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Awkward work situation


Moxie
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Tsuga, I have to be quick. I was discussing this with my husband and although he agrees with me, he said that abberation was not a kind word to use and gave me a good example to demonstrate that. He is right. I apologize for not being kind and will change the post. I do not apologize for having sympathy for people who struggle.

 

Speaking from a religious point of view, I do not believe it is at all loving to encourage people in the direction of possible sin, whether they feel happy in their life or not.

 

And, no, I take no responsibility for anyone's life being difficult, if I don't even know them. I would be as kind to a transgender person as to anyone else. If they asked for my opinion, I would give it.

 

Good night!

 

It's not about the word.

 

It's about the fact that you think that there is something wrong with who that person is, and you believe you have the right to demand that they change who they are for your religious belief.

 

You are entitled to your beliefs.

 

You are not entitled to demand that anyone else inconvenience themselves with regard to basic things like the bathroom so that you can feel "comfortable" that they aren't being encouraged by you--the encouragement being, respecting basic human rights like access to a toilet--to sin.

 

You could use the same logic to justify screaming at him, "FA%%OT!!!!" Really. You could.

 

"Well I just couldn't let him be encouraged in the direction of sin, see, so I had to be a total jerk about it and not respect his rights."

 

Yes. What you are suggesting is absolutely that offensive.

 

I have got all night running code so I don't have to be quick and I won't.

 

I will not discuss the religious aspect of this. Everyone has a right to their beliefs.

 

Nobody has the right to suggest that holding religious beliefs that make them uncomfortable with diversity, means that diversity needs to hide or go away. I don't care if you worship Satan and therefore you'd like Christians to bow down to you; I don't care if you are an atheist and therefore don't want churches to be allowed to use the city water pipes at a non-profit rate; I don't care if you are a traditional Christian or Muslim in North Africa who wants to cut off someone's clitoris; I don't care if you are a Christian in the United States who really hates the idea that gay, lesbian, transgender, bisexual, or any other people get to have the same basic rights to public and work toilets.

 

I don't care.

 

Whatever your beliefs, they don't allow you to make people hide who they are just because you think they are wrong.

 

Also, the fact that you don't take responsibility for the fact that your discrimination hurts and kills, is appalling. 

 

And yes to the flushing, Daria.

Edited by Tsuga
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Yes to the above.

 

Not to mention that there is no Biblical grounds to believe that transgender self-presentation is a sin at all.

 

(At *most* it *might* be a violation of one of the civil laws of the Mosaic code, but very few Christians adhere to the idea that it is a sin to disobey the civil points of law found in the Mosaic code.)

 

Therefore accepting and accommodating someone's declared gender, even when you suspect they might he trans, could not possibly be 'encouraging them to sin' under the standards of the vast majority of Christian views of sin (based on the vast majority of Christian approaches to the OT). Only those very few who count all violations of the Mosaic code to be sin are justified in this assertion.

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<snip>

 

This is not a case of political correctness. It is a question of basic rights for all people to use the bathroom of their own gender.

 

Right.  And for the past 5 years, this individual has apparently been presenting as a female, and thus using the women's restroom.  At least, if I read the OP right.  Now, (suddenly?*) this individual is apparently presenting as a male and wants to use the men's room. 

 

*Obviously this is not sudden to the person in transition but possibly sudden to the coworkers. 

 

And you don't think it could be a bit confusing and/or uncomfortable for the coworkers who knew this individual as a female for the past 5 years?

 

Give people a break, can't you?  Apparently the people working in this law office didn't serve in the armed forces or go to colleges where mixed-gender bathrooms are the norm. This is not political correctness and it's not people asking someone to bow down to them for their comfort. It's not about someone being afraid that the transgender person is going to be overcome with lust when seeing them at the urinal (not sure who said that).  It's about people experiencing something completely new and foreign to them and they are not sure what to do so that everyone can be comfortable.  The OP said that no one is fussing about it.  But they are unsure what to do.  Telling them they are just wrong is not helpful. 

 

 

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On the other hand, given how many unstable individuals use a misunderstanding of the Bible as a justification for acts of violence against LGBTQ individuals, you could definitely make the argument that calling attention to a transgender person by insisting on using pronouns that do not match their presentation might encourage people to sin.

 

Sorry, this was meant to be in response to Bolt's post.

Edited by Daria
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Well, let's see. Texas T made that post, and Monica in Switzerland and I liked it. Just to be clear, are you saying all three of us are unqualified to teach biology to our children? And this because we believe people who are anatomically male, are, in fact, male?

 

Look, I have no doubt at all that biology is involved in some of these kinds of preferences. However, dressing like a man, taking hormones to appear more like a man, undergoing surgery--those actually are all choices.

 

And, as another poster pointed out, there are certainly non-normative physiological differences in some people's chromosomes and/or genitalia when they are born. This is not at all surprising given that non-normative traits have occurred in every human anatomical system. I have great sympathy for people who are born with those conditions, as well as for those who strongly desire to be a gender they are not.

