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Politics // Just Thoughts
Bob Jones

Gender Identity In The Restroom

Coy Mathis, 6, a Colorado first-grader who was born male but identifies as a female, won a civil rights suit to use the girls’ restroom at school | AP photo from Bob Jones

A Star-Advertiser reader from Moiliili probably touched many sensitive social-issue nerves with a recent letter to the editor, saying, “I believe one should use a restroom matching his/her genitalia.”

You’ve probably read about the Coy Mathis case. A Colorado first-grader born a boy but identifying as a girl won a civil rights board OK to use the girls’ restroom at school.

The school district objected and said, “As Coy grows older and his male genitals develop along with the rest of his body, some parents and students are likely to become uncomfortable with his continued use of the girls’ restroom.”

This is a toughie, even for social liberals who say, “Hey, be who you want to be.”

The matter could have been avoided if we’d grown up in a unisex-restroom society. Some of our colleges (one of which my daughter attended) have them and they work fine. But it’s a pretty horrifying concept for many older people – and, yes, some younger ones as well. Not that it should be if all restrooms had privacy stalls. Who cares which gender is in the next one?

But if we’re to continue single-sex restrooms, do transsexuals or transvestites get to choose which bathroom symbol they prefer?

Is not allowing that choice what one legal defense fund claims is “creating an environment that is objectively and subjectively hostile, intimidating or offensive”?

Studies about sex and children show some as young as 3 with signs of gender identity disorder. They are not intersex. They do not have a physical disorder or malformation of their sexual organs. The gender issue exists entirely in wiring and chemistry of their brains.

OK, so we agree there are people identifying themselves with a gender not the one assigned at birth. And we can agree we should not discriminate against them any more than if the issue were color or religion.

But cross-bathroom use in schools, especially in the younger grades? That’s going to be a tough sell in most communities. The idea of using the restroom that matches your genitalia probably will seem reasonable to a majority. But in Coy Mathis’s case, he has a passport and state ID card showing him as female. How do you argue with that?

Are your kids comfortable with cross-restroom use? Ask them. Maybe they’ll surprise you.


I find it hilarious that the European Union in general and the Germans in particular are miffed by disclosures that the U.S. has bugged their offices at the U.N. and elsewhere.

What, we don’t spy on friends? Of course we do, and they on us. We all want to know what the other is thinking and doing.

Why do you think everybody has anti-bugging devices?

BanyanTreeHouse@ gmail.com

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