Equality…except at the lunch counter

Being an aging lesbian transwoman, I’d rather be writing about the problems of aging GLBT people, but sometimes events make me so furious, that what I would rather be writing about must take a back seat to expressing my fury.

As I wrote about in January, Baltimore County, Maryland has been considering whether or not transpeople deserve the respect inherent in equal rights.  A bill was introduced by Democratic Councilman Tom Quirk to enumerate and protect the rights of transpeople, and had three co-sponsors (two Republicans and a Democrat).  With 4 out of 7 of the council members sponsoring the legislation, it seemed like a shoe-in to pass.

It likely will still pass, but the changes made to it make it into something unrecognizable as a bill to protect equal rights.

Councilman John Olszewski Sr., a Democrat, has introduced an amendment to strip public accommodations from the rights enumerated by the bill.

How we are treated in public is the main concern many of us have.  Yes, we need protection in the workplace, in housing, and in credit, but if we cannot safely conduct ourselves in the public sphere, then we are not equal citizens.  Have we forgotten the sit-ins at lunch counters from the 60s?  Are we so willing to restrict equality that segregation is actually being considered as the solution?


Dan Rodricks had this commentary in the Baltimore Sun:

Let’s keep this simple: Transgender people should be allowed to use the public restrooms according to their gender identity. If they do something wrong while in there, they should be reported to the police. Otherwise, everyone, here’s some advice: Go in, do your business, and get out, no eye contact. Oh, and wash your hands.

Ruth Jacobs of Maryland Citizens for Responsible Government Bigotry, has been doing her best to stoke the fires of hatred:

Promoted as a ‘gender identity anti-discrimination bill,’ Human Relations Bill No. 3-12 forces the public to recognize men as women, thereby allowing men access to women’s bathrooms.  This takes away from a woman being a woman.

These people are confused about their gender.  The bill is a direct attack on women’s privacy.

It’s the lack of respect that jumps right out into my amygdala.  I am not confused about my gender.  That would be Dr. Jacobs.

From the monger’s pen:

The rape mentioned involved no transperson.  The child was raped by a heterosexual man.  Dr. Jacobs has no shame.

It opens up the bathroom to men … who may be a pedophile who may use the law to nefarious advantage.

Ruth Jacobs

(The article from which the above quote was drawn has the title, In Maryland, lies will not stop passage of laws to protect transgender people.  Maybe not, but they managed to severely degrade those laws.)

Since when are we in the business of punishing people because they “may be” something.  Every man “may be” a rapist.  Should we strip men of their rights?

But Jacobs accomplished her purpose, which is to start the hatred ball rolling, facts be damned.    

Since Montgomery County passed a similar bill, there have been 4 rapes by men, dressing as women lying in wait for their victims in ladies rooms” (By the way, Schatz lists her employer as Congressman Andy Harris, a Republican representing Maryland’s District 1). Another opponent forwarded the Facebook post to Gender Right Maryland in a jab that backfired-Gender Rights Maryland forwarded Schatz’ specific allegation to officials in Montgomery County.

Montogomery County Executive Isiah Legget (we have an equality law in Montgomery County) had this to say to the council members:

As you are all responsible for the health and welfare of your county residents, let me state without hesitation that nothing untoward has occurred in Montgomery County over the last four years.  Contrary to all the fear-mongering of the opposition, none of which has been based in fact, life in Montgomery County has improved for everyone since that time.

WND came down on the side of oppression, of course.

A second amendment, sponsored by Bevins, a Democrat, and Perry Hall Republican Councilman David Marks, adds language that restates exemptions to the law that are already part of county code.

Another, sponsored by Olszewski and Marks, allows employers to establish rules governing appearance in the work place while allowing employees to dress in a way that is consistent with their employee’s gender identity.


What the hell!  Why don’t we just remove all the protections from the equality protection law?

But you can tart it up any way you want, and pretend it is an intellectual discussion.  But it’s not.  It’s discrimination plain and simple.  Nobody should be questioning the rights of transpeople to live freely, to bear children, to do anything that everyone else is allowed to do.

Indeed, it is time to stop all attempts to segregate transpeople.

Jill Page, Montreal Gazette

For the sake of the children?  How does it benefit little girls to become habituated to using the restroom with these guys…

…rather than these women?

Three of the women above are deceased, murdered because someone objected to them being transwomen.  Another was viciously beaten by men who called her a fag.  The solution is not to force us to use the men’s restroom.


    • Robyn on February 18, 2012 at 00:40

    …a women’s rest room…apparently:

    Just imagine what could have happened if she had used a men’s restroom.

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