 

Bowing out for tonight! I have a hot date. (iZombie, a glass of wine, and my brilliant and handsome husband. What could be better?)

 

[Edited to remove a comment made with wrong motivation.]

MercyA-

Glad you have A Hot Date Tonight:)

I have absolutely agreed with opinions and ideas you have had in other topics, and have zero reason to doubt your intellect.

I just, after multiple experiences and personal friendships, along with my own extensive reading and research, can't agree that biology is a choice. You are basically saying that whilst you understand that biology (gender/sex) may not be a choice, the person is 'choosing' to pursue something they should not. For whatever reason. I cannot agree with this.

 

Have you read any of the studies/stories about those 'ambiguous' cases where doctors have arbitrarily decided (or asked the parents to decide which sex they wanted?!)? And those are just the 'visible' cases...

Edited by Kerileanne99
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Right.  And for the past 5 years, this individual has apparently been presenting as a female, and thus using the women's restroom.  At least, if I read the OP right.  Now, (suddenly?*) this individual is apparently presenting as a male and wants to use the men's room. 

 

*Obviously this is not sudden to the person in transition but possibly sudden to the coworkers. 

 

And you don't think it could be a bit confusing and/or uncomfortable for the coworkers who knew this individual as a female for the past 5 years?

 

Give people a break, can't you?  Apparently the people working in this law office didn't serve in the armed forces or go to colleges where mixed-gender bathrooms are the norm. This is not political correctness and it's not people asking someone to bow down to them for their comfort. It's not about someone being afraid that the transgender person is going to be overcome with lust when seeing them at the urinal (not sure who said that).  It's about people experiencing something completely new and foreign to them and they are not sure what to do so that everyone can be comfortable.  The OP said that no one is fussing about it.  But they are unsure what to do.  Telling them they are just wrong is not helpful. 

 

They should not stop this man from using the mens room and work to get over their discomfort if they so desire.  

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Wow. So much intolerance. There is a great show on amazon that explores transgender issues, Transparent. A little risqué, but a very good show.

There is also a very good documentary on PBS that followed several teens and their families as they explored the issue. I can't imagine anyone could watch it and not feel a great deal of empathy and admiration for all of the individuals involved.
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You're not crazy. I always wondered why the doors never went top to bottom.  I don't like it with other WOMEN.  Especially if I have an upset stomach, ya know?  I can either hold it or deal with being uncomfortable.  But I consider that my problem, and no one else's.  

 

I would probably rather be in there with someone I thought was a woman but really wasn't, than someone who obviously looked like a man.  But either way, again, my problem.

The doors are that way to make it quick and easy to clean, and for proper ventilation.

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The doors are that way to make it quick and easy to clean, and for proper ventilation.

 

I don't know. I've been in bathrooms that had doors that went much lower than the norm (if not quite all the way to the bottom) and they were no less clean or fresh-smelling than the other. Heck, I once went to a public bathroom that was really a glorified portapotty-with-stalls that really DID have doors all the way down to the bottom, and the air was as fresh as you can expect from, well, a portapotty.

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Also, isn't the transgendered person required to live a minimum of two years as the desired sex before being accepted for surgery? (There is a transgendered person at one of my jobs, that was their experience.)

This varies from doctor to doctor. In most states doctors get to set their own standards for who they will operate on. The requirements for legally changing your gender (on your driver's license for example) vary considerably from state to state.

Edited by LucyStoner
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I don't know. I've been in bathrooms that had doors that went much lower than the norm (if not quite all the way to the bottom) and they were no less clean or fresh-smelling than the other. Heck, I once went to a public bathroom that was really a glorified portapotty-with-stalls that really DID have doors all the way down to the bottom, and the air was as fresh as you can expect from, well, a portapotty.

I didn't say it is impossible to clean a bathroom with doors that go closer to the floor. It just takes more time. A smaller door might also make it easier to deal with backed up toilets and other problems.

 

Also if the doors go up to a certain height it may (depending on many factors) mean you have to install extra powerful fans, more smoke detectors, ...

 

Any chance a bathroom stall designer is on this board?

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I have a disability. I don't mind the comparison in the least.

 

Please don't claim to speak for "most disabled people."

+1

 

Hellz, my trans brother is also a disabled person in addition to being a trans person. He was born with a physical disability due to birth injury. As is the case in so much of life, the circles on the Venn diagram overlap folks. ;)

Edited by LucyStoner
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Bathrooms should be biological sex assigned. Post surgery I can see a switch happening though.

 

Again, not every person of transgender experience decides to undergo surgery as part of their transition.  There are, obviously, pros and cons to the surgery.  But one does not need surgery to live as the opposite gender.  Arctic Mama, why does the surgery make a difference for you?  Why are the genitals so important?

