, 2013 | LINK

Boo-actually you have this completely backward. Big dick small dick yeah there are difference; BUT Those are male parts. A vagina is a vagina and when I go in a male shower I don’t expect to see one. I shouldn’t have to. I am not policing anyone’s body. I am not transphobic but until he gets a dick he shouldn’t shower in the men’s shower.

This isn’t the same as two guys holding hands. It is the same as a naked lady trying to shower with guys or vice versa. PERIOD.

Boo
January 17th, 2013 | LINK

“Big dick small dick yeah there are difference; BUT Those are male parts.”

So answer the question I’ve posed twice already: non-trans guy loses junk in tragic accident- does he stop being a he and have to shower with women or in hir own special “So as not to trouble normal people” shower?

“A vagina is a vagina and when I go in a male shower I don’t expect to see one. I shouldn’t have to. I am not policing anyone’s body.”

Two plus two equals four. I didn’t just say that two plus two equals four. (If you’re not subtle enough to get the point, yes charlie, you JUST DID assert a right to police other peoples bodies. And that’s not even getting into the question of why you have a habit of looking at other guys genitals in the shower in the first place. Somehow I, in all my lesbianity, manage to avoid staring at other women’s crotches when I am in a gym shower.)

“This isn’t the same as two guys holding hands. It is the same as a naked lady trying to shower with guys or vice versa. PERIOD.”

At least you’re honest enough to admit that you don’t see trans guys as guys.

Timothy Kincaid
January 18th, 2013 | LINK

Boo,

I’ll answer your question.

In all of the history of war – which is the history of the human race – there have been many many men who have lost their genitalia. By tooth and claw, by rock, by spear, by sword, by gun and by all the horrors the human mind can construct.

But never – not once in the annals of combat – has a man lost his genitals and had them replaced by a vagina.

Andrew
January 18th, 2013 | LINK

I say fuck it all and have one shower for everyone. You wanna see variety? You surely will.

Ben
January 18th, 2013 | LINK

I notice how Timothy skipped right over this comparison posed multiple times,
“…the parents of three year olds should be able to take their child to a park without having to explain why that man is holding hands with another man. YOU are making a choice for them as to when it is appropriate for them to discuss this issue with their child…”

Probably because it totally destroys his selective opinions that only ever favor white gay men like himself.

Body shaming has no place in modern society, but Americans take it to a new art.

Josh
January 18th, 2013 | LINK

(Forgive my bluntness, I’m a blunt person.)

Timothy–you didn’t actually answer Boo’s question, which was, “does he stop being a he and have to shower with women or in hir [sic?] own special “So as not to trouble normal people” shower?” You imply yes, but you didn’t say it. And even then, why do you think whatever it is you think? Your post seems like rather pointless rhetoric. (It’s well-written though, in the sense that it’s interesting to read, but not in the sense that it’s well thought-out.)

The original post is also rather crappy. Part of the crux of the point it tries to make, “full nudity must be considered a condition reserved for consenting adults”, is just ridiculous. Young children are naked around each other all the time. Another ‘gem’: “If children are present or the possibility exists a child could enter the room under those conditions, it’s not just wrong, it’s immoral.” This is just wildly incomplete. Why is it wrong? Why immoral? What rational basis can we have for shielding children especially from the sight of a transman showering in the men’s locker room? The rest of the post offers no real details. It’s all gut reaction and ultimately undefinable (“moral responsibility”, “duty as citizens”?) nonsense.

In general I tend to agree with Boo. I don’t see much difference between “forcing” people to see a vagina when they expect penises and “forcing” people to see me kiss my boyfriend when they expect a girlfriend. “Think of the children” applies to both cases, but I reject it out of hand in the second case, so for consistency’s sake I tend to reject it in the first case as well.

On the other side, the only thing the pro-manager arguments have convinced me of is that gay people are often remarkably bad about extending the same acceptance we’ve sought to other minorities. An emotional reaction is just too easy for anyone to jump to, I suppose.

To finally offer an answer to Boo’s actual question, this hypothetical guy certainly does not stop being a “he” in the sense of having male gender identity, having him shower with women would be unhelpful since he didn’t magically acquire a vagina, and he shouldn’t have to get a special shower because it’s pretty much impossible to define “normal” in the first place and say objectively who should and should not shower in the special area. In general people should just grow some damn thicker skin already and move on with their lives.

gsingjane
January 18th, 2013 | LINK

Okay, understood that people with different genitalia, or non-standard bodies, or however you want to put it, have rights. I am surprised, though, that these rights are seen to trump the parents’ rights vis-a-vis their children. Without, hopefully, sounding like a Neanderthal conservative, it does seem to me that parents have “some” rights to filter or monitor what their young children are exposed to, without being accused of engaging in “body shaming” or “policing.”

I thought really hard about this yesterday and tried to figure out how I would have felt when my own children were young. I don’t know that I would have reacted with outright horror, but I’m pretty sure I would have been fairly uncomfortable with it. Not all families are okay with adult nudity, and particularly nudity between the two sexes. Although there is a time when children are pretty free and easy with their bodies, later on they do seem to become much more modest – certainly, at least in our family, after a fairly early point, nobody walked around without clothing. I don’t feel, so much, that I would have been angry to have to “explain” to my child about transgenderism (as noted, this is a fact of life) as I would have been startled and probably pretty taken aback. Maybe even a little bit threatened; like, what is this person doing here?

Maybe this is a silly side point, but I wonder, too, about the facilities at this spa. Most gyms that I’ve ever been in have private showers and changing rooms, and it would be pretty unusual to be walking around unclothed, unless you really wanted to. You would wonder about someone’s motivation for doing that.

I don’t think there is a parallel at all with seeing two men or women kissing or holding hands. There is a giant difference between witnessing mild forms of affection and seeing someone without clothes on, for heaven’s sakes.

Boo
January 18th, 2013 | LINK

Timothy- and was this guy doing the squat-down-and-lean-back with his legs spread wide to give everyone a full on view of the dreaded vag, waiting like the Sarlacc to devour its victims (pre digitally enhanced version, of course)? Because if not then what you’re going to see when you look at his crotch is lack of external genitals, covered with hair. And if, in that situation, you find yourself craning to get a better look in the hopes of catching a bit of labia, then something is wrong with you.

What you actually meant, Timothy, is that you accept transmen as men in many situations, but not all. Which doesn’t make you a full on transphobe, but does mean you have a bit of a blind spot and/or privileged assumptions. (Hey, most of us do about something somewhere)

I do appreciate you giving us a taste of which non-standard genital configurations pass your test of acceptability. What I think we really need is some sort of chart, incorporating both examples already noted here, as well as intersexed people, both those lucky enough to escape the surgeon’s knife and those not, post-phalloplasty FtMs whose results do not perfectly resemble those of non-reconstructed phalluses (perhaps some kind of sliding scale of acceptability could be used, with “ok in dim light” at one end and “EEEEEEEK” at the other), and whatever other variations an extensive internet search might happen to turn up. And of course it’s only fair to include post-vaginoplasty MtFs with less than ideal cosmetic results. After all, the regular police rely on a written body of law which everyone can be expected to learn and follow. The body police owe us no less consideration.

That’s assuming it’s actually a matter of body configuration and not simply the violation of gendered expectations per se that’s bugging you. Cause gay guys are all about upholding normative gender expectations, amiright?

Boo
January 18th, 2013 | LINK

gsingjane- If you don’t want your children exposed to random naked bodies and the possibility that some of them might have genitals in non-standard configurations, then by all means don’t make the choice to take them into a communal adult-and-child shower. You did know that that is the specific situation we’re talking about here?

gsingjane
January 18th, 2013 | LINK

Actually, no. I would never expect my girls to be exposed to male genitalia in a women’s locker room. Telling me to “just keep out if you don’t like it” is (a) insensitive and (b) completely ignoring the reality of the situation, which is that no parent would EVER expect to see “gender variant” people in a communal shower.

I understand, maybe not as well as some folks, but I do get it that being a trans person can feel very lonely and stigmatized. It must be terrible, and I am sure nobody wishes this for themselves. However, there has to be some balancing of the feelings and concerns of everybody, not just the trans person. To just say to parents in this situation, tough, suck it up, is just as demeaning, in its own way, as it is to tell the trans person to get lost.

I’ll also add, if I had a child who’d been exposed unwillingly to adult genitals, in the abuse context, I would be particularly opposed to this. In that situation I probably wouldn’t put the child in any situation where they’d be with nude adults, of either sex, but especially where, for instance, a girl had been sexually abused by a male, I’d be especially concerned.

Jaime
January 18th, 2013 | LINK

Because of my medical background, I can tend to agree with Boo. It seems to me a basic parent’s responsibility to explain to children the differences in the variations in people and circumstance that they are exposed to and providing appropriate guidance for how to respond. Historically the stigmatization of people with gender variant anatomy, injury, or illness has precluded these people from being open with their bodies. Any public forum, even if gender identified is by definition public, and highlights the responsibilities of being a parent. Difficultly in adequately responding logically/empathically/graciously is why sheltering children is usually the preferred response.

Jay
January 18th, 2013 | LINK

Can’t people simply avert their eyes from other people’s junk in a common shower if they don’t want to look?

Boo
January 18th, 2013 | LINK

gsingjane- Well, in the first place, we’re talking about a guy with a vagina in the men’s showers, not a girl with a penis in the women’s showers. If you want to make a case that a penis in an all female area could be preceived as threatening, go ahead and make that case. It’s just that that isn’t what we’re talking about. I submit to you that no one who may or may not have complained about that guy in the men’s showers was worried about being raped.

In the second, the argument that the rights of the minority must always be sacrificed for the comfort of the majority has a long and very ugly history, and there are many people out there who are just as uncomfortable with seeing two guys kiss as you are at seeing the “wrong” set of genitals in the gym.

Martin
January 18th, 2013 | LINK

I have to agree with Boo – unless this guy was in some kind of exaggerated bend-over-and-spread-’em pose, there is no way that anyone using the showers in an appropriate manner could have seen his vagina. All that anyone would see is a lot of pubic hair and an absence of the usual male external genitalia. I fail to see how this is different from seeing a biological male who has lost his external genitalia.

In a common shower, one is going to see a certain number of bodies with missing or atypical parts. A parent who wishes to take a child into such a place ought to be prepared to handle any comments or questions with the old standby, “We’ll talk about it later.”

Unless you lock him/her in a windowless bunker with no TV or Internet, your child is going to see things that you wish they hadn’t. Your job as a parent is to handle those situations as appropriately as possible.

Chris
January 18th, 2013 | LINK

The headline here is not at all accurate. Filing a state human rights complaint isn’t the same as filing a lawsuit. It’s an administrative procedure, not a court procedure.

Jim Burroway
January 18th, 2013 | LINK

Ben,

While I recognize the sensitivity of this subject, this has nothing to do with race whatsoever. Please keep your comments within the scope of the topic at hand.

Timothy Kincaid
January 18th, 2013 | LINK

Gsingjane,

This is a Korean Jjim-Jil-Bang spa. It’s a very different culture than a gym or a western day-spa.

Timothy Kincaid
January 18th, 2013 | LINK

Thanks Chris. You’re right it was a complaint, not a civil lawsuit. I’ve changed the title.

Priya Lynn
January 18th, 2013 | LINK

Charlie said “The customer is doing himself and the community and huge disservice. He has a vagina. Screw the kids argument. I don’t want to see that and candidly he is a her in the eyes of the law and his current anatomy.

This is just an act of selfishness. Everyone else be damned and I will do what I want.”

People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. When you say “I don’t want to see that” and think you have a right to not see people you find distasteful you’re just as selfish as you say he is. I don’t want to see ugly people naked when I’m in a public changeroom but I recognize it’d be awfully selfish of me to think I have a right to not be exposed to them.

Josh said “this hypothetical guy certainly does not stop being a “he” in the sense of having male gender identity, having him shower with women would be unhelpful since he didn’t magically acquire a vagina…”.

Many anti-gays insist this transman is a woman. Would the readers here prefer, as the anti-gays imply they prefer, to see this transman with his beard and hairy masculine body showering naked with little girls in the women’s area? If you think about that I suspect you’ll agree that its better he shower in the mens showers rather than the womens. Or do you really want to say that a transman isn’t acceptable for anyone to see?

Gsingjane said “Without, hopefully, sounding like a Neanderthal conservative, it does seem to me that parents have “some” rights to filter or monitor what their young children are exposed to,”.

