School officials backtrack on bathroom panic

Maybe the folks at Green Mountain Union High School got advance word that the Obama administration was issuing guidelines on bathroom rights (and other issues) for transgender students. That happened earlier today; yesterday, the Vermont school district reversed itself and announced that transgender male students would, in fact, be allowed to use the boys’ restrooms instead of being consigned to the closet-sized gender-neutral facilities.

The original decision had prompted a brief walkout by a couple dozen students on Monday.

A.J. Jackson is a trans student at Green Mountain Union High School. He says the student protest made a difference and now he can use the boys bathroom at the high school.

“I didn’t think we would get this far,” said Jackson.

He’s now hoping for a general review of school policies with an eye toward accommodating students of all kinds. And hey, now the district has guidelines from the state and federal governments to follow.

The move has prompted the predictable ignorant responses, per WCAX:

“What is going to be the criteria that they are in fact that way and not just going to — as you say — trying to take a sneak peek?” asked a father.

Yeah, so, um. A male student is going to grab clothes from his sister’s closet one morning, eat breakfast without his parents telling him to cut it out and wear his own clothes, take the bus without fellow students noticing, and then saunter into the girls’ restroom with none of the other occupants noticing, just to try to “sneak a peek”? Sorry, that’s not gonna happen.

“Are there going to be special accommodations for students who are not comfortable sharing a bathroom with the opposite sex?” asked one mother.

There already are, ma’am. They’re called the single-stall gender-neutral bathrooms. GMUHS has six of them. That’s a simple solution that puts the onus where it belongs: on the student with the discomfort problem instead of the trans student seeking his or her own comfort zone.

See, if you want to cite a real safety concern, try being a trans man using a women’s restroom, or being a trans woman using the men’s. That’s where you get harassment, threats, and even trouble with the cops.

NCTransThis is a famous Tweet sent by a trans man from North Carolina, which shows the absurdity of anti-trans bathroom policies. That’s the reality of making people use the bathroom that jibes with their birth certificates: men who look like JP Sheffield being forced to use the women’s room.

Is that what anyone wants? No, I don’t think so.

The unspoken message behind the bathroom panic is that we want transgender people to shut up, suppress their true identities, and stick to what’s printed on their birth certificates.

Either that, or you’re telling Mr. Sheffield to take his marvelously furry face and trucker’s hat into the ladies’ room.



3 thoughts on “School officials backtrack on bathroom panic

  1. Acarn

    I was very proud of the school boards response, we were worried that it might have to go all the way to court. The media coverage has been fantastic, and I greatly appreciate your take on all of this. Your sarcastic humor is fantastic.

  2. ConsVT

    So the six gender neutral bathrooms aren’t enough for the transgender folks?? Hmmm . . . feeling like people owing you something because you choose to be different is humorous.


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