‘Accommodations should be made for them too because everyone should feel comfortable’
Advocates of sex-segregated restrooms and locker rooms in schools often argue that transgender students should use a non-communal facility such as a nurse’s station.
That way, they can disrobe, shower and relieve themselves without upsetting members of the opposite sex who don’t want to be naked with them.
Trans advocates argue this is discriminatory, stigmatizing and inconvenient, and will lead to trans students endangering their health by not relieving themselves in school and worsening their hygiene by not showering after exercise.
But maybe they’re starting to come around on the separate-but-equal idea – for students who identify with their sex.
Hawaii’s KITV reports on a controversy at Kamehameha Schools Maui, where a male volleyball athlete started identifying as female and using the girls’ locker room as a result.
School district policy puts no conditions on students who want to use the private changing facilities of the opposite sex. The Hawaii High School Athletic Association established a similar policy nearly two years ago, letting boys compete in girls’ sports with no conditions such as required hormone treatment to level the playing field.
It’s high times for activists such as Dean Hamer, a board member of the Honolulu Gay & Lesbian Cultural Foundation as well as filmmaker and scientist.
If female students are uncomfortable with a biological male getting undressed in their facilities and watching them undress, they have other options, such as a nurse’s station or other room, Hamer told the news station: “Accommodations should be made for them too because everyone should feel comfortable.”
Hamer says it’s not enough for schools to have anti-bullying policies to protect sexual and gender minorities. They need to “show kids and teachers and administrators what a positive affirming atmosphere looks like,” meaning they need to privilege transgender over cisgender students.
MORE: Judge greenlights suit against school district for coed showering policy
The health and hygiene problems that cisgender students can develop by avoiding all-gender restrooms and locker rooms during school hours – in a reasonable attempt to avoid the opposite sex while undressed – is the basis for at least two lawsuits challenging transgender policies in public schools.
This spring a federal judge allowed a suit against an Illinois school district to move forward, saying that girls’ extensive attempts to avoid a boy in the locker room count as “injury in fact.”
A month later, the Supreme Court refused to review a decision by an appeals court that upheld a Pennsylvania school district policy allowing transgender students to use the facilities of their choice.
The plaintiff in that case, known as Boyertown, was a boy who was so uncomfortable with a biological female in the locker room that he “lost points because he stopped changing for gym class,” The Morning Call reported at the time.
Like the Hawaii LGBT activist, the federal trial judge said Boyertown students who are uncomfortable being viewed naked by members of the opposite sex can use private showers and single-user restrooms.
MORE: Supreme Court precedent ignored by forcing coed students to undress
MORE: Black girl from foster home told to ‘tolerate’ boy in her locker room
IMAGE: traveliving / Shutterstock.com
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