Yes, to a degree but as a matter of justice I think we all have to recognize that parents have less of a right to filter and monitor what their children are exposed to in public than they do in private. As you said earlier, rights need to be balanced.

I have mixed feelings about this topic, but I think Boo makes a pretty good case. I was inclined to agree with Timothy at first but after reading the comments I’m leaning back towards Boo.

Priya Lynn
January 18th, 2013 | LINK

Gsingjane said “I don’t think there is a parallel at all with seeing two men or women kissing or holding hands. There is a giant difference between witnessing mild forms of affection and seeing someone without clothes on, for heaven’s sakes.”.

No parallel at all? The situations may not be exactly equivalent but there sure is a lot of similarity between them and I dont’ think you’ve justified the different treatment in the somewhat similar situations – there is an expectation that children will see someone without clothes on in this place.

Robert
January 18th, 2013 | LINK

Priya, in your last post, you discussed a transman with beard etc..showwering in the womens showers and yes, that would be a difficult situation, but I’m seeing here, in almost all the defenders of this individuals rights, that most people just skip over the issue if the person was a male to female pre-op bottom surgery. Would you feel comfortable in a shower full of women and one woman had a penis? Would you feel comfortable if your two year old was there? Now, everyone wants to ignore that, it get’s ignored or whitewashed above in the comments, but I bet most of you would be feeling different if the GENDER assignment target was different than in this situation. I’m pretty sure that many would get worked up if they saw a woman in the shower with brests and a penis. But for some reason, when it’s reversed and it’s a ftm who still has a vagina it’s allright to insist men and boys be exposed but not the other way around.

And Boo-
As I said, if this were an adults gym I would be all for full integration in the locker room. But your entire thing about WHY are men looking at other mens junk in the showers is sort of difficult to explain. Guys just do. Straight guys, gay guys, all of us, we just look. I’m glad you feel superior in the fact that you don’t check out the girls, but again, guys, all of us, just DO.

When two sets of rights clash, which set of rights win? Why is COMPROMISE such a bad thing? They did not ask the individual to leave the spa, they simply asked for a compromise so everyon gets to use the facilities.

As for the false comparrison of two same sex people kissing (I notice all of the examples here use two men, why is that? -Two MEN are always a scarier picture, right?) and how parents explain that. It’s easy, “They like each other”. Parents have an easier time trying to explain actions then they do biology and anatomy and gender identity issues. Also, most of the issues here are being thought of from an adult POV, (Why are YOU-an adult-looking at peoples junk?) rather than the obvious point that kids don’t have that filter and will look wherever they happen to look. The issue isn’t about the adults and their comfort with the individual, but adults of parents that now have to explain to their child why that man has a vagina.

Also, this spa has gone to the trouble to set very specific rules on their locker rooms. Kids under a certain age are only allowed in their own gender locker room, and only with someone of the same gender. Yes, these parents know their child will see a naked person, but they are under the impression that they will only be seeing the same junk they have.

I only have two trans friends, both male to female, and I asked about this. They both said unless they had the bottom surgery, they felt it inappropriate, until they were post op. But they are of a certain age (50+) and the standards have changed a lot in the last few years. They demand their rights while still respecting the fact that other people have rights too.

Priya Lynn
January 18th, 2013 | LINK

Robert said “Priya, in your last post, you discussed a transman with beard etc..showwering in the womens showers and yes, that would be a difficult situation, but I’m seeing here, in almost all the defenders of this individuals rights, that most people just skip over the issue if the person was a male to female pre-op bottom surgery. Would you feel comfortable in a shower full of women and one woman had a penis? Would you feel comfortable if your two year old was there? Now, everyone wants to ignore that, it get’s ignored or whitewashed above in the comments, but I bet most of you would be feeling different if the GENDER assignment target was different than in this situation. I’m pretty sure that many would get worked up if they saw a woman in the shower with brests and a penis. But for some reason, when it’s reversed and it’s a ftm who still has a vagina it’s allright to insist men and boys be exposed but not the other way around.”.

I didn’t skip over that issue, I addressed it in my first post on this topic – go back and look.

Yes, I would feel different if it was a male to female pre-op transexual in a shower full of women and little girls. I feel that is less acceptable than a female to male pre-op transexual in a shower full of men and little boys. I feel it would be less acceptable to have a female to male pre-op transexual in the women’s area rather than the men’s. I think if you asked most people they’d say they’d ratther see a pre-op transman in the men’s rather than the women’s showers.

I don’t think this is a case where if we allow a pre-op trans man to be in the men’s shower we have to allow a pre-op transwoman in the women’s shower.

As I said earlier, I think its a serious crime when a male teacher has sex with a female student, but I don’t feel its a serious crime when a female teacher has sex with a male student. I think there’s a lot of important differences between men and women so I don’t see this as a double standard.

Ben
January 18th, 2013 | LINK

Thanks for this post, Tim. I agree with it completely. This is a parallel story to that of “Colleen Francis,” who is alleged to have lounged around in a women’s locker, exposing her penis to underaged girls on a swim team. The trans activists are presently comparing anyone who objects to the KKK.

The unfortunate thing IMO is that gay civil rights is now being tied to these bizarre issues. There are probably no more than a few hundred “men with vaginas”, i.e. transmen who have transitioned on top but not below, in the US and even fewer who feel the need to join spas and gyms and expose themselves. But according to groups like NGLTF, no gay civil rights law is worth passing unless it covers the right of a heterosexual transperson to parade around nude in a public gym. This cult-like insistence on including gender identity in all gay civil rights legislation is the reason there is protection from sexual orientation discrimination in Anchorage Alaska or Salina KS today. It is all or nothing said to the cult of LGBT, so the people of Anchorage and Salina last year voted for nothing. Linking these 2 issues is the single worst mistake the gay civil rights movement ever made.

Timothy Kincaid
January 18th, 2013 | LINK

I think that our culture – and probably most of us – have a gut level response similar to Priya Lynn’s: penes in women space are more troublesome than vaginae in men space.

But I very much doubt that a business could make or enforce rules that allow one but not the other. So when it comes to rules – and this is such a situation – it is relevant to consider the more “extreme” (or what culture would consider so).

There are some who simply say, “meh, have one shower”. And that’s a consistent position. But, pragmatically, it’s not likely to be a response that is accepted by the spa’s customers.

So, then, where should a spa draw the line?

We could say that gender identity is what matters. And that is the base position (or, I’d say the automatic emotional response) that our community (including me and probably many of you) start from.

But gender identity precedes appearance and that can be problematic. At what point is it that a MtF (because we must apply the same rules) woman should use the women’s shower – irrespective of their true gender?

Now I’m sure we all agree that a fully male appearing person cannot simply show up and tell the manager, “yeah, I’m one of them there trannies and I’m gunna shower with the naked chicks, heh heh.”

But I wonder if some here, in perhaps a sense of solidarity or quest for civil rights and human dignity, would be perfectly okay with a fully male appearing person to shower with “the naked chicks”, provided he really and truly were transgender and was at the beginning of transitioning.

While that might make some logic from the ‘threat’ perspective, it completely ignores the civil rights and human dignity of the naked chicks. Surely we can agree that the emotional well being of a transperson is neither less nor more important than that of other people.

So when is it okay? When do civil rights and human dignity of one balance the civil rights and human dignity of the others? When is one person’s sense of emotional security given equal consideration with another’s?

Is it when the transwoman shaves and grows longer hair? Is it when she has body hair removed? Is it when she has breast surgery? Is it when she – generally – appears like a female, but with a penis?

I think that “I have a right to display my penis anywhere I like, even if there are young girls around” is no more ethical coming from a transwoman than it is coming from a cisgender male. And it certainly isn’t going to endear us to parents of any gender, orientation, or political persuasion.

(Probably the best response you can hope for is, “That’s great, ma’am, but you need to keep your penis put away while you’re around my daughter.” and the more likely response would be decidedly less civil.)

So therein lies the crux of the matter.

Few are going to advocate for penes in the women’s shower and, legally, one set of rules for penes and another for vaginae is not going to fly.

Here’s my line: No penes in the women’s shower, no vaginae in the men’s shower.

While I’m appreciative of the sense of discrimination, let’s get real. In a Korean Jjim-Jil-Bang spa, one in which male and female customers are segregated by sex and which children attend, where would you draw the line?

I’ve given mine. Some find it unreasonable. But I don’t yet see where their line would be.

Priya Lynn
January 18th, 2013 | LINK

Timothy said “Few are going to advocate for penes in the women’s shower and, legally, one set of rules for penes and another for vaginae are not going to fly.”.

You may be right, but I’m not convinced of it. Equal isn’t always equitable and certainly there are occasions where men and women are treated differently under the law and I think should be. Its kind of like when people say gays have the same right to marry an opposite sex partner that heterosexuals do. I think of the situation where a workplace installs its first bathrooms for its employees but only installs urinals and says women have the same access to them that men do. Sometimes to be equitable we need to treat men and women differently.

Timothy Kincaid
January 18th, 2013 | LINK

Priya Lynn,

Where would you draw the line – for both the women’s and the men’s showers at such a facility?

Priya Lynn
January 18th, 2013 | LINK

To be honest, I don’t want to take a firm position on this issue, I think there’s a lot of competing interests and as Gsingjane says rights need to be balanced. I can see it from both viewpoints and to take a firm position on it and say “This or that is morally right” I’d have to put tremendous thought into it and go right to the beginning and question whether or not there should even be gender segregated spaces.

With a lot of this stuff I think all we have are relatively blunt solutions and there’s always going to be some inequities and problems regardless.

Having said that, if it was left up to me I might say pre-op male to female transexuals in a seperate space and and hairy pre-op female to male transexuals okay in a men’s space, but don’t hold me to that, lol.

Sami
January 18th, 2013 | LINK

So when Tony Perkins says we’re disgusting freaks who would scar children for life if they knew the reality of our lives you agree with him, but you disagree when he says that about you.

I have every right to use the same facilities as the rest of my gender, whether I’ve paid tens of thousands for the surgery or not, and I’m not gonna put up with someone defending discrimination against me.

This’ll be the last comment I ever leave on this site.

Robert
January 18th, 2013 | LINK

Priya Lynn,

Your argument boils down to MTF have less rights than FTM.

Also, why is it that people think it’s okay to force men to look at a vagina, but not force women to look at a penis? On a personal note, I abhor vaginas, they creep me out. I don’t like looking at them, nor do I feel you have a right to force me to when I go into a male locker room.

And I’m a little shocked that you think it’s not “as criminal” for an adult woman to have sex with a teen boy, but “more criminal” for a male adult to have sex with a female teen.

It’s criminal either way. You seem to make a lot of allowances for women that you do not for men. Seperate but equal does not mean equal, it means seperate. Either all transgender people are treated with equal respect or they are not. Making rules based on what gender one is transitioning to, is unfair to both.)

I do find it telling that more women would be upset at seeing a penis in the showers than allow for men being upset by seein a vagina in the showers. Shows we all have sexist tendencies.

( side note, please note in my last post, I said “most people” specifically because I saw that you touched on this subject, but MOST PEOPLE skip over it. I was not pointing a finger at you in that regard).

Robert
January 18th, 2013 | LINK

Sami,

How in the world do you ever expect people to learn about an issue, and evolve, if we don’t discuss it?

Really, you could try educating us, you could talk about the issue, you could express a view. Sadly, too often, we belittle and demean others when talking about gender, race and other similar issues, simply because some of us might be ignorant of all the issues as you might see them.

My best friend is a lovely woman who happens to be black, I am not. We have had some intersting discussions on race due to the fact that she doesn’t get upset when some of my view or questions might seem stupid in her view. we do NOT learn or advance without discussing the issues.

If you don’t want people to move forward, or to grow, then yes, quit the conversation. But if you want people to understand, that requires a conversation, and education.

Let’s use Priya Lynn as an example (hope she doesn’t mind). Note she started out on one side of the issue, and as the CONVERSATION expanded, her view moved. Isn’t that the entire point? Moving forward to a more inclusive world? We can’t do it if people are to outraged to participate.

Priya Lynn
January 18th, 2013 | LINK

Robert said “Priya Lynn,

Your argument boils down to MTF have less rights than FTM.”.

Right, just like women are allowed to be rape crisis counselors while men may be rejected for that job.

Robert said “Also, why is it that people think it’s okay to force men to look at a vagina, but not force women to look at a penis? On a personal note, I abhor vaginas, they creep me out. I don’t like looking at them, nor do I feel you have a right to force me to when I go into a male locker room.”.

