Making Bathrooms More ‘Accommodating’
In “Making Bathrooms More ‘Accommodating’,” Emily Bazelon argues that in order to accommodate transgender people in public restrooms, it is important that society understands that their need to belong is just the same as everyone else’s. Furthermore, this analysis is going to address the ways in which transgender people are looked at by different types of people under the circumstance of sharing a restroom, as well as how transgender people feel about it.
In school districts, what’s tough for non-transgender people to understand and accept, is the bathroom, shower, and locker room accommodations for transgenders. At a high school in Illinois, a transgender student asked to change in the girl’s locker room even though she was born with a male anatomy, therefore some may classify her as a male regardless of surgeries and hormone therapy. The district said no due to “privacy concerns.” After complaints were made, the district agreed to her changing with the other girls as long as there was a privacy curtain. Often times society is blind to the feelings and necessary accommodations of transgender people due to their concern for those who are not transgender, as Bazelon proves to us in the previous example. This is the reason some need to be enlightened on the opposite perspective which brings me to the following example provided in the article.
An example of a circumstance in which non-transgender people, once again, continue to have trouble grasping the fact that trans people just want to fit in. A 12-year-old transgender girl wants badly to feel a sense of belonging and acceptance from the other girls in the locker rooms. It is not hard to understand that she would want to fit in because according to Bazelon, “for transgender girls, the locker room and the bathroom are about joining all-female enclave, about fitting in.” (Bazelon) The twelve-year-old girl doesn’t want to feel as if it’s privilege that she gets to change with her fellow female peers because it should be a right. This is the point Emily is trying to get across to us. Not accommodating for transgender people shouldn’t be an option, society needs to work towards having it be a right of way. It does not need involve big adjustments, it is just small ones “for the sake of coexistence.” (Bazelon) Although this perspective may be informative, it does not stop certain women from feeling uncomfortable with the idea of sharing such a personal, vulnerable, space with someone they see as a “male.”
The purpose for this article is not only to enlighten people on the perspective of transgender people, but also to argue that their accommodations need to be a right of way, society needs to have a better understanding of transgender people’s place in all of this. Once non-transgender people are able to see the opposing side’s view, they will be more willing to make adjustments in order to coexist.