 

In addition, biological sex is not as binary as we generally assume.  For example, some people's gender is not clear at birth.  And some people have unusual chromosomes, instead of the typical XX or XY.  The biology of gender is actually fairly complicated for some people.  Ought we not extend as much grace as possible to these people?  After all, deciding to change one's gender is a pretty big decision.  Can't we trust that people who make this decision have thought long and hard about the pros and cons of it, over many years, and decided that despite the long list of cons, it is a change that they feel they must make?  And given that, can't we have some compassion for them, and avoid making their path even harder than it already is?

 

 

 

I'm fine with that. I was just answering the question that was directed toward me. I don't expect it to be a popular opinion. It is mine and I stand by it!!

 

I think it's good to stand by one's opinions, even when they are not popular.  

 

I would suggest, though, that in this case you spend some time listening to some trans people talk about why they made the very difficult decision to transition, to be sure that your assumptions are true.  We all know people who have strong negative feelings about homeschooling that are based on stereotypes, half-truths, and extreme cases,  If these people spend time meeting homeschoolers with an open mind, and learning about their reasons for homeschooling, they often come away with a more positive view of homeschoolers.  Similarly, many of the folks on this thread have family or friends who are of transgender experience, and are speaking with some solid knowledge behind their views.  Just - be careful that you have done your research and aren't speaking from shaky underpinnings. 

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Of course it is addressable...but I see no good coming of a debate about a transgendered person's "real" gender... I just forsee a lot of hurtful remarks.

 

 

 

Just curious: Do you also feel that employers should not be required to accommodate people with disabilities? They should throw money in a pot and fund their wheelchair ramps and accessible rooms and whatever else themselves, right? Because the government has no business insisting on conditions that are inclusive to all.

Interesting how you just equated attempting to change ones gender with a disability.

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Interesting how you just equated attempting to change ones gender with a disability.

 

I did not equate genderdysphoria with a disability, I merely drew a parallel, because, like a disability, it is a condition over which the person concerned has no control. Hormone therapy and gender reassignment surgery are standard treatments.

 

Nobody chooses to be transgendered.

Edited by regentrude
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Look, I have no doubt at all that biology is involved in some of these kinds of preferences. However, dressing like a man, taking hormones to appear more like a man, undergoing surgery--those actually are all choices.

 

And, as another poster pointed out, there are certainly non-normative physiological differences in some people's chromosomes and/or genitalia when they are born. This is not at all surprising given that non-normative traits have occurred in every human anatomical system. I have great sympathy for people who are born with those conditions, as well as for those who strongly desire to be a gender they are not.

 

Mercy, you are a nice person and I am going to challenge you to ponder your definition of the word choice here.

 

Yes, my brother could have "chosen" to continue to live as a deeply depressed, suicidal woman who responded to no standard treatment. Yet by transitioning, he started to live in peace with himself. He stopped trying to kill himself. That is not hyperbolic, the situation was truly that dire. I can not even begin to express how difficult this was for him. He stopped making reckless and dangerous self loathing choices and needing intense psych treatment and prescription drugs which robbed him of his personality. He became a mostly happy person who can weather life's ups and downs and persue a generally happy life. He is a very loving spouse and hands on super parent to two girls.

 

He lived with me before and after he transitioned. I'll take post transition over pre transition any day. I love my brother and am thankful that he is still with us.

 

Because you are a nice person, I think you can see that what you are calling a choice can in fact, for some, be a matter of life and death. My nieces, born 5+ years later, would not be here today had he not opted to start living as he was internally rather than forcing himself to fruitlessly live into the expected gender for his biological sex. I would point out that my brother was and is a Christian.

 

It is just not up to us to make decisions for others. If you can not see the visceral direness and pain of this scenario, you really have no right to claim that you have "great sympathy" for people who face these all too real and all too challenging situations. I'm not sure what alternative you could possibly offer which would result in as healthy of an outcome as my brother has experienced.

Edited by LucyStoner
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There is no way to discuss this topic without stepping on toes. I do feel tremendous empathy for anyone who is suffering and sees no way out of that suffering without doing something drastic.

 

As for the bathroom issue.....it would be a non issue for me. If I was a man who was so scared someone might see my penis I would use a stall. I am not a particularly modest person though....I have used the men's bathroom several times in my life.....once by mistake and other times because the line was too long for the woman's. I just ducked into a stall and avoided eye contact with the men standing at the urinals.

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I did not equate genderdysphoria with a disability, I merely drew a parallel, because, like a disability, it is a condition over which the person concerned has no control. Hormone therapy and gender reassignment surgery are standard treatments.

 

Nobody chooses to be transgendered.

Standard treatment doesn't make it the right treatment. However I do acknowledge people have the right to seek the medical treatment they desire.

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Also, trans person, cis or somewhere in between, it is not a good idea, or a polite act to ask someone about their genitals or talk about someone's genitials unless you are their intimate partner or their medical doctor or y'all have a very close friendship and they bring it up. Personally, I have zero friends in that category, thank you very much. You can pick your friends, you can pick your nose, you can't pick your friend's noses.