Because, as a generalization, men are aggressive with a tendency to be predatory while women are not. As a generalization penises are potentially threatening and vaginas are not. This is not to say that there are no women who are like stereotypical men, or no men who are like stereotypical women, it is to say that rules are often a blunt instrument and sometimes the best we can do is to maximize the number of people we accomodate. If pre-op transmen are using the mens facilities, no one is forcing you to look at their vaginas, you can choose to avoid those spaces just as I can if I don’t want to see ugly naked people.

Robert said “And I’m a little shocked that you think it’s not “as criminal” for an adult woman to have sex with a teen boy, but “more criminal” for a male adult to have sex with a female teen.”.

Once again, as a generalization when males and females have sex males benefit more and females risk more. To a degree regardless of age, a male is more likely to be taking advantage of a female than vice versa. As a generalization a fourteen year old male is in a position of power over his 25 year old female teacher and a 25 year old male teacher is in a position of power over his fourteen year old female student. In general I think a multi-year prison sentence for a male teacher having sex with a female student is appropriate and probation and community service is an appropriate sentence for a female teacher having sex with her male student.

Priya Lynn
January 18th, 2013 | LINK

When I refer to the male being in a position of power over the female I mean during a sexual encounter.

Jarred
January 18th, 2013 | LINK

Robert said:

Really, you could try educating us,

Sami could. But Sami is not obligated to do so. Given the fact that “educate me” is a common derailing tactic, I can appreciate Sami’s hesitancy to wish to take on that role, regardless whether derailment is the intent of you or anyone else here.

But yeah, telling or even implying — which I think you did — that Sami is somehow obligated to act as BTB’s personal educator on this topic is troublesome at best.

Timothy Kincaid
January 18th, 2013 | LINK

Sami,

No I do not think you are disgusting freaks who would scar children for life if they knew the reality of your lives. Didn’t say it, don’t believe it. I think that I don’t want penes in the women’s showers or vaginae in the men’s.

I hope you don’t decide to never contribute here again based on a misperception about what some others may believe. Or, for that matter, that others disagree with you.

Charlie
January 18th, 2013 | LINK

Boo, I think you are actually just somehow upset about the fact that everyday vagina flashing isn’t something that goes on.

I am not judging the person. I am judging the act which is selfish and disrespectful. Do you really think it is ok for someone with opposite sex genitals to go in the male shower?

How pissed would you be if men came in the woman’s shower? Wherever this person is mentally the body doesn’t yet match. I am not a trams phobe. I don’t believe that this is acceptable or respectful behavior.

And since you want to know, all dudes check out cock in the shower. It is a man thing. You wouldn’t get it.

Priya Lynn
January 18th, 2013 | LINK

Charlie said “I am not judging the person. I am judging the act which is selfish and disrespectful.”.

As I said earlier:

People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. When you say “I don’t want to see that” and think you have a right to not see people you find distasteful you’re just as selfish as you say he is. I don’t want to see ugly people naked when I’m in a public changeroom but I recognize it’d be awfully selfish of me to think I have a right to not be exposed to them.

Michael C
January 18th, 2013 | LINK

First, I would like to applaud Levi for feeling good enough about his body to use a public shower. For most transfolk, much of their lives are spent feeling awkward in their skin. I can’t imagine how exhilarating it must feel to see your body start to match your inner self.

As for locker rooms, the binary mens/womens system is not perfect because (obviously) gender is not always binary. However, the purpose of separate locker rooms is not to keep men and women apart, it is to keep naked boy-parts and naked girl-parts separated. While I respect Levi’s maleness, I wish he would have a little more sensitivity for others. I wish him all the best on his continuing journey but until his body fully matches his gender he should respectfully make use of the private showers provided for by the King Spa & Sauna.

Carlo
January 18th, 2013 | LINK

I’m sorry, but I’m in agreement with Boo and Josh. In my opinion this situation and article is trans-phobic. People need to get over their fears and ignorance when it comes to nudity and ‘exposing’ children to something they won’t understand and might, god forbid, have questions about.

I mean. come on. Children all over the world are exposed to and confronted with situations deemed inappropriate in the U.S. and this often says more about the privileges some children and families are afforded here compared to the rest of the world.
Even this idea that ‘kids should be allowed to be kids,’ just screams of privilege that many children in our own country lack.

I think the worse thing we can do to children is teach them to be ashamed of their bodies and differences in bodies no matter what those differences may be.

Whether or not something is what may be expected in the locker room environment, at some point critical reasoning needs to be applied to these situations rather than allowing gut feelings to determine the so-called ‘appropriate’ reaction.

Worse still, the article itself, once again, exposes Timothy Kincaid’s complete ignorance to anything outside of the realm of white gay males.

gsingjane
January 18th, 2013 | LINK

I do understand and acknowledge that there may be a big generational divide about this (as with so many things). For a somewhat similar example, my older daughter currently attends an all-women’s college. However, in her house, there is also a person who identifies as female yet is biologically male and, so far as I know, has not yet had reassignment surgery. (There was some controversy earlier on, years before my daughter arrived, as to whether the college would admit such folks, but it seems to have been resolved in favor of, “if you say you’re a female, so far as we’re concerned, you’re a female.”)

I would not have felt comfortable at all had my daughter been assigned to room with this person, yet my daughter – herself – says “it’s no big deal, mom.” Now who knows, this may to some extent be false sophistication, but certainly she does seem much more open and less concerned about this kind of thing than I am.

Perhaps it is another one of those issues where in twenty years everyone will be wondering what all the fuss was about.

Timothy Kincaid
January 18th, 2013 | LINK

Ben and Carols,

How fascinating it is to discover that people who have never met me “know” that I’m white, while those who meet me usually just ask me about my ethnicity.

No – though sometimes it’s the easiest description – I don’t usually identify as “white”, I don’t work with white people, don’t usually date white people, and I haven’t lived in a “white neighborhood” in decades.

Which all should free me to hate white people. Just like you do.

But I can’t bring myself to do so. Which is just too bad.

Oh how privileged it must be to be able to flaunt your racism and sexism and homophobia AND to feel justified in your race-based, sex-based, and orientation-based hatred. How joyous it must be to feel entitled to dismiss entirely another person’s views based solely on their race, gender, and orientation.

And Oh how I wish I were privileged and entitled to be be brimming over with hatred like you are.

But I can’t. Sadly.

I dunno whether is my melanin, penis, or gender attraction that get in the way, but something stops me from lashing out at others over attributes real or imagined and establishing supremacy over them because my race or gender or orientation make me superior.

Lucky you. You’re very special. And entitled. And privileged.

Robert
January 18th, 2013 | LINK

Jarred,

I think telling someone NOT to walk away from the conversation is a good thing, sorry you seem to think it means something else. Just like with the “awareness” campaign started by LGBT groups nationwide in order to get more inclussion and awareness that we exist.

Walking away from a conversation, rather than explaining why you feel a certain way, or enlightening people who do not understand, is usually seen as actively working for one’s rights.

I gave one verifiable example of how the conversation, right here right now, changed one person’s view. If the goal is to gain a certain level of acceptance, where the discrimination is lessened, then one can’t walk away from the issue. Who wins?

And yes, EDUCATE ME. I admit that I do not know everything about transgender people. Just as my straight friends 25 years ago, had no real clue about gay people. In order to move our rights and equality forward, I had to educate them. Yes, I could read articles, etc. etc. etc., but actual people telling us in actual conversations like this is the way we all learn.

And I was not telling anyone they had to be anyone’s personal educator. I simply state that one doesn’t win the fight for equlaity by shutting up and walking away. One only stays static if one doesn’t try to move forward. And some of us can’t move forward if we don’t understand the issues, and we never will if no one is willing to talk about it without being offended and walking away because some of us don’t fully get it.

Much like the issue of race, if it’s never broached and walked awya from because some people are ignorant of all the nuance, we never move forward.

If you don’t want to move forward, then by all means, keep your own counsel and walk away. But don’t blame ANYONE if things don’t improve.

Carlo
January 18th, 2013 | LINK

Timothy,

I’m basing my opinion on many articles you’ve written that were outright ignorant attacks on people and groups that often challenged common gay, white, middle class ideals that have become all too frequent in your posts over the past year.

When I say your arguments show ‘complete ignorance to anything outside of the realm of white gay males,’
I’m not actually meaning you are yourself white (since I don’t know your actual race), but your arguments certainly stem from those perpetuated by gay, white, middle class males.

If you don’t like that criticism of your work, I suggest you put more thought into your future posts.

Robert
January 18th, 2013 | LINK

Carlo-

WHY is this conversation transphobic? I really do wish to know your answer. If even those who are transgender don’t have a set view on this, why is the subject trans-phobic? It even has a popular trans blog weighing in on the subject. Do you consider that site and the author of that piece to have internalized trans-phobia because they have a different view??

I rarely defend Timothy, mostly because he can do it himself and I usually don’t agree with him, but again, how do we move forward, how do we learn if we always ignore the issues and the conversation.

Again, I don’t understand why, in our LGBTQI community we are so reluctant to have this conversation. Ignoring the issues in the world do not solve them, and certainly doesn’t make them go away.
Conversations are sometimes hard, but your POV would make it impossible to move forward. Keeping people ignorant, because they may ask stupid, crazy, odd questions (and yes, sometime be completely offensive) does nothing.

And I believe it’s better to offend in the attempt to learn than not and stay ignorant.

Priya Lynn
January 18th, 2013 | LINK

Yes, I don’t know…in thinking about this some more I don’t know how sympathetic I am to Levi. Its not like the manager told him he couldn’t come to the spa, he just asked him to use a private shower – I don’t think that’s a huge imposition on Levi.

Maybe its just me, but I wouldn’t feel comfortable showering in public if my genitalia didn’t match what was expected so maybe I’m unfairly expecting Levi to behave as I would want to.

Maybe, and perhaps likely, at some point in the future this sort of thing won’t be an issue and then it’ll be okay for a pre-op transperson to use the shower facilities of the gender they identify with but I think we do have at least a small obligation to acknowledge the times we live in and in the interests of fostering good relations between the LGBT community and a broader society that’s still learning to be accepting I don’t think its a lot to ask a transperson to use a private shower until after sex reassignment surgery.

Carlo
January 18th, 2013 | LINK

Robert,

I’m not calling the ‘conversation’ transphobic. I clearly stated that I believe the situation and article to be transphobic.

For example, when Timothy Kincaid states, “… if you happen to be a man with a vagina, you really do have to take that into consideration,” tying that into getting naked in front of children in a changing room…that’s transphobic.

Why is it the job of the transgendered person to be concerned about changing in and out of clothes (since I doubt their purpose is definitively to get naked) in a locker room that may or may not include children?

If parent’s are that worried about what their child may or may not see, they shouldn’t have them use those changing rooms, but Kincaid assumes it’s the other way around with no real argument to support it.

Jim Burroway
January 18th, 2013 | LINK

Carlo,

Again, as I said to Ben, this topic has nothing to do with race.

There’s no need to engage in ad hominem attacks. Not only does that derail honest debate, it is also against our Comments Policy — because it derails honest debate.

This thread has generated a lot of good points on all sides. Please do your part by staying on topic and refraining from ad hominem attacks. If you cannot do that, I will be happy to place you on moderation.

Carlo
January 18th, 2013 | LINK

Jim,

This article is about privileges and perspectives related to privilege which race plays as much a role in as gender.

My criticism is not only tied to the situation in question, but of Kincaid’s posts overall, his sloppy use of wording, and assumptions that are a regular occurrence in his articles, an example I’ve already noted above. Articles that have also dealt, and rather poorly so, with race.

While race may not play a key role in this particular situation it does with the argument I was making. If my own wording hit too close to a personal attack, I apologize, but I believe my criticisms of his posts here and in the past are valid ones.

Robert
January 18th, 2013 | LINK

Carlo-

From your last statement, it seems to me you didn’t read the actual story we are discussing. For you to claim Kincaide to be transphobic for simply summing up his opinion of the article is really wroing on all levels.

You state:
“For example, when Timothy Kincaid states, “… if you happen to be a man with a vagina, you really do have to take that into consideration,” tying that into getting naked in front of children in a changing room…that’s transphobic.”

Seriously, how is that transphobic when discussing a story of being transgender FTM with a vagina being asked to shower privatley because patrons complained about it because they had small children?

