Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The Search Continues

Every morning I search the news for trans articles and lately it has become harder. If you go to Google News or Yahoo News and use “transgender” as the search word I used to find dozens of topics to write about, but now there is only one. Bathrooms.

What does that have to say about us, in us I mean the U.S.? What does it mean to the rest of the world? So I entered the search terms “transgender bathrooms” in to a number of foreign newspapers sites.  BBC had an interesting topic…
Mapping safe toilets for transgender Americans
By BBC
31 March 2016

For most, the act of going to the bathroom is an unremarkable part of their daily routines. However, for transgender people, fear of harassment makes this small decision a tough obstacle.

In North Carolina a recent law has been introduced requiring people to only use bathrooms that match the gender they were assigned at birth.

Web designer Emily Waggoner was "devastated" by the new legislation, and decided to do something to help those in need of a safe location to use non-gendered bathrooms.

Waggoner created a map peppered with small toilet roll icons, showing the locations of businesses that have declared their facilities safe for those who identify as transgender or gender non-conforming.
The British newspaper The Guardian had this article,
From Jim Crow to transgender ban: the bathroom as battleground for civil rights
North Carolina’s ban on transgender people using public bathrooms matching their identity is the latest in a history of contention over a very private space
By Maria L La Ganga
30 March 2016

But transgender people are hardly the first to be embroiled in a very public bathroom brawl. The commode has been at the center of civil rights battles since the first modern public lavatory with flushing toilets opened in Victorian London.

Who were the interlopers back then? Women, of course, and they’re still fighting for “potty parity”. The US Congress, for example, has yet to pass the Restroom Gender Parity in Federal Buildings Act to make sure government buildings are built or leased with, at minimum, the same number of toilets in women’s restrooms as in men’s. Urinals are included in the count.

In the segregated south, Jim Crow laws banned black people from public “whites only” bathrooms until the 1960s, in perhaps the most elemental form of segregation. People with disabilities were not promised access to public lavatories until the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law by then-president George W Bush in 1990. Homeless people still struggle to find restrooms they are allowed to use.
And that is about it. The rest of the world just doesn’t care about bathrooms, it seems to be an American obsession.

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