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Dec. 14, 2016: Locker Room Rant

December 15, 2015

This morning in the gym, as I was walking through the women’s locker room on my way to the bathroom, I noticed naked, dripping wet woman walking through, leaving puddles in her path. Just after I went into a bathroom stall and closed the door, I heard a woman say something like, “Why don’t people use towels?” I assumed she was asking the question rhetorically. But another woman felt the need to answer her: “Because they assume that children will not be around.” This kind of made sense, since the gym just recently started offering swim lessons to children. But so what?

But then, the second woman started on a rant, adding that we can’t assume that transgender people won’t be in the locker rooms; and how would we know if a trans person was really trans or just a guy wanting to look at, and molest, women; and we have no choice because of the bullying that’s happening with legislation and executive orders; and our rights are being violated. As she talked, her voice kept getting louder and angrier. I felt sorry for the first woman, who probably wasn’t expecting that. It sounded like her beef was about drying off so that water doesn’t drip on the floor and cause a safety hazard for other members.

I really wanted to say something, but I kept my mouth shut and the stall door closed until they left. The second woman sounded pretty angry, and I didn’t feel like getting into a confrontation with someone who would most likely not listen to any kind of reasoning; it would just heighten her anger. I could have stepped out the stall and told her I was a transwoman, just to see the look on her face. But that might have escalated the situation.

I wondered what goes through the mind of someone who, despite all evidence to the contrary, lets fear encroach on whatever reasoning they have. Does she have a child enrolled in a school where another kid is trans and, in California, has the right to use the bathroom that corresponds to their gender identity? Does she have a trans kid that she disowned? Or is it just Fox News fear-mongering?

I wonder what would happen if she did encounter a transwoman in the locker room. What would happen if that transwoman was Mara? If anyone at the gym ever does read that Mara is trans and makes a fuss about it, I hope I’m there to support Mara. I wouldn’t resort to violence unless it was in self-defense. But I wouldn’t let anyone abuse Mara, verbally or otherwise. Trans people are the ones who have reason to fear being abused in locker rooms. And there is evidence of that.

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4 Comments
  1. That must have been really upsetting to have to listen to! It’s depressing that people harbor this kind of fear and anger towards trans women – especially when, as you point out, they are the ones more likely to be at risk. You were probably wise not to engage, because people with that mindset are not very likely to change their mind based on a chance encounter…

  2. Thanks Ariadne.

  3. If I were in your shoes, I’d have been quite offended by that hateful woman. Instead of doing what you did, however, I might have taken a soft approach towards that woman. For example, I might have asked – let’s say that I was born a man, and now had this body – how could I molest any woman? (This after a few leading questions and sentences to find out how she came to her conclusion about transgender people.) Once the absurdity of her logic was shown to her, she’d either get mad or be embarrassed. Either way, she would have learned that her hatred was misdirected, and any future expression of it would be her choice and not one taught to her…..

    • I wish I had had time to talk to her. By the time I got out of the stall she had left the restroom. Actually, I told that story tomorrow, and she said I should have come out of the stall and told her I was trans just to see the look on her face. 😄

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