On another note, regarding this issue. This might very well set the trans movement back. Not for the insistance of being able to shower where one wishes, but on the actual legality of this claim. The individuals state identification does not denote male. If you were to come into a gym with female Identification and then insist that you wish to use the male facilities, do you really have a case?

Up until now this has been a grey area, but this might come back to set a precedent that says, if you do not get your identification in the gender you are transitioning to, then are you able to file complaints? By all legal accounts you are still female. It presents issues I hadn’t contemplated before, but I don’t know if Levi thought about that either.

and then there’s this from the Windy City story:

The Illinois Human Rights Act does make exceptions for the case of “sex” in locker rooms, health clubs and other settings.

That sorta reads as if the law states that if the sex doesn’t match, you can’t use that shower. I doubt there is a violation, but I don’t think Levi Pine cres, I think Levi really just wanted the conversation to be had.

via WC:

Pine has filed an IDHR complaint against the spa, sent a letter to the spa and notified the Cook County Department of Human Rights. Pine said he simply wants an apology, and wants the spa to adopt a new trans-friendly policy.

“As mad as I am, I feel like this was an opportunity to have dialogue that wouldn’t have happened otherwise,” said Pine.

John, the spa manager, says that if there is a better solution than offering a private room, he does not see it.

“The naked man in the women’s spa: that is equal?” he said. “I don’t think so.”

Carlo
January 18th, 2013 | LINK

Robert,

For starters, Kincaid’s sum up of, “… if you happen to be a man with a vagina…” was awfully crass and seemingly phobic when talking about a transgendered person’s genitalia. Not to mention that it comes off lacking in empathy.

More importantly, it’s his assumption that it’s up to the transgendered person to be concerned about offending those around him (or getting naked in front of children as Kincaid put it). First off, I don’t think Pine’s intent was to get naked in front of children but probably trying to change in and out of clothes, again a crass statement indicative of phobia. The assumption itself is like saying lesbian and gays shouldn’t hold hands or show PDA with their partners because it might offend the straight people.

As far as it setting the trans movement back…that is such a washed up argument used to instill fear in people challenging the current paradigm.

Timothy Kincaid
January 18th, 2013 | LINK

Carlo,

Please re-read the commentary, the Windy City article, and what Kelli at planetransgender has to say. It may clear up some of your misunderstanding.

Carlo
January 18th, 2013 | LINK

And in case there’s any misunderstanding, I’m not saying you’re trying to instill fear Robert. I’m simply noting that the argument is a very old one that’s pulled out when anyone dares challenge established ideologies and one many of us habitually fall back on, forgetting the origin and intent of the argument is to keep us from challenging those in power, thereby keeping us ‘in our place.’

Carlo
January 18th, 2013 | LINK

Timothy,

I’ve read both and I’m not misunderstanding anything.

Timothy Kincaid
January 18th, 2013 | LINK

Okay, Carlo, fine.

You read:

“When he went to the spa on Dec. 9 with a friend, he used the men’s shower facilities. Pine said the manager approached him while he was naked and asked to speak with him. … Pine told John that he was transgender, and John said he could provide Pine with a private shower.”

And you said:

If parent’s are that worried about what their child may or may not see, they shouldn’t have them use those changing rooms

and

“I don’t think Pine’s intent was to get naked in front of children but probably trying to change in and out of clothes…

I know that you don’t want to be contained to the issue at hand but instead want to talk about “privilege” and “entitlement” and “challenge establish ideologies” and “keep us ‘in our place’” and the “current paradigm” and especially about the evils of “white gay males”.

But it’s hard to take your complaints seriously if you don’t bother to actually read what we’re talking about.

Carlo
January 18th, 2013 | LINK

I’ve read all three articles and up to responses to my original comment. Just because you don’t like what I have to say, nor are willing to consider the further implications made by all your arguments that I’ve pointed out in my comments does not mean I haven’t read what you’re all talking about.

Nor does it justify claiming that I would ever be so cliche and simplistic as to argue against ‘the evils of white gay males (good, evil, dichotomies like that are reserved for people incapable of critical analysis which I am not).

Carlo
January 18th, 2013 | LINK

Though I’ll admit that my grammar is atrocious :)

Timothy Kincaid
January 18th, 2013 | LINK

Carlo,

your grammar isn’t the problem; your facts were wrong. But I’ll stop and let you have the last word.

Have a lovely evening.

charlie
January 19th, 2013 | LINK

Carlo,

I’ll take up the debate.
“As far as it setting the trans movement back…that is such a washed up argument used to instill fear in people challenging the current paradigm.”

Why is it a washed up paradigm? Pine was most likely breaking the law. In addition, are you saying that the notion of single sex showers is antiquated? You may in fact be, but there are a lot of us who disagree.

I don’t really care about the children. If a person with a vagina came into the men’s showers at my gym I would not appreciate that. The only paradigm there is that I am in the men’s showers and women are not allowed.

Pine may be all man in his head but his anatomy says differently. Until that is addressed, he should not shower openly with men.

He was not just changing his clothes as you falsely state. The manager of the spa handled this in a very tactful way. From what I can tell from the coverage, he didn’t make a scene or throw Pine out. He just asked him to use a private shower. For that he should be lauded. Instead Pine, who seems more deluded than inspirational, files a complaint.

Boo
January 19th, 2013 | LINK

“Boo, I think you are actually just somehow upset about the fact that everyday vagina flashing isn’t something that goes on.”

Charlie, and I think you are a pervy troll.

Carlo
January 19th, 2013 | LINK

Charlie,

First off, I should have probably said that ‘he could just as easily have been changing in and out of clothes.’ My point was that, it being worded as him ‘getting naked in front of children’ was a loaded phrase that falls back to the ‘protect the children’ arguments that anti-gays use against us all the time. So I find it very discouraging when someone from our own camp uses it against another marginalized group.

The same goes for when anyone makes a statement that something could set back a movement. There’s no way to really predict that and since I would hope all our goals is to move away from transphobia and discrimination against transgendered individuals, that we take better care in evaluating our assumptions which I don’t think happened here. Especially when you look at Kelli Busey’s ‘immoral’ statement.

Part of Busey’s argument seems to imply that a transgendered person should get the consent of others before using a changing room matching their gender identity, but to then say it’s immoral for them to be nude if they haven’t had bottom surgery, whether it’s in front of children or not…again, that just screams of shaming not only of our bodies, but the bodies of anyone that may display any sort of difference even outside the realm of transgendered issues.

That idea is ridiculously puritanical.

Boo
January 19th, 2013 | LINK

Robert

“As I said, if this were an adults gym I would be all for full integration in the locker room. But your entire thing about WHY are men looking at other mens junk in the showers is sort of difficult to explain. Guys just do. Straight guys, gay guys, all of us, we just look. I’m glad you feel superior in the fact that you don’t check out the girls, but again, guys, all of us, just DO.”

There’s a difference between checking someone out in the shower and being hypnoptized by someone else’s non-standard body and then freaking out about it. You can make the choice to look. You can also make the choice to look away. (And if you don’t think that straight man might get irate if they see you checking out their junk in the shower, well, I hope your health insurance is paid up)

“I am not judging the person. I am judging the act which is selfish and disrespectful. Do you really think it is ok for someone with opposite sex genitals to go in the male shower?

How pissed would you be if men came in the woman’s shower? Wherever this person is mentally the body doesn’t yet match. I am not a trams phobe. I don’t believe that this is acceptable or respectful behavior.”

I actually did address this earlier, but there are a lot of comments on this thread now, so let’s try again:

Strong reactions can be generated both by men with non-standard genitals in the men’s shower and women with non-standard genitals in the women’s shower. Beyond the initial shock of seeing something you hadn’t seen before, both reactions are irrational, but for different reasons. The reaction of Timothy and others here and the people who had complained in the shower is based on seeing Something That Doesn’t Fit. The reaction of women to seeing a penis in a common shower for women is based on fear of being sexually assaulted. They are not the same fear. They aren’t even in the same ballpark. Fearing for your safety is qualitatively different than “Ick that’s different!”. Now as I said, it’s equally irrational to have that reaction to a pre-operative transwoman’s body in a female space, because transwomen are highly unlikely to be rapists, because they’re not men. However, the time to educate people on that fact is not ideally in the shower while a bunch of people are experiencing said irrational fear.

So here’s the thing, despite what Timothy and others have said on this thread about accepting trans people as their actual gender, the fact is that deep down y’all really don’t. This was illustrated by the way you phrased your question to me: you didn’t ask how I would feel about a pre-operative transwoman in the female showers, you asked how I would feel about a man in the female showers. And the answer is that I would feel a man has no place in female showers. But that’s not what we’re talking about. We’re talking about a subgroup of women in women’s showers and a subgroup of men in men’s showers.

Did you know that there are women with mild intersex conditions whose clitorises have been virilized by testosterone and actually resemble small penises? They are also a subgroup of women, not men. And sometimes they need to shower too.

Priya Lynn
January 19th, 2013 | LINK

Boo said “(And if you don’t think that straight man might get irate if they see you checking out their junk in the shower, well, I hope your health insurance is paid up)”.

You got that right Boo, any gay man that thinks all men check out each other’s genitals in the shower is deluded. Guys, just because you can’t imagine not looking at other men’s genitals does not mean everyone else feels the same way.

Boo said “The reaction of Timothy and others here and the people who had complained in the shower is based on seeing Something That Doesn’t Fit. The reaction of women to seeing a penis in a common shower for women is based on fear of being sexually assaulted. They are not the same fear. They aren’t even in the same ballpark. Fearing for your safety is qualitatively different than “Ick that’s different!”.

Well said Boo, that’s why I said it would be less of a problem to have a pre-op transman in men’s showers then it would be to have a pre-op transwoman in women’s showers. I just didn’t explain it as well as you.

Damn Boo, you’re good. Time for me to quit reading this, I keep getting convinced one way and then the other.

Priya Lynn
January 19th, 2013 | LINK

Charlie comes across as someone who really despises people with vaginas. His posts overflow with hate and anger.

chiMaxx
January 19th, 2013 | LINK

Carlo:

I agree with you to the extent that Busey’s use of the word “immoral.” That was completely inane. Nudity is not immoral. Period. And Busey’s gross misuse of that word undercuts the validity of her entire argument, as far as I’m concerned.

Now, Mr. Pine’s nudity in this situation was clearly a disruptive violation of social custom–something that applies to everything from wearing shorts, flip-flops and a halter top reading “porn star” to church on Easter to Rosa Parks’ refusal to move to the back of the bus.

While he would like to see himself as the transgender Rosa Parks, many others see him as that girl with the “porn star” halter top in the pews (as indeed many who would not consider themselves racist but valued social order over social equality saw Rosa Parks at the time).

I find the American squeamishness about (and concomitant eroticization of) casual nudity to be absurd. But it’s undeniable that it exists (witness the new anti-nudity statute in San Francisco). And the ipso facto assumption that children are harmed by seeing casual nudity of an adult of the opposite sex is a deeply ingrained part of that. I’ve seen enough kids frolicking joyfully at public nude beaches to doubt the premise, but those who believe it do so passionately.

Frankly, I think Mr. Pine is poking at a much bigger rats nest than transphobia, whether he realizes it or not.

Carlo
January 19th, 2013 | LINK

Boo,

Nice work on your argument. Incidentally, I find it interesting that an ad hominem arguments was used against you and yet that person doesn’t seem to have been called out by the moderators for going against the ‘Comments Policy.’

Carlo
January 19th, 2013 | LINK

chiMaxx,

I completely agree with your last statement that, “Frankly, I think Mr. Pine is poking at a much bigger rats nest than transphobia, whether he realizes it or not.”

Jim Burroway
January 19th, 2013 | LINK

Carlo

It’s hard to monitor all comments on all threads. While I know that emotions can run high, I’m overall pleased with the quality of conversation taking place on this tread. And I think it’s too important of a subject for the conversation to get derailed into name-calling. If there is an example of an ad hominem argument against Boo, please point it out so I can take appropriate action.

Robert
January 19th, 2013 | LINK

Boo-

I would appreciate you not putting other posters words in MY mouth. You attribute to me a mean spirited comment by Charlie, whic was not mine and does not represent my opinions. You addressed the last post to me by name, used quotes of mine, addressed your points, then moved to another quote, without acknowleging that ut was Charlie’s post, not mine, and continued.
I have tried very carefully to use the right gender terms, and would never ask how you felt if a MAN walked into the woman’s room. I have asked about transwomen who have not had bottom surgery going into a women’s shower, but that is cognizant of the gender identification. I don’t attribute other people’s words to you, please, don’t do that to me. Thanks.