 

Repeat: do not think about or question people about their genitals. And doing so as an employer is just a really stupid idea, on top of being rude as all get out.

 

"lower surgery" is not required to be trans.

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Who said surgery was required? My point was that practically everyone, barring rare birth defects, had a biological sex. Gender and identity are fluid but that remains as binary as it gets. It is the easiest way to deal with this issue in the given work situation. This isn't a value judgment on whether it is right or wrong, but for practical policy that covers the most people with the least drama, theoretically speaking. It has nothing to do with anyone caring about someone's genitals, but as an up and down basic workplace policy to handle the building situation without being unfair to anyone - biological sex is intact for all pertinent parties at this point from what I gather.

 

As an aside, from what Moxie has said the woman in question has been gracious and accommodating - I hope her compassion is met with understanding and positive solutions by everyone involved and a good compromise is reached.

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Who said surgery was required? My point was that practically everyone, barring rare birth defects, had a biological sex. Gender and identity are fluid but that remains as binary as it gets. It is the easiest way to deal with this issue in the given work situation. This isn't a value judgment on whether it is right or wrong, but for practical policy that covers the most people with the least drama, theoretically speaking. It has nothing to do with anyone caring about someone's genitals, but as an up and down basic workplace policy to handle the building situation without being unfair to anyone - biological sex is intact for all pertinent parties at this point from what I gather.

 

As an aside, from what Moxie has said the woman in question has been gracious and accommodating - I hope her compassion is met with understanding and positive solutions by everyone involved and a good compromise is reached.

Several people indicated upthread that the litmus test for switching bathrooms would be if someone was post op or not. That's a whole lotta hooey and can't be implemented without the extreme awkwardness and rudeness (and in some states illegality) of asking people about their genitials.

 

Generally when people are asked about their genitials in the workplace, it's sexual harassment. Heck, generally when people talk about their genitials at work, it's sexual harassment.

 

There are rules of polite society that don't fade away because some one is trans.

Edited by LucyStoner
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You're really hung up on the genitals aren't you? But that's not what I'm actually saying, despite your repeating it. You put the policy on the books and if there is a clear issue with the policy then human resources goes to work to deal with that individual situation as needed. If twenty five people are happy and one isn't, then the policy is fairly successful. Maybe a waiver could be granted as needed too. Practically speaking it gives the workplace some cover and answers some questions as to how to manage the issue.

 

An alternate solution that has been implemented is to let everyone pick their own bathroom based on whatever they decide. If that solution pleases five people and bothers twenty it's a less effective solution than the other.

 

I'm not sure there is a right answer, but I am sure biological sex bathrooms have the least variation to account for. Offering one bathroom that is mixed sex or unspecified and otherwise holding a policy of bio sex only is probably the most legally straightforward since accommodations have been made both ways, but whether it is PC enough is up for debate. Oh well - I'm glad I'm not the person having to decide this for that workplace. It isn't an easy balance to respect the rights and feelings of everyone involved.

Edited by Arctic Mama
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Who said surgery was required? My point was that practically everyone, barring rare birth defects, had a biological sex. Gender and identity are fluid but that remains as binary as it gets. It is the easiest way to deal with this issue in the given work situation. This isn't a value judgment on whether it is right or wrong, but for practical policy that covers the most people with the least drama, theoretically speaking. It has nothing to do with anyone caring about someone's genitals, but as an up and down basic workplace policy to handle the building situation without being unfair to anyone - biological sex is intact for all pertinent parties at this point from what I gather.

 

As an aside, from what Moxie has said the woman in question has been gracious and accommodating - I hope her compassion is met with understanding and positive solutions by everyone involved and a good compromise is reached.

It may be *easy*, but it might not be the best solution. Let's review:

 

--The men in the law firm are understandably uncomfortable with sharing a bathroom with their colleague who until now has been perceived as and treated as a woman. Presumably, this discomfort will diminish over time, as everyone gets used to the arrangement, and gets used to the colleague presenting themselves and generally being treated as male in the context of bathroom and boardroom.

 

--The women in the law firm are understandably uncomfortable with sharing a bathroom with their colleague, who looks and acts like a man. Presumably, this discomfort will increase over time, as the colleague appears to be male and is more and more accepted as male within the company.

 

--Neither the women nor the men are likely to see the genitals of the transgender employee, nor should they. The specifics of the employee's genitals don't, from a practical perspective, enter into how the men or women will feel. Their discomfort comes not from the employee's genitals, but rather from the employee's external presentation as male or female, and from how the employee is perceived/treated, gender-wise, within the company.

 

--The transgender employee will be uncomfortable either way, and probably has already been for some time. Their discomfort is likely to be far, far more than that of either the female employees or the male employees.

 

--As the men's discomfort is likely to decrease over time, and the women's discomfort is likely to increase over time, it seems to me that the best solution is to have the employee, who is living as a man and externally appears to be a man, use the men's bathroom. I don't see any advantage to requiring them to use the women's bathroom. I also don't see any way in which the actual genitals of the person who presents as a man makes much of a difference, from a practical perspective, as no one will be seeing them.