Also, both you and Priya Lynn seem to think you understand the culture of a male locker room better than the men on here, and that’s a tad annoying. I am 47 years old and have been going in men’s locker rooms since the 7th grade, I do happen to KNOW what I am talking about. Straight guys check out other men’s junk in the locker room it’s not just a gay thing. It’s more like a compare and contrast, a stupid things ALL guys do in the locker room. The “do I measure up” thing, or “Who doesn’t measure up to me” thing. It is really a male thing and your insistance that you know better than men what the male locker room culture is like is silly. Because you don’t.

I also have to say I notice quite a bit of sexism thrown into this discussion. It seems that more females think it appropriate to have a FTM in a mens loxker room than they do a MTF in the womens locker room. Making sexist decisions on which cross section of the Trans community gets what rights. Most women object to the penis, and see no problem with a vagina and most men find a problem with both. (I did read most of the articles on the transgender planet site about this issue, there are many). I noticed in my reading that again, maybe coincidently, most of the FTM individuals were pro Levi and most MTF were against it. I find that aspect very intersting because it shows that even individuals transitioning have to deal with sexism. And I do find it intersting that those with vaginas feel it is their right whereas those who have penises feel it’s wrong. Why the elevation of vagina and the hiding of penises? I find it telling that women who would normally fight for equal treatment under the law, now advocate for one gender identity to be able to do something but ot the other gender idnetity.

Priya Lynn
January 19th, 2013 | LINK

Robert said “Also, both you and Priya Lynn seem to think you understand the culture of a male locker room better than the men on here, and that’s a tad annoying.”.

Robert, I’ve been in a lot of male locker rooms, I didn’t transistion until my mid-40′s, so, Yes I do understand the culture of a male locker room You are falling prey to a common human shortcoming which is thinking “I feel this way so I expect all others must as well.”. I sometimes have the same problem, I find a lot of women incredibly irresistable and I struggle to accept that not all men have an attraction to women. Every now and then some gay man on one of these forums will say something like “On a personal note, I abhor vaginas, they creep me out.” and it always comes as a bit of a shock to me, like a “You can’t be serious.” moment. Just as I can accept that my strong feelings don’t mean others must feel the same way, you need to learn to accept that your strong feelings don’t mean all men behave like you.

Robert said “I also have to say I notice quite a bit of sexism thrown into this discussion. It seems that more females think it appropriate to have a FTM in a mens loxker room than they do a MTF in the womens locker room. Making sexist decisions on which cross section of the Trans community gets what rights… (I did read most of the articles on the transgender planet site about this issue, there are many)… I find that aspect very intersting because it shows that even individuals transitioning have to deal with sexism. And I do find it intersting that those with vaginas feel it is their right whereas those who have penises feel it’s wrong. Why the elevation of vagina and the hiding of penises?”.

Boo explained it well and clearly but you seem to have ignored it.:

“The reaction of Timothy and others here and the people who had complained in the shower is based on seeing Something That Doesn’t Fit. The reaction of women to seeing a penis in a common shower for women is based on fear of being sexually assaulted. They are not the same fear. They aren’t even in the same ballpark. Fearing for your safety is qualitatively different than “Ick that’s different!”.

Men in general are more agressive and predatory than women. Men and penises rape, women and vaginas don’t. That is why vaginas deserve more freedom than penises.

Robert said “I noticed in my reading that again, maybe coincidently, most of the FTM individuals were pro Levi and most MTF were against it.”.

I’m mtf and I’m more in favour of Levi than I am of mtfs in women’s showers, so you’re seeing what you want to see.

Robert said “Most women object to the penis, and see no problem with a vagina and most men find a problem with both.”.

You’re projecting your feelins on all men. Most men have no problem with vaginas, most men LOVE vaginas.

Robert
January 19th, 2013 | LINK

Priya Lynn,

If you had read my post you will note that I am talking about the responses here and on the planettransgender site. I am not making assumptions based on my views. I even noted that it might just be coincidnetal. And my statements about men and women are not based on all men and women but those in the discussion, as I clearly stated and you quoted in your third paragraph.

As for what your view is, I’m still not sure, and from reading your posts, neither are you. You go back and forth between one view and the other, without wanting to make a decison on what you think. You go back and forth, and I appreciate that you see the complexities of the issue.

As for the differing views on MTF or FTM exposure in locker rooms, yes, everyone explained the fear of penis and the rape assault issue. But that doesn’t address the issue of the FACT that that gives us TWO standards, one for MTF and one for FTM. If the issue here is body rights, and rights to gym/spa use, it is still sexist and disengenious to say we have to have two standards, from my reading of this article, and others, the issue is the right for trans individuals to utilize the facility they choose, uninhibited. Your view creates a seperate status for each transitioning status.

I was not aware of the fact that you were MTF, I appreciate that you shared that. I’m surprised that you never noticed straight men check out what other men have down below. I’ve noticed and heard the comments at almost every gym I’ve ever been to since Junior High, so it isn’t my “view” it is my experience (and my husbands as I inquired of him the same question). In regards to the penis/rape issue, if there is such concern, then it would seem there should be MORE concern for the lone vagina in a male locker room than the lone penis in a female locker room. After all, most men LOVE vaginas, as you say.

Yes, I freely admitted to the fact that I abhor vaginas and they creep me out. That probably explains the reason I am a gay man. I love my female friends, but not their anatomy.

I honestly don’t understand how one can decry the “exposure to children” meme as validating our opponents views and then turn around and embrace the “Penis/rape” meme, also validating our opponents views. As I recall during debates about trans restrooom laws, the right was always utilizing the exact same argument as to why transwomen shouldn’t be able to use the ladies restroom. All that fear of a man in a dress wanting to rape their daughters. You utilize that exact same argument in your support for FTM but not MTF usage of spa showers. It just doesn’t make sense that you can embrace that argument but not the “exposure to children”. Not to mention the fact that there has rarely ever been a case of a transwoman raping another woman so those fears, while there, must be ignored because they are baseless in regards to the actual situation at hand, as is argued about anyones discomfort with FTM in the locker rooms with their children.

Either it’s right for all trans people to use all shower facilities of their identification or it is not. You seem to want to make it less acceptable for one portion. Yours.

The arguments used against my view are that it isn’t up to the trans individual to care or alter their existence based on how others might feel about it, but the argument used in regards to MTF is that they must take into consideration how women feel about penises. These arguments contradict eaach other, and that’s probably why many of us have differing views.

This issue is an ALL or Nothing issue. Eiter it is a.o.k. or it is not, and consideration for those around you must be taken. You don’t get to make one standard for one set of people and another for others, I thought that was what we were fighting against. My view is that if you have not completed your transition, you shouldn’t be using the shower (not the facilities or restrooms, but the showers) in an anatomically segregated establishment. That, or make all the showers private in both sections and leave it at that.

I do appreciate the conversation. Thank you.

Priya Lynn
January 19th, 2013 | LINK

Robert said “If the issue here is body rights, and rights to gym/spa use, it is still sexist and disengenious to say we have to have two standards”.

I disagree that is sexist and disengenous, its just acknowldging there are substantial and important differences between men and women.

Robert said ” Not to mention the fact that there has rarely ever been a case of a transwoman raping another woman so those fears, while there, must be ignored because they are baseless in regards to the actual situation at hand”.

I’ve never heard of a pre-op transwoman raping anyone and I’m sure we all would have if it had ever happened. Once a pre-op transwoman has been taking testosterone blockers the penis becomes essentially non-functional so I agree with you that such fears are baseless. However it is still the case that it is more distressing for a woman to see a penis in the showers than for a man to see a vagina in the showers and so I think different rules may be justified.

Charlie
January 19th, 2013 | LINK

That’s funny Priya because I was thinking that boo sounds like someone who hates men and penises.

You need to study up more on the behavior of straight men though because it is a pretty well accepted fact all men check each other out in the shower. It is more like sizing up the competition. Many of me straight female friends do the same with breasts.

And as for presuming you know what happens in a men’s locker room if you haven’t been in one then it is pretty absurd. Yes, some gay men are a bit too obvious but I have never ever seen anyone get into a fight about it.

The fact 100 percent remains though that it is not for pine to make the assumption that it is ok to shower in the men’s shower when having the option to shower privately is selfish.

Incidentally while I am gay I am not gold star. I have had my share of vagina and am not bothered by it sexually at all. What bothers me is that there is a presumption that people with them will not be in a men’s shower.

I did think that this could sound solar to the argument against gay equality. It troubled me a bit but I concluded that this is really about nudity and the presumption that a single sex shower is exactly that.

Robert
January 19th, 2013 | LINK

Priya Lynn,

Thank you for your honesty. Rarely in the discussion for equality do we have an individual state that men and women should have different rules, that some trans people should have more rights than others. It’s suprising to hear/read from someone that sex differences mean we should have different laws regarding women than we do men. It sounds more like a right leaning argument than I expected. I always thought the laws of the country, and rules of behavior, extended and applied equally to both sexes. Which other laws or rules should make these distinctions? Because, when you boil it all down, you are advocating a seperate set of rules for women than for men.

I’m not calling you a right winger, I know from your postings that you are not right wing, but your last comment reflects that view, and the penis/rape meme enforces the AFA and other religous arguments about men in dresses in the ladies room. That beleif is one I thought we were trying to dispell. Women need not fear MTF transgender individuals, your argument would mean that MTF shouldn’t use any female restroom, dressing room, or anywhere else a woman might be afraid of a penis. I was under the impression that this argument was anathema to the trans movement.

Robert
January 19th, 2013 | LINK

Charlie-

You really need to READ what Priya Lynn writes. Whereas I disagree with her view on some of the issue, she CLEARLY stated that she is a MTF transgender, and transitioned in her 40′s, and as such has had plenty of experience in the mens locker room prior to her transition. Please, follow the conversation, and when you respond, at least respond to the facts of individuals lives before remarking. I made the same assumption as you, and Priya Lynn corrected my mistake. You have no excuse for making the same assumption since she laid out the facts.

Priya Lynn
January 19th, 2013 | LINK

Charlie said “And as for presuming you know what happens in a men’s locker room if you haven’t been in one then it is pretty absurd”.

Charlie, do you even read the comments that are posted? I’ve been in a men’s locker room many times and for all you know so has Boo.

Robert said “I always thought the laws of the country, and rules of behavior, extended and applied equally to both sexes. Which other laws or rules should make these distinctions?”.

I don’t know what other laws or rules should make such distinctions, I think they’d be rare exceptions but sometimes I think they are justified. The only other instance that comes to mind was transwoman who was working/applied for work at a rape crisis centre. She was rejected because the managment thought rape victims might be uncomfortable with somoene with a man taint on them. I don’t recall what happened with that, but if it was me, I’d be willing to accept that because of my background in the male world I wouldn’t be a suitable rape crisis counselor.

Robert said “your last comment reflects that view, and the penis/rape meme enforces the AFA and other religous arguments about men in dresses in the ladies room.”.

Yes, that may be and that’s a point I’ll try to give some thought to.

Robert said “That beleif is one I thought we were trying to dispell. Women need not fear MTF transgender individuals,”.

I agree, there is nothing whatsoever for women to fear from male to female transexuals.

Robert said “your argument would mean that MTF shouldn’t use any female restroom, dressing room, or anywhere else a woman might be afraid of a penis.”.

I don’t think saying mtf pre-op transexuals shouldn’t use shared showers in womens locker rooms necessarily means they shouldn’t use any female restroom, dressing room, or some such other facitlies. Womens restrooms and dressing rooms have seperate stalls so no woman need see a pre-op transwoman’s penis.

I know for me when I was transitioning it was a very difficult time after the estrogen started showing and before I had the sex reassignment surgery. I really felt that I should avoid female spaces until surgery, but I was getting double takes and head snapping back looks in the men’s room so I was afraid I’d be assaulted if I continued to use the men’s room so I started using the women’s public restrooms prior to surgery. I did however never go into a shared women’s changeroom or shower at a gym or swimming pool or any place where my genitalia would be observable.

Transitioning is a tricky time and for some transgendered people they may never want to go all the way with surgery so at some point society is going to need to accomodate people who don’t fit into a binary male/female gender. I don’t know all the answers, but some of the questions are fairly apparent.

Charlie
January 19th, 2013 | LINK

To be fair it is Priya who says my posts overflow with hate and anger which they do not. And I agree with her in the common sense she used while transitioning. If you want to see common sense as hate so be it.

Robert
January 19th, 2013 | LINK

Actually, Charlie, it’s your posts that say you have a lot of anger, I can’t comment on the hate portion, but it seems to lean that way too. Generaly people don’t make statements to anyone that they just think someone hates men and penises because they share their view. While Boo’s comments may not thrill you, your obvious lesbian/woman bashing is particularly unattractive and reeks of anger and hate.

Maybe you don’t really feel that way, and you just have a difficult time expressing yourself in a civil fashion, but insinuating a hatred of men is going too far. You really sort of are a turd. Warning, banning or not, it needed to be said.

And, again, in the future, you really should read the comments before showwing that you are ONLY reactionary and mean and not really connected with the conversation. I’ve learned a lot from Priya Lynn and even Boo, both of whom I am at odds with on the opinion. But I’m NOT going to denigrate them because of that.

Robert
January 19th, 2013 | LINK

And full disclosure-Charlie

yes, sometimes I attack Timothy for his views, but I hold the writers of the site to a higher standard than the commentors. As I believe we all should. They drive the site, the stories, and as such it is their responsibility to get it right. In the comments, it’s a different thing all together. With one exception in the past, I think that does express my behavior on the site, and I just don’t interact with the person I have a hard time being civil to. As it should be.

Boo
January 19th, 2013 | LINK

Robert- you’re right, I misattributed that 2nd quote and I apologize. All I can say is that this is a very long thread and when I go up several coments to copy a quote, sometimes its hard to keep it all straight.

“Also, both you and Priya Lynn seem to think you understand the culture of a male locker room better than the men on here, and that’s a tad annoying. I am 47 years old and have been going in men’s locker rooms since the 7th grade, I do happen to KNOW what I am talking about. Straight guys check out other men’s junk in the locker room it’s not just a gay thing. It’s more like a compare and contrast, a stupid things ALL guys do in the locker room. The “do I measure up” thing, or “Who doesn’t measure up to me” thing. It is really a male thing and your insistance that you know better than men what the male locker room culture is like is silly. Because you don’t.”

I know that there’s a difference between checking out and full on staring and freaking out. And I also know that when two straight guys go to a movie, they almost always leave a seat empty between them. I have brothers.

“I also have to say I notice quite a bit of sexism thrown into this discussion. It seems that more females think it appropriate to have a FTM in a mens loxker room than they do a MTF in the womens locker room. Making sexist decisions on which cross section of the Trans community gets what rights. Most women object to the penis, and see no problem with a vagina and most men find a problem with both. (I did read most of the articles on the transgender planet site about this issue, there are many). I noticed in my reading that again, maybe coincidently, most of the FTM individuals were pro Levi and most MTF were against it. I find that aspect very intersting because it shows that even individuals transitioning have to deal with sexism. And I do find it intersting that those with vaginas feel it is their right whereas those who have penises feel it’s wrong. Why the elevation of vagina and the hiding of penises? I find it telling that women who would normally fight for equal treatment under the law, now advocate for one gender identity to be able to do something but ot the other gender idnetity.”

I have addressed that twice already. Whatever you may think I do or don’t know about men, I know enough to know that men do not fear being raped by a man with a vagina. And both MtF and FtM should be able to shower in the correct room for their gender because both cases are based on irrational fears. It’s just that the issue of MtFs in women’s showers is going to take a little more cultural education on the fact that MtFs are not men and are highly unlikely to be rapists.

Boo
January 19th, 2013 | LINK

“As for the differing views on MTF or FTM exposure in locker rooms, yes, everyone explained the fear of penis and the rape assault issue. But that doesn’t address the issue of the FACT that that gives us TWO standards, one for MTF and one for FTM. If the issue here is body rights, and rights to gym/spa use, it is still sexist and disengenious to say we have to have two standards, from my reading of this article, and others, the issue is the right for trans individuals to utilize the facility they choose, uninhibited. Your view creates a seperate status for each transitioning status.”

Just two make it a little clearer- I think having two different standards for two different situations is perfectly justifiable. However, regarding the issue of which people with nonstandard genital configurations get to go in which shower, I would like to see the same standard for both MtF and FtM, which is to go in whichever shower matches the gender they are presenting themselves as. When you have the situation of a man freaking out at seeing a man with a vagina in the shower, I happen to think that telling him to just get over it is an appropriate response. When you have the situation of a woman freaking out at seeing a woman with a penis in the shower, telling them to get over it *right then and there* does not strike me as the best way to handle it, because that woman is fearing for her safety. Those kinds of fears require a bit more assuaging, which generally cannot be accomplished while the woman is in a situation in which she happens to feel unsafe, whether that feeling is actually justified or not. I guess I’m going for empathy over principle here. And again- where does a non-transsexual woman who has a virilized clitoris get to shower?

One of the other comenters mentioned that this isn’t really an issue for her daughter. I guess what I would be aiming for is a world where everyone gets over their hangups about the transgendered and develops better understanding of what being transgendered means, and then it’s just no longer an issue. But as I said, you can’t accomplish all that with someone at the actual moment they are in a shower feeling vulnerable and afraid.

carol
January 19th, 2013 | LINK

There are so many comments and I havent read every one but I do think a vagina is not really viewable in a typical shower room – and I anyway dont see why a child should be shocked by seeing an opposite sexed body in a shower. Isn’t the whole reason we have single sex showers because of (assumed hetero) sexuality? If you are an adult heterosexual woman and expect to see women – then yes a penis might be frightening but that is because of heterosexuality and male aggression. But I actually dont see where the absence of a penis is in any way shape or form any kind of shock or or threat. How is the absence of a penis a threat? I am a mom of 2 children the oldest is gender different. I personally feel free to bring my male bodied child into a woman’s locker room. I dont see that this is a legitimate scare for children. If the child has a question then answer it. We talk to children about all kinds of things – divorce, death, santa does not really exist, school shootings – for goodness sake. A different bodied person? That is not worth the fuss.

Timothy Kincaid
January 19th, 2013 | LINK

Once a pre-op transwoman has been taking testosterone blockers the penis becomes essentially non-functional.

Tell that to my beautiful MTF friend “E”, who enjoys, ahem, spending quality time with opposite-sex couples (I’ll spare you the details, but yeah it’s exactly what you just imagined)

Jim Burroway
January 19th, 2013 | LINK

I’m rather uncomfortable in saying this, but I think Pryia is onto something important. No, my discomfort is not in agreeing with Pryia, but with her observation that male genitalia in a women’s shower room would be seen as much more threatening than female genitalia in the men’s shower room. I think that’s true whether the genitalia is “functioning” or not — I mean, how’s anyone to know whose genitalia functions and whose doesn’t?

There is a power dynamic in that situation which cannot be ignored, particularly for some women who have had a history of surviving sexual violence. Face it, being nude in the shower can, for them, open them to a wide range of exceptionally vulnerable feelings and memories. Probably not a good place to encounter male genitalia, what with it being the absolutely last place in the world you would reasonably expect to encounter it. It could be a very serious PTSD trigger, and I don’t think it should be discounted, particularly with the rather high estimates of the numbers of women who have experienced sexual violence, assault, or exploitation.

I don’t really think this is the same concern that would arise with a pre-op FTM person in the men’s shower room. As for the fear of seeing something you just don’t want to see, well I don’t want to see old men in the shower room. (I’m 52. Yes, I’m a hypocrite. And shallow.) That alone, to me, is not a strong enough basis to deny a pre-op FTM person the right to shower int the men’s shower room, in my opinion

And so my discomfort arises with the possibility that a pre-op FTM person would have to live under a different set of rules as a pre-op MTF person, which strikes me as unfair. And so I very reluctantly feel that if the same rules are to apply — and I do think they should — then the pre-op FTM person should refrain from showering in the men’s shower room. But it is a position I come to with great difficulty and I’m not entirely happy with it.

Charlie
January 19th, 2013 | LINK

Carol. This is a group shower and not private showers.

Robert, seriously, I think that sharing my belief that vaginas do not belong in a men’s locker room is not hate or anger. Apart from most likely the legal answer to this it is also common sense as was the managers measured handling of the situation. If I get attacked for that belief and respond it is not hate or anger.

But hey not convince you of that but will defend myself.

Timothy Kincaid
January 19th, 2013 | LINK

Some housekeeping:

“The reaction of Timothy and others here and the people who had complained in the shower is based on seeing Something That Doesn’t Fit. The reaction of women to seeing a penis in a common shower for women is based on fear of being sexually assaulted. They are not the same fear. They aren’t even in the same ballpark. Fearing for your safety is qualitatively different than “Ick that’s different!”.

No, that’s not my ‘reaction’. I did not say, imply, hint, or otherwise suggest this viewpoint. Boo, please don’t attribute to me what I’ve not said.

My concern is over who gets to decide what genitalia children are exposed to, their parents or someone else.

I’m not calling you a right winger, I know from your postings that you are not right wing, but your last comment reflects that view

I think sometimes we all get too caught up in whether our views fit the expectations of our political identity rather than our heart and mind. I think this discussion may remind us all that we are complex people and not best suited to have ‘camps’ or political alliances do cookie-cutter thinking for us.

Now back to this fascinating and thoughtful discussion. I believe that in some weird way this thread has brought out some honesty and forthrightness in areas that are usually never discussed.

I may strongly disagree with some views, but this is a truly old-fashioned debate over some real core assumptions our culture – and our community – may have. Viva thought and discussion.

carol
January 19th, 2013 | LINK

I get that it is a group shower. I think he has every right to file the complaint and I personally hope he wins. Thats my personal opinion.

Boo
January 19th, 2013 | LINK

“No, that’s not my ‘reaction’. I did not say, imply, hint, or otherwise suggest this viewpoint. Boo, please don’t attribute to me what I’ve not said.

My concern is over who gets to decide what genitalia children are exposed to, their parents or someone else”

Well it looks like you’re saying that one could decide it’s okay to expose their children to naked genitals, as long as they are the genitals standardly associated with the sex of the naked bodies they’re exposing the kids to? But again, it is a plain fact of human existence that not everyone has normative genitals. So how is that not about something that doesn’t fit? I guess I just take the view that if you choose genital exposure, you take your chances on running into one that doesn’t quite fit your expectations. I’m also not seeing how that differs from a parent going with their kids to a park and walking right past opposite sex couples kissing only to see a same sex couple kissing, and throwing a fit.

And again, where precisely do you want to draw these lines? A man who lost his genitals to an accident is going to look the same as the guy in the article unless he (the guy in the article) is making a special effort to give people a show. And do women with standard appearing genitals have the right to get a woman with a virilized clitoris ejected from the shower? I assume we’re limiting our body objections just to the genitals, so a woman who had a double mastectomy due to cancer could stay? Even if she had short hair and was really butch? How about an FtM who has had bottom surgery but the results don’t look very good? Cause that happens too. What precisely are the guidelines on which minorites must circumscribe which body parts to avoid disturbing the comfort of the majority?

Priya Lynn
January 19th, 2013 | LINK

I said “Once a pre-op transwoman has been taking testosterone blockers the penis becomes essentially non-functional.”

Timothy responded “Tell that to my beautiful MTF friend “E”, who enjoys, ahem, spending quality time with opposite-sex couples (I’ll spare you the details, but yeah it’s exactly what you just imagined)”.

I suppose people’s milelage may vary, but one doesn’t need a functioning penis to have sex with a heterosexual couple. You better tell me the details because I’m not sure what to imagine.

Timothy Kincaid
January 20th, 2013 | LINK

PL,

Lets just say that her penis functions, as (from what E has told me) both can attest.

Timothy Kincaid
January 20th, 2013 | LINK

“What precisely are the guidelines on which minorites must circumscribe which body parts to avoid disturbing the comfort of the majority?”

I told you my guidelines: no penes in the women’s showers, no vaginae in the men’s – so long as kids may be present.

But you’ve not yet told me. Do you draw the line anywhere at all? And, if so, where?