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You're really hung up on the genitals aren't you? But that's not what I'm actually saying, despite your repeating it. You put the policy on the books and if there is a clear issue with the policy then human resources goes to work to deal with that individual situation as needed. If twenty five people are happy and one isn't, then the policy is fairly successful. Maybe a waiver could be granted as needed too. Practically speaking it gives the workplace some cover and answers some questions as to how to manage the issue.

 

An alternate solution that has been implemented is to let everyone pick their own bathroom based on whatever they decide. If that solution pleases five people and bothers twenty it's a less effective solution than the other.

 

I'm not sure there is a right answer, but I am sure biological sex bathrooms have the least variation to account for. Offering one bathroom that is mixed sex or unspecified and otherwise holding a policy of bio sex only is probably the most legally straightforward since accommodations have been made both ways, but whether it is PC enough is up for debate. Oh well - I'm glad I'm not the person having to decide this for that workplace. It isn't an easy balance to respect the rights and feelings of everyone involved.

 

Depending on the state this firm is in, the policy may constitute discrimination in the workplace.

 

And I really loathe how people throw the term PC around.

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I would bring in a port a potty and have the transitioner use that until the transition is complete. It is not the men's fault that the woman is transitioning. Therefore, their majority should not have to be uncomfortable. The transitioner should get over it, not them. Once she is fully transitioned, then the rest of them can get over it as HE would rightly be in the men's restroom.

Like, a port a potty in the parking lot?

Transition is a process; how would you, the employer, know it was "complete"? Wouldn't part of "completeness" be living as the new gender? Which would include using the relevant restroom? Could the employee actually consider their transition to be "complete" if they weren't using the men's restroom, but instead were using a port a potty in the parking lot? What things would you, as the employer, require to consider the transition to be "complete"? Or would you simply take the employee's word for it? Keep in mind that not every person of transgender experience feels the need to have top surgery, bottom surgery, or both.

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Arctic- you have zero HR experience, correct? What you are suggesting is ridiculous and throws up all sorts of red flags. What if someone decides to ask YOU to prove you are eligible to use the women's room? You wouldn't much like that, nor could such proof be provided in a way that didn't violate your rights to privacy.

 

If being polite and non-discriminatory means I am "hung up" on genitals or am PC, so be it. I'm surmising you aren't grasping the somewhat jesting nature of my posts. We do not live in a culture where it is polite to ask such questions. And who the heck wants to change that?!

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Taking the political correctness out of the conversation: I don't understand why several men have to be uncomfortable so that one transitioning person can be comfortable. Why can't the transitioning person just use the bathroom that has always been used?

 

And I don't mean that rudely. If I were in this person's place I would be attempting to assist others in feeling comfortable with my choice (within limits of course). This person wants to be real and authentic, but so do the men. They're people too.

 

People will adjust over time. My dad worked in San Fran forever and initially was not cool with gay people. Then he started going to funeral after funeral of his coworkers who'd died from AIDS. His position changed 180.

 

Compassion towards everyone -- including the men who don't quite gets what's happening -- is the way to help smooth this situation's wrinkles.

 

Alley

 

I think that what people forget when they hear about a former woman using the men's room, is that the alternative is a current man using the women's room. Yes, the men will feel uncomfortable if the employee uses the men's room, but so would the women if the employee uses the women's room. So it's not a matter where not using the men's room will mean that no one is uncomfortable. So it's not just about making the transgender employee comfortable, it's also about making the women comfortable.

 

I agree that compassion is a large part of any solution - compassion towards anyone who is feeling uncomfortable with the changes, as well as towards the transgender employee who is dealing with all of this.

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I spent years in HR before staying home. My job most definitely wasn't about making the majority of employees happy. It was about following the law and that sometimes ticked all employees off. I learned those in HR aren't generally well liked when my most favorite boss told me not to stay in HR if I actually wanted to make friends (outside of HR) at the company.

 

I am of the opinion that the men need to suck it up or find an alternative on their own. 

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Standard treatment doesn't make it the right treatment. However I do acknowledge people have the right to seek the medical treatment they desire.

 

Transition is standard because it's associated with a lower long-term risk of suicide and depression than other "treatments". Having positive effects rather than negative ones DOES make transition the right treatment for gender dysphoria.

 

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Side issue -not commenting on the debate at all.

 

 

Here town after town is ripping out male/ female public toilets and putting in unisex ones. They are disgusting. The men use the toilets like a urinal ( I don't mean just standing up and going into the bowel) - and everything is sticky and covered in urine. The stench is unbelievable. Worse than the zoo.     :thumbdown:  :thumbdown:

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Funny, in an ironic way, because I have been in some women's restrooms where hoverers (those women who do not wish to actually sit on the seatcovered by waxed paper) left the seat wet from missing the bowl.

 

My husband likes to say that women's restrooms are more messy. I've heard women lament that men are worse. Personally, it's not determined by sex but by people. Man or woman, some are more comfortable using a shared toilet than not. Like any group, some people are more ready and willing to pitch in to help clean up a mess and make shared spaces more acceptable for all. Every group has one or more black sheep acting like asses.

Edited by Elfknitter.#
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Years ago I used to think rather rigidly on this issue. However, a little logical thought makes it clear bathroom use should be a nonissue. It might take a little time to get used to, but there's nothing to do except to people anyone can use the men's room. If someone is really unable to deal with this they can leave the bathroom if they someone in there they don't want to be in the room with. (If they were there first they can hurry to finish and leave.)

 

As stated, anyone wanting privacy can use a stall. If no stalls are available, they can wait or go to the other bathroom on the other floor.

 

As stated, a business cannot impose a religious belief on workers. Most of the arguments against this man using the men's room seem to come from religious beliefs.

 

It is my understanding that there's no law against a man using the women's room or a woman using the men's room. As long the person using the facility for its intended use (IOW a man cannot just hangout in the women's room). Now, that would make even more people uncomfortable, but maybe everyone needs to understand this to start moving into the direction of this being a nonissue.

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Years ago I used to think rather rigidly on this issue. However, a little logical thought makes it clear bathroom use should be a nonissue. It might take a little time to get used to...

 

For whatever reason, Fiddler on the Roof's "Tradition" song came to mind when I read your post.  ;)

 

It's not the same subject of attention, of course, but why do some hold to certain things so fiercely?  Tradition!  Is that tradition the best way of doing things?  Well...

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For whatever reason, Fiddler on the Roof's "Tradition" song came to mind when I read your post.   ;)

 

It's not the same subject of attention, of course, but why do some hold to certain things so fiercely?  Tradition!  Is that tradition the best way of doing things?  Well...

 

LOL, it's not a tradition, like eating turkey on Thanksgiving.

 

Separate male/female restrooms in public places, businesses, etc., are a cultural norm that has been in place for years...decades... in most places in the US. But it's changing.  It's going to keep changing.  It's not going to change overnight.  There is going to be some discomfort with the change, just like there is when any cultural norm is challenged. 

 

The man in the law office is going to use the men's bathroom.  In 6 months almost everyone will have not-quite-forgotten that this was ever an issue.  It's not something people will completely forget, but it's not going to be an issue for long. 

 

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As an aside, from what Moxie has said the woman in question has been gracious and accommodating - I hope her compassion is met with understanding and positive solutions by everyone involved and a good compromise is reached.

This I don't understand at all. Why do you (and others) insist on saying that this is a woman? It is so incredibly insulting. He identifies as a man. The MAN in question has been gracious and accommodating. What is it that prevents you from acknowledging that he is a man? Why the cruelty?

Edited by bibiche
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Not to mention that there is no Biblical grounds to believe that transgender self-presentation is a sin at all.

 

(At *most* it *might* be a violation of one of the civil laws of the Mosaic code, but very few Christians adhere to the idea that it is a sin to disobey the civil points of law found in the Mosaic code.)

 

Therefore accepting and accommodating someone's declared gender, even when you suspect they might he trans, could not possibly be 'encouraging them to sin' under the standards of the vast majority of Christian views of sin (based on the vast majority of Christian approaches to the OT). Only those very few who count all violations of the Mosaic code to be sin are justified in this assertion.

 

I wholeheartedly agree with you that Christians are not under Mosaic law. The failure of some Christians to recognize this is the root of many problems in the church. However, I believe the New Testament does indeed speak to transgender presentation:

 

"Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God." 1 Corinthians 6:9-10

 

I am well-aware that many attempts have been made to explain away this passage. I feel no need to defend it or argue about it. Truth speaks for itself.

Edited by MercyA
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It's not about the word...

 

It's about the fact that you think that there is something wrong with who that person is, and you believe you have the right to demand that they change who they are for your religious belief.

 

You are entitled to your beliefs.

 

You are not entitled to demand that anyone else inconvenience themselves with regard to basic things like the bathroom so that you can feel "comfortable" that they aren't being encouraged by you--the encouragement being, respecting basic human rights like access to a toilet--to sin.

 

Tsuga, I do understand your passion regarding this subject. However, you've made some assertions about my character and beliefs that just aren't true. For example, you wrote, "you believe you have the right to demand that they change who they are for your religious belief." No, I don't demand that anyone change who they are because I am a Christian. If they ask me what I think of their choices based on Scripture, I will tell them. Otherwise I am very much a live and let live kind of person. 

 

I never said I wouldn't allow someone access to a toilet. It's clear you don't like my suggestion of a mixed gender bathroom. That's okay. As an earlier poster said, I'm glad I don't have to make the decision.

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MercyA-

Glad you have A Hot Date Tonight:)

I have absolutely agreed with opinions and ideas you have had in other topics, and have zero reason to doubt your intellect.