Charlie
January 20th, 2013 | LINK

The male in an accident argument is a red herring. First, in all my life I have never seen that. I am sure that is exceedingly rare. Second, that still does not make what he might have a vagina. Apples and oranges. That is the same with the fat people, ugly people and other red herrings. They are not the same. This is the same logic that gets used comparing being gay to bestiality or polygamy.

charlie
January 20th, 2013 | LINK

Robert I’d like to direct you back to just a few comments amongst others before you call me a”turd” (denigration, no?) and suggest I be banned. I am disappointed if you find my comments harsh but I have read as much of your commentary as I care to (not easy on an iPhone, nor is it easy for me to type out lengthy and nuanced replies) and we seem to agree on most all points.

Boo

Two plus two equals four. I didn’t just say that two plus two equals four. (If you’re not subtle enough to get the point, yes charlie, you JUST DID assert a right to police other peoples bodies. And that’s not even getting into the question of why you have a habit of looking at other guys genitals in the shower in the first place. Somehow I, in all my lesbianity, manage to avoid staring at other women’s crotches when I am in a gym shower.) (Did I say anything about staring or policing? No, I said that men check each other out. It is far more subtle than you understand.) (And you may not look at vaginas, but I do have many a straight female friend who has confessed to making comparisons to various female body parts such as breasts that they see in the shower at the gym. )

Charlie, and I think you are a pervy troll. (Is this not a denigration?)

IMHO, there is an anti-male bias (or is it anti assumed white male hegemony?) in Boo’s comments. She may not agree, just as you may not agree with me but that is what I see.

Priya:

Charlie comes across as someone who really despises people with vaginas. His posts overflow with hate and anger. (Some of my best friends are female and I was married to a woman for several years. I hardly despise vaginas or those who possess them.)

Charlie, do you even read the comments that are posted? I’ve been in a men’s locker room many times and for all you know so has Boo. (Priya, you are female though, so then you don’t really ascribe to male locker room behavior even though you have been in them do you? If Boo has been in a male locker room then I can only ask, why?)

Subtlety seems to be lost here in the overwhelming quest for political correctness. The mental does not overtake the biological in the public/legal sphere.

If you do not identify with the body you were born with then you have the absolute right to make things as they should be for you. Before that is completed though, you should also have the common sense and courtesy to not present yourself in an opposite sex (as biologically identified) environment, naked.

As much as I find Buck Angel, hot and a mind fck, I still think that he probably should make an effort to shower privately unless in an environment where it is explicitly assumed that a trans man is present. I don’t think this makes me a hater. I think it makes me a realist.

I really have struggled with the possibility that my views equate to transphobia, as a straight’s would to homophobia. I don’t think they do but I understand how someone could think they are equivalent.

For me this boils down to the actual and not the hypothetical. A FTM may wish they didn’t have female genitals but they do and until they transition, they don’t belong naked in a male shower or locker room. The same goes for MTF and I don’t believe that they standard should be different.

I just believe that in an attempt to be accepting, others are overlooking the facts.

Robert, if you think I am mad or angry or derogatory then you should look at how others, including you, have posted about me.

Carlo
January 20th, 2013 | LINK

Timothy,

You commented:

Some housekeeping:

“The reaction of Timothy and others here and the people who had complained in the shower is based on seeing Something That Doesn’t Fit. The reaction of women to seeing a penis in a common shower for women is based on fear of being sexually assaulted. They are not the same fear. They aren’t even in the same ballpark. Fearing for your safety is qualitatively different than “Ick that’s different!”.

No, that’s not my ‘reaction’. I did not say, imply, hint, or otherwise suggest this viewpoint. Boo, please don’t attribute to me what I’ve not said.

My concern is over who gets to decide what genitalia children are exposed to, their parents or someone else.

Now, let’s look at the phrasing you use in your post:

And I understand that a transman is a man. Not a woman masquerading as a man. Not a kinda almost man. But a man.

However, if you happen to be a man with a vagina, you really do have to take that into consideration.

Because you juxtaposed the word ‘man’ with what many in this argument would consider to be a defining attribute of a woman, that being ‘a vagina,’ you made a reactionary statement that would bring to mind an ‘ick’ factor because it’s the kind of insensitive phrasing that those against transgendered rights would use.

So I would argue you did in fact hint at the reaction Boo was describing.

Priya Lynn
January 20th, 2013 | LINK

Charlie said “The male in an accident argument is a red herring. First, in all my life I have never seen that. I am sure that is exceedingly rare.”.

Female to male transexuals are exceedingly rare, you’re unlike to ever see one either, so its not a red herring.

Charlie said “Second, that still does not make what he might have a vagina. Apples and oranges.”.

It does make them similar looking without a close inspection which is what we’re talking about here – apples and apples.

Charlie said That is the same with the fat people, ugly people and other red herrings. They are not the same.”.

You objected to seeing vaginas on the grounds that they are distasteful, we find fat and ugly people distasteful. Your suggesting vaginas not be allowed because you don’t want to see; them is exactly the same as us suggesting fat and ugly people not be allowed because we don’t want to see them.

Priya Lynn
January 20th, 2013 | LINK

Charlie said “As much as I find Buck Angel, hot and a mind fck, I still think that he probably should make an effort to shower privately unless in an environment where it is explicitly assumed that a trans man is present. I don’t think this makes me a hater. I think it makes me a realist.”.

Thinking he should shower privately is not my problem with what you said, its your motivation for saying he should – “I don’t want to see that.” and then calling him selfish. You’re just as selfish as he is, expecting someone to go out of their way not to offend your sense of aesthetics. That is no differnet than me saying ugly people should shower in private because I don’t want to see that.

Priya Lynn
January 20th, 2013 | LINK

I said “Charlie comes across as someone who really despises people with vaginas. His posts overflow with hate and anger.”

Charlie said “(Some of my best friends are female and I was married to a woman for several years. I hardly despise vaginas or those who possess them.)”.

And yet the thought of seeing one in a locker room upsets you and seems to make you pretty angry.

I said “Charlie, do you even read the comments that are posted? I’ve been in a men’s locker room many times and for all you know so has Boo.”.

Charlie said (Priya, you are female though, so then you don’t really ascribe to male locker room behavior even though you have been in them do you?”.

No, but to suggest this is something all men do without a randomly sampled statistically significant survey to prove it is rather foolish. You most certainly cannot have observed every male in every locker room continuously to verify everyone of them looked at other men’s gentials. If I didn’t do it I’m certain do it I’m certain there are biological males who don’t as well, in particular men who are uptight about gayness and men who are uncomfortable being naked in public. Once again, you’re falling prey to the human failing of thinking by default others think like you do, just as I do when I find it shocking when gay men express disgust or discomfort with vaginas.

Charlie said “Subtlety seems to be lost here in the overwhelming quest for political correctness. The mental does not overtake the biological in the public/legal sphere.”.

I have no idea what you’re trying to say here and I think that was your intention. Maybe you should just say what you mean instead of posting ambiguous stuff so you can feel unjustifiably smart when people don’t understand you.

Priya Lynn
January 20th, 2013 | LINK

Boo said ““The reaction of Timothy and others here and the people who had complained in the shower is based on seeing Something That Doesn’t Fit. The reaction of women to seeing a penis in a common shower for women is based on fear of being sexually assaulted. They are not the same fear. They aren’t even in the same ballpark. Fearing for your safety is qualitatively different than “Ick that’s different!”.

Timothy said “No, that’s not my ‘reaction’. I did not say, imply, hint, or otherwise suggest this viewpoint.”

I don’t think Boo was necessarily saying that was your reaction, I think it was more a matter of her suggesting your opposition to Levi in the shower was out of a desire to save others such as children from seeing something that was shocking because it was different. She did say “the reaction of Timothy and others and the people who had complained in the shower is based on seeing Something That Doesn’t Fit.” meaning her comment was addressed to primarily to the opposition in general more than to you. Certainly both Charlie and Robert expressed an “Ick” reaction to the thought of seeing a pre-op transwoman in the shower. I think for the most part her observation was spot on.

Robert
January 20th, 2013 | LINK

Charlie-

In the message in which I called you a turd (which I still believe), I did NOT call on you to be banned, I was expressing the fact that I understand I ran the risk of that outcome by calling you a turd.

And your use of the comments by Boo (you are a pervy troll) came in response to your nasty comments, so one can hardly call it derogatory when it was in fact in self defense.

And once again, in addressing Priya Lynn you neglect the information she provided and I provided to you directly, that she is a MTF Transgender individual who did not transition until she was in her late 40′s. She does indeed know the experiences of men’s locker rooms (Sorry Priya Lynn, I know that sounds salacious). The problem with you, Charlie, is that you don’t read things clearly, and react in a way that is derogatory to those you respond to. Respectful people don’t call lesbians like Boo a penis hating man hater, as you did.
Your response prior to my name calling was what prompted me to call you a turd in the first place, your continued obtuse and intentionally “lacking” messages have in fact made me see that you are not a turd, but a Super Turd.

Priya Lynn
January 20th, 2013 | LINK

No problem Robert.

Priya Lynn
January 20th, 2013 | LINK

Boo said “Did you know that there are women with mild intersex conditions whose clitorises have been virilized by testosterone and actually resemble small penises? They are also a subgroup of women, not men. And sometimes they need to shower too….And again- where does a non-transsexual woman who has a virilized clitoris get to shower?”.

I’d like to hear where you think such a woman should shower Boo. We’ve agreed that pre-op transexual women shouldn’t shower in public women’s showers becaue a penis can be threatening, that being the case, shouldn’t it be the same way with a non-transexual woman with virilized clitoris? If not that sounds like a double standard.

Priya Lynn
January 20th, 2013 | LINK

Charlie said “As much as I find Buck Angel, hot and a mind fck, I still think that he probably should make an effort to shower privately unless in an environment where it is explicitly assumed that a trans man is present.”.

What if there isn’t a private shower available, only public ones? Is it fair to say someone like Buck isn’t welcome in a spa, gym or pool in that situation? Don’t you think it would be a lot less shocking for someone like Buck to shower with men rather than with women?

For those not familiar with Buck, he is a female to male transexual who has chosen not to have sex reassignment surgery. He’s bald, hairy, heavily tattooed and rather scary looking. Looking at Buck its extremely hard to believe he was once a woman.

Robert
January 20th, 2013 | LINK

Timothy Kincaid-

When doing your “housekeeping”, please don’t put your own spin on MY words. You don’t like it when I ascribe things to you that you don’t think you said, and your recent moderation of my comments should allow me to tell you to treat my words they way you wish to have YOURS treated.

You said (in quoting a line from my psot):

“I’m not calling you a right winger, I know from your postings that you are not right wing, but your last comment reflects that view”

I think sometimes we all get too caught up in whether our views fit the expectations of our political identity rather than our heart and mind. I think this discussion may remind us all that we are complex people and not best suited to have ‘camps’ or political alliances do cookie-cutter thinking for us.

Now, if you had read the post you would OBVIOUSLY know that I was talking about the AFA and other far right wing religious organizations that use the “man in a dress rape your daughter” argument against MTF usage of women’s restrooms. I even STATED that fact. Not only in the sentence that you truncated upon quoting (pretty misleading to only post half the sentence, sine it includes a “but” and a comma) but in the post on the same issue two posts above the one I quoted.

Now, I think an apology to me is in order from you, for misrepresenting, seemingly intentionally, what I said and making it appear as if I was talking about this in terms of political affiliation. For a VERY long time the AFA and NOM and other groups like that have been accurately described as far right wingers. I was talking about a VERY specific set of groups that fit that title, and made the comment to assure that the person it was directed to did not feel I was attacking them and calling them names.

If you have a point to make, then make it but not at the expense of using MY words out of context and twisted. If I get “moderated” for doing something similar to you, then you should have to respect my words as much as you want yours respected. Thank You.

Timothy Kincaid
January 20th, 2013 | LINK

Carlo,

A vagina is not the defining characteristic of gender. Gender isn’t located in the crotch, it’s located in the mind.

Pine is a man. And he is a man who at this point happens to have a vagina. If that brings an “ick” to you, that’s your business but don’t assume that I share your prejudices.

Robert
January 20th, 2013 | LINK

Boo-

Thank you for correcting that attribution of comment. As you can probably see, I don’t care to be associated with the behavior of the individual who made that comment, which is the only reason it bothered me so. That and the fact that I try hard to be respectful of the terms I use and the feeling of transgender individuals, even while expressing my displeasure with this situation.