I just, after multiple experiences and personal friendships, along with my own extensive reading and research, agree that biology is a choice. You are basically saying that whilst you understand that biology (gender/sex) may not be a choice, the person is 'choosing' to pursue something they should not. For whatever reason. I cannot agree with this.

 

Have you read any of the studies/stories about those 'ambiguous' cases where doctors have arbitrarily decided (or asked the parents to decide which sex they wanted?!)? And those are just the 'visible' cases...

 

Thank you for your kind and thoughtful response, Kerileanne.  :)

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Mercy, you are a nice person and I am going to challenge you to ponder your definition of the word choice here.

 

Yes, my brother could have "chosen" to continue to live as a deeply depressed, suicidal woman who responded to no standard treatment. Yet by transitioning, he started to live in peace with himself. He stopped trying to kill himself. That is not hyperbolic, the situation was truly that dire. I can not even begin to express how difficult this was for him. He stopped making reckless and dangerous self loathing choices and needing intense psych treatment and prescription drugs which robbed him of his personality. He became a mostly happy person who can weather life's ups and downs and persue a generally happy life. He is a very loving spouse and hands on super parent to two girls.

 

He lived with me before and after he transitioned. I'll take post transition over pre transition any day. I love my brother and am thankful that he is still with us.

 

Because you are a nice person, I think you can see that what you are calling a choice can in fact, for some, be a matter of life and death. My nieces, born 5+ years later, would not be here today had he not opted to start living as he was internally rather than forcing himself to fruitlessly live into the expected gender for his biological sex. I would point out that my brother was and is a Christian.

 

It is just not up to us to make decisions for others. If you can not see the visceral direness and pain of this scenario, you really have no right to claim that you have "great sympathy" for people who face these all too real and all too challenging situations. I'm not sure what alternative you could possibly offer which would result in as healthy of an outcome as my brother has experienced.

 

Thank you, Katie, for giving me the benefit of the doubt. I will certainly think about what you've shared here.

Edited by MercyA
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I wholeheartedly agree with you that Christians are not under Mosaic law. The failure of some Christians to recognize this is the root of many problems in the church. However, the New Testament does indeed speak to transgender presentation:

 

"Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God." 1 Corinthians 6:9-10

 

I am well-aware that many attempts have been made to explain away this passage. I feel no need to defend it or argue about it. Truth speaks for itself.

I'm not sure which word in there you think implies someone is living as a transgender person? Is it "fornicators" (general sexual immorality)? or "effeminate" (the male recipient of male homosexual acts, generally a prostitute)? I can imagine the framework an argument for each, but neither makes complete sense exegetically. Therefore, it is the initial idea that the passage references transgender conduct at all that requires an explanation -- It does not need to be "explained away".

 

If you don't intend to "defend" your odd useage of this passage to identify your neighbours as sinners by so much as discribing your interpretive process, I can't imagine you expect readers to take you seriously as a Biblical teacher on the topic. Ancient documents, in other languages, immersed in other contexts... They don't "speak for themselves" -- they are fist translated, then read, then studied, examined, interpreted and applied. To do less is utterly irreverent.

Edited by bolt.
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Right. Some of the very best law firm scenes in ally McBeal happened where? In the unisex!

 

New Girl, the sitcom, also has a unisex bathroom where many scenes take place. Except it has urinals, and I don't think Ally McBeal went that far.  Modern times, huh?

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I haven't read through all the posts, but I just want to point out that the employees discomfort might be generational. I would guess in another 5 years, this will be a non-issue.

 

There was a Female-to-male transgendered student that attended my sons' high school back in 2010. He transitioned between his sophomore and junior year. No one at the school made a big deal about it. I've discussed the use of bathrooms by transgendered students and they just shrugged and said that it's no big deal.

 

There is at least a few transgendered students attending there now. I work there part-time and the school administrators and teachers continue to support all the students.

http://www.fredericksburg.com/news/local/stafford/transgender-student-goes-through-stafford-schools/article_784911d1-03a4-5c58-87b6-517eb940142f.html?mode=jqm

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I'm not sure which word in there you think implies someone is living as a transgender person? Is it "fornicators" (general sexual immorality)? or "effeminate" (the male recipient of male homosexual acts, generally a prostitute)? I can imagine the framework an argument for each, but neither makes complete sense exegetically. Therefore, it is the initial idea that the passage references transgender conduct at all that requires an explanation -- It does not need to be "explained away".

 

If you don't intend to "defend" your odd useage of this passage to identify your neighbours as sinners by so much as discribing your interpretive process, I can't imagine you expect readers to take you seriously as a Biblical teacher on the topic. Ancient documents, in other languages, immersed in other contexts... They don't "speak for themselves" -- they are fist translated, then read, then studied, examined, interpreted and applied. To do less is utterly irreverent.

 

My usage of the passage is hardly odd, and I feel no need to be seen as a "Biblical teacher." Scripture, in general, is clear and easy to understand (unless, of course, it says something we don't particularly care for). I have a very high regard for Scripture and hope that I always approach it with reverence.

 

I won't argue with you further.  :)

Edited by MercyA
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I wholeheartedly agree with you that Christians are not under Mosaic law. The failure of some Christians to recognize this is the root of many problems in the church. However, the New Testament does indeed speak to transgender presentation:

 

"Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God." 1 Corinthians 6:9-10

 

I am well-aware that many attempts have been made to explain away this passage. I feel no need to defend it or argue about it. Truth speaks for itself.

MercyA, could you expand on this a little more? The OP's situation involves a person who has transitioned from female to male.

 

I'm assuming that "fornicators" and "adulterers" don't apply here, or "homosexuals" either, as they are all about sexual behavior, which is not at issue here. We don't know anything about the employee's sexual behavior.

 

"Thieves" and "swindlers" don't apply either, as they are about stealing or fraudulent behavior, which don't come into play in this situation.

 

"Drunkards" doesn't apply; there's no alcohol or intoxicated behavior involved.

 

"Revilers" are people who speak harshly, critically, or in an abusive way to others; this doesn't fit the situation; indeed the employee seems to be working with the company to find a solution that minimizes the discomfort of fellow employees (men and women) as much as possible in the circumstances.

 

"Idolaters" and "the covetous" don't seem to apply either. "Idolaters" implies a worship of something, and we don't know anything about the employee's religious practices or beliefs. "Covetous" is about jealousy; the problem here is not really about someone being jealous of which bathroom others use; if anything it's about the employee trying to fit in with others as best they can.

 

"Effeminate" doesn't apply; the employee is moving in the "less feminine" direction.

 

Since you believe this passage applies here, could you explain a bit more? I'm not asking you to defend it, but I'm interested in understanding how you feel the passage relates to the employee in the OP's scenario. You've said Truth speaks for itself, which I think is often the case, but in this particular case it is not clear to me.

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My usage of the passage is hardly odd, and I feel no need to be seen as a "Biblical teacher." Scripture, in general, is clear and easy to understand (unless, of course, it says something we don't particularly care for).

 

I have a very high regard for Scripture and am not the one being irreverent here. I won't argue with you further.  :)

 

So clear that there are literally hundreds of different interpretations. Right.

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Although this sounds childish, what about placing a small flag or other indication that the restroom is in use? I think it might also be uncomfortable for the person changing their gender to go to the restroom with others that formerly were a different gender. So, if you had some sort of "occupied" sign, the restrooms would effectively be single stall restrooms. Not ideal with 25 people per floor, but it might work.

That's what we did in my all-girl's dorm when someone's male guest wanted to use the restroom-put a magnet on the door so the other girls would know that there was a guy in there. I think about a month into every term, it stopped being used because no one cared anymore, but in the interim, it gave everyone an out, without the guys having to go down 6-7 floors to the lobby.

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MercyA, could you expand on this a little more? The OP's situation involves a person who has transitioned from female to male.

 

I'm assuming that "fornicators" and "adulterers" don't apply here, or "homosexuals" either, as they are all about sexual behavior, which is not at issue here. We don't know anything about the employee's sexual behavior.

 

"Thieves" and "swindlers" don't apply either, as they are about stealing or fraudulent behavior, which don't come into play in this situation.

 

"Drunkards" doesn't apply; there's no alcohol or intoxicated behavior involved.

 

"Revilers" are people who speak harshly, critically, or in an abusive way to others; this doesn't fit the situation; indeed the employee seems to be working with the company to find a solution that minimizes the discomfort of fellow employees (men and women) as much as possible in the circumstances.

 

"Idolaters" and "the covetous" don't seem to apply either. "Idolaters" implies a worship of something, and we don't know anything about the employee's religious practices or beliefs. "Covetous" is about jealousy; the problem here is not really about someone being jealous of which bathroom others use; if anything it's about the employee trying to fit in with others as best they can.

 

"Effeminate" doesn't apply; the employee is moving in the "less feminine" direction.

 

Since you believe this passage applies here, could you explain a bit more? I'm not asking you to defend it, but I'm interested in understanding how you feel the passage relates to the employee in the OP's scenario. You've said Truth speaks for itself, which I think is often the case, but in this particular case it is not clear to me.

 

Sure. I think "effeminate" applies in a general way here. You are absolutely correct to point out that it is listed separately from offenses involving sexual behavior (fornication, adultery, homosexuality). I believe "effeminate" refers largely to appearance; that is, to a man who intentionally chooses to display womanly characteristics. I assume that if that is a sin for men to be effeminate, the reverse would be true for women. It would make no logical sense for it to be otherwise.

 

I am reminded of the passage in Romans 1, referring to homosexual behavior:

 

"For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error." 

 

Even if lesbianism weren't specifically called out in the passage, I would still assume it is sin based on the general principle being taught.

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