I also tried to show I understood your arguments on the MTF issue and a penis in the women’s showers. I do understand it, but I also have issue with creating yet one more “difference” between members of our LGBT family. Another wedge to separate by creating rules for one type of transgender and a separate for the others. I just think it’s a step backwards and will create a split in an otherwise fairly united group within our Alphabet Soup of a family…Creating yet another difference is not moving forward to me. And I also believe that yes, everyone deserves respect but I also include respect for the straight family with a three year old at the spa. They go into a gender segregated area with the expectation that they are segregated. I also believe that Levi Pine had a responsibility at the outset to find and discuss the issue with the manager and see where the spa stood on the issue. And I think the manager handled it as well as anyone and was respectful to Pine by ALL accounts, even Pines.

In a world where everyone has rights, sometimes we must check our own behavior in order to accommodate the rights of others. If we don’t, we cannot expect others to accommodate us and our rights. And by this I don’t mean just on LGBT issues, but all rights in general. When my rights interfere with your rights, depending on the severity of the issue, I would try to be accommodating to your rights. Levi had the option to still use all the services and accommodate others while being accommodated. Maybe not perfect, but better than alienating someone who treated you respectfully.

Maybe the best solution is a sign at the door/desk that states all customers are welcome and that transgender people can utilize the restroom they gender identify with. That gives EVERYONE the right to choose what they are exposed to and what they expose their children too.
I just want everyone to have their rights, even uptight straight cis-gender people.

I appreciate your responses to my past posts and have learned much from this conversation.

This is why I thought Sami should stay and be a part of this conversation. Quite a few people’s views have shifted by discussing the issue, from Priya Lynn’s, to Jim Burroway’s, and some extent mine. That is better than leaving the conversation and going home.

Timothy Kincaid
January 20th, 2013 | LINK

Priya Lynn,

“I don’t think Boo was necessarily saying that was your reaction…”
“Boo said ““The reaction of Timothy …”

Ahem.

Robert,

I didn’t distort your views. I didn’t say anything at all about your views. And I think your views were perfectly clear on their own. I simply used your partial sentence as an illustration of how we all are too complex to pigeonhole.

But if you were offended I apologize for offending you. That wasn’t my intent.

And should anyone think I was discussing or seeking to make Robert appear to have certain views, please know that his views were NOT reflected in the partial sentence and that it was simply there to illustrate my point.

Robert
January 20th, 2013 | LINK

Timothy-

Apology accepted. In the future though, it’s best to make your points with your own words, not utilize partial statements from the comment section unless that staement in fact supports your point. By utilizing someones statement to illustrate your POV, you do distort their position if the view you hold is not supported by the quote you take out of context.

Oh, and for the record:

A few weeks ago I made a comment and attributed support of some anti-gay politicians to Timothy Kincaid, he called me on it, and asked for an apology. That apology occurred via email, but should have been done on site. I apologize for attributing views to Kincaid that he does not hold.

Timothy Kincaid
January 20th, 2013 | LINK

Well it looks like you’re saying that one could decide it’s okay to expose their children to naked genitals, as long as they are the genitals standardly associated with the sex of the naked bodies they’re exposing the kids to?

Well, I think perhaps your looker isn’t working properly because that is mot what I’m saying at all.

Pay VERY VERY CLOSE attention: I’m not saying what i think is right or appropriate for children. I’m saying that parents get to make that decision. Not me. Not you. Not Priya Lynn or Robert or Charlie or Jim.

And not Levi Pine.

Timothy Kincaid
January 20th, 2013 | LINK

Robert

I’ll remember not to use your words.

Out of curiosity, do you agree with my point?

charlie
January 20th, 2013 | LINK

Robert,

You are smug and obtuse. You fail to recognize or address anything I have said other than your own martyr protection complex. It can be seen in how you interact with other posters too…always demanding public apologies…well I am sorry…that you are such a big baby.

Pria, I think that Buck Angel will probably present challenges in any locker room. If I were in his shoes I’d probably shower and change at home except in situations where people might expect to see a trans man. I am not in his shoes though.

I don’t think that study has been done but a pretty sizable amount of internet commentary says it is so.

I am out of this debate. If one thing it is clear to me it is that people have strong feelings here and it is the law that will eventually decide this rightly or wrongly.

Robert
January 20th, 2013 | LINK

Timothy-

Re: your first line. You can use my words or the words of other if it actually supports your full intent, that is proper and no one has a problem with that. I think you understood what I was saying but don’t want to admit it.

Re: your second line, in general, yes, I agree that we ALL have a tendency to react based on our political affiliation, it is standard behavior for most human beings, and I also believe that in this particular discussion (subject matter, not this sites discussion) most (not all) republicans opose transgender rights in general. I also believe that the discussion on this page isn’t about supportting or not supportting transgender rights. I think almost everyone here agrees with the fact that transgender people should be treated equally to everyone else. What we are disagreeing on is basiclly a “when rights collide” issue. Whose rights trumps whose? Levi has a right to utilize the spa facilities. The parents have a right to decide how and when to expose their children to new ideas, based on their knowledge of the childs ability to understand or deal with a situation. Both have their rights but they collide. Hoe do we deal with respecting both sides?

My issue is mostly about that. As I repeatedly state, I think in an adult only gym, this issue is moot. Adults will just have to deal with the issues they have about it. BOTH sexes, men and women. But to insist that family oriented spaces, that market to that segment, have a right to decide how to deal with it. It is a membership club, and Levi was a guest of someone, and as such, should have inquired and followed spa procedures, and filed the complaint based on that if indeed it is worthy of a complaint. The issue is different than kissing or hand holding because it introduces exposed genitalia to the equation. This is more similar to the San Francisco Nudity Ban than it is to actual Trans rights, imo.

Rights and how to achieve them, and once achieved, how to deal with them in relation to others rights, is the issue at hand.

Robert
January 20th, 2013 | LINK

Charlie-

Yes, I’m smug at times. I don’t think obtuse fits however, since I agree with your position, not your reasoning. Our issues are different.

My posts to you have been because you are abusive to others in your anti-lesbian comments, dragging other negatives into it and just being a turd.

I demand that other people not use my words out of context or attribute your hateful screeds to me because that’s the standard I hold. And when I violate it, I get called on it. I’m holding people to the standard they hold me to, and the standard I hold myself to.

And thank you very much for your apology. I’m sorry too, that you are a turd.

Now, do go somewhere else, as you promised. Hopefully you can find a place where your anti-lesbian, nasty commenting self will feel accepted.

Priya Lynn
January 20th, 2013 | LINK

Tiomothy said “I’m not saying what i think is right or appropriate for children. I’m saying that parents get to make that decision. Not me. Not you. Not Priya Lynn or Robert or Charlie or Jim. “.

When parents are in public they do not have an absolute right to decide what their children will or will not see. People have some freedom to behave as they want in public, what is a just balance is highly debatable.

And Timothy, you did specifically ask at least me where I would draw the line.

Priya Lynn
January 20th, 2013 | LINK

Boo said “Boo said ““The reaction of Timothy and others here and the people who had complained in the shower is based on seeing Something That Doesn’t Fit. The reaction of women to seeing a penis in a common shower for women is based on fear of being sexually assaulted. They are not the same fear. They aren’t even in the same ballpark. Fearing for your safety is qualitatively different than “Ick that’s different!”.

Timothy said “Timothy said “No, that’s not my ‘reaction’. I did not say, imply, hint, or otherwise suggest this viewpoint.”

I said “I don’t think Boo was necessarily saying that was your reaction, I think it was more a matter of her suggesting your opposition to Levi in the shower was out of a desire to save others such as children from seeing something that was shocking because it was different.”.

Timothy said ““I don’t think Boo was necessarily saying that was your reaction…”
“Boo said ““The reaction of Timothy …”

Ahem.”.

You can take offense if you insist on doing so, but her words are consistent with meaning “The reaction of Timothy in thinking children shouldn’t have to see something that doesn’t fit, that they might think is icky…”. So, no, her words don’t unambiguously mean she was saying your personal reaction was “Ick that’s different!”.

Robert
January 20th, 2013 | LINK

I believe it’s probably best to let people defend their own words, only they know what they meant. If it’s ambiguous to one person then they probably were not clear and should clarify their own remarks.

I think defending others from ad hominem attacks is one thing, but people should defend their own words, everyone here (with an exception or two) is pretty good at defending their words, and it clarifies the situation if they provide their own defense.

I say this because I see the reasoning behind Priya Lynn’s assertion of meaning as she read it, but I also see the exact words typed as ascribing the view to Timothy. Only Boo can clear this up.

Priya Lynn
January 20th, 2013 | LINK

Agreed Robert.

Timothy Kincaid
January 20th, 2013 | LINK

I think I’ll just step out of the conversation. I’m not sure Kafka could keep up.

StraightGrandmother
January 20th, 2013 | LINK

Well.. I come late to the discussion but perhaps I can add just a grain of common sense to the discussion.

I forget who said it and it is way up in the thread but somebody said that kids see each other naked all the time and something along the lines of disapproving of nudity is like teaching our children to be ashamed of their bodies.

No we do not teach our children to be ashamed of their bodies but we do most defenately teach them where their private parts are AND to keep that private. Around age 3 we no longer bath brothers and sisters in the same bath session.

IHMO Timothy has it right when he wrote,
“My concern is over who gets to decide what genitalia children are exposed to, their parents or someone else.”

Until a person’s genetalia matches their gender identity either MTF or FTM when undressing in an area that has children PRESENT, they should do so in an area that shields the children from viewing them. And if children walk in on them they should discretely get dressed real quick.

Now I don’t know anything about Koreans and the idea of multi generational nudity separated by gender, which seems very odd to me but if this is their custom so be it. If showers have children and adults of the same gender showering together (and again this seems wired to me but, whatever) then the transfersperson should not shower in the communal shower until their transition is complete.

I know I will get criticized but darn it all, I am a mother and I do not want my children exposed to seeing adult genetalia opposite to their sex. I do not approve of them seeing any adults naked of either sex for that matter, but for sure not naked of the opposite sex. And until their transition is complete, they still remain physically of their genetics of the opposite sex.

Now that is my opinion if children are involved, let’s move on to strictly an adult gym. I am a straight woman and if I found myself in a locker room sharing nudity with a MTF transfersperson who still had a penis, I hope I would be able to not show shock on my face as I would not want to hurt their feelings, and then I would accept their rightful place sharing locker room space.

Look all of us women in an +18 years old and up place we have ALL seen penises. A penis is not shocking or foreign to us. A woman with female mannerisms and dress is not going to rape me, she may end up to being my girlfriend.

With the exception of protecting children from being exposed to adult genetalia from a person not of their sex, all of us (what is the word I am looking for here?) all of us “right” gendered persons are going to have to suck it up and change. If we go to a place where we are publicly undressing and communally showing together with other ADULTS, we have to accept transpeople in our gender segregated locker rooms. It is US that needs to do the changing.

And please remember that I am not “protecting” my children being exposed to transpeople, I am protecting them from being exposed to genetalia, especially adult genetalia, of the opposit sex to my children. I myself would never expose my children to adult nudity even of their same gender, that just crosses my boundaries, but if the Koreans have this as part of their culture, well that is their business.

Timothy Kincaid
January 20th, 2013 | LINK

SG

what is the word I am looking for here?

The term is “cis-gendered”

Ben Mathis
February 5th, 2013 | LINK

I think Boo´s post needs quoting again cause it got glossed right over (how convenient for the body police). I still find it hilarious this idea of parental rights within public spaces trumping other people’s. Not only is it *identical* to the think-of-the-children argument used against gay men or women showing affection in public, but the mere idea is absurd and highly cultural, as very few europeans outside the UK would object as boldy as this prudish, largely US-based body of commentors/editors. If you don´t want your kids to see anything you object to based on your personal, highly subjective sense of morals and body conformity, keep them home schooled and locked under the stairs, and out of a public shower environment.

Boo said =

What I think we really need is some sort of chart, incorporating both examples already noted here, as well as intersexed people, both those lucky enough to escape the surgeon’s knife and those not, post-phalloplasty FtMs whose results do not perfectly resemble those of non-reconstructed phalluses (perhaps some kind of sliding scale of acceptability could be used, with “ok in dim light” at one end and “EEEEEEEK” at the other), and whatever other variations an extensive internet search might happen to turn up. And of course it’s only fair to include post-vaginoplasty MtFs with less than ideal cosmetic results. After all, the regular police rely on a written body of law which everyone can be expected to learn and follow. The body police owe us no less consideration.

That’s assuming it’s actually a matter of body configuration and not simply the violation of gendered expectations per se that’s bugging you. Cause gay guys are all about upholding normative gender expectations, amiright?

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