Sorry it took a long time to respond. The problem with educating people is that I don't know what the locker room policies really are. People who leave comments on news stories about locker room policies for transgender people seem to assume the policies allow people with fully male anatomy to use women's locker rooms (and full female anatomy use men's locker rooms) but the news articles are not clear if the policies really allow that. I think I read someone express concern that teenage girls will be forced to shower with boys after PE (they seem to believe all cisgender men/boys have to do is claim to be transgender even if they have no gender dysphoria). I've heard that the majority of schools in the United States and Canada have not had students shower after PE for a while now. My schools did not do showers when I attended 20 years ago. I've heard most schools in Europe still require showers. Does anyone know what the locker room policies really are? I have read a lot of comments on these stories where people respond to those saying it will be easy for cisgender men to pretend to be transgender women to harass women by saying that there have been no cases of that happening. However, I think I read one comment where someone claimed a few specific cases where something like that happened. Just wondering, but what are peoples' opinions of what the policies should be. I want to clarify that I am talking about locker rooms only, not bathrooms. Bathrooms are different because they have stalls and when you need to go it is very important to be able to go. Even though urinals in men's rooms are not in stalls I think it is rare for someone to see anything anyway. Regarding the opinions of people on this forum: Do you think transgender people should wait until finishing hormones or surgery before using locker rooms or can they use them before then? Do you think they should stay partially dressed if transition is not complete? Is there something wrong with women seeing a penis, or men seeing a vulva in the locker room or is it no big deal? Should transgender people who have had no hormones or surgery at all be able to use the locker room that matches their identity including showers? I looked up the controversy about the Planet Fitness policy. The cisgender women who objected said that the transgender women who used the locker room looked like a man. I saw a picture of her and although she had a big frame and did I don't think she looked attractive, she did not look like a man. In any case it seems like a lot of people are trying to scare people into thinking that transgender rights in the area of locker rooms will put cisgender people in danger.
I find that the colors on the map are too close to each other. I can't tell the difference between "poor" and "very poor". It looks like the only very good states are California, Oregon, Washington, Colorado and Vermont.
I was really talking only about locker rooms and not bathrooms. Bathrooms are different because there are stalls and using a bathroom is usually a much bigger necessity than using a locker room. I don't think genital surgery should be a requirement for using the bathroom that matches someone's identity.
Even though I identify as female, since I have not started transitioning, I use the men's bathroom. Even though I know I am a woman on the inside, I still look like a man on the outside and it would confuse people if they saw me in the women's bathroom, so at this point it is easier to use the men's bathroom. However, I use stalls rather than urinals because I don't want to expose body parts I don't identify with in front of people who are the opposite gender than I identify with. I know people probably won't see anything at a urinal, but it is still more comfortable for me to use a stall.
I also think places like gyms and public swimming pools should try to provide a place for transgender people to change if they can't use either locker room. Even if they still pass as their birth sex, I still think they should be given an alternative place to change in front of people whose physical sex is opposite to their gender identity.
I realize that transgender people are more likely to be subject to violence than cisgender people but most (cisgender) people seem to not realize that. A lot of commenters are making claims that allowing transgender women in women's locker rooms are going to make women's locker rooms unsafe for women and children.
I have been concerned about a number of things I read about policies regarding transgender people in locker rooms. In particular I have read a lot about an incident at Planet Fitness. According to what I heard, someone who looked like a man and was dressed like a man but identified as a women went into the women's locker room while women were changing. In addition I have heard that some states passed laws that allow students to use the locker room of the gender they identify with at school and to participate on sports teams of the gender they identify as. The websites where I read about this claim that a student with male anatomy who says she identifies as a girl will be able to shower with the girls. What I can't help but wonder is how much of this is real. A lot of comments on the news stories and blog entries where I read about this say that these policies will make it easy for cisgender men to incorrectly claim to be transgender just to spy on naked women in the locker room. What I wonder is if these policies really allow someone with male anatomy (who has taken no hormones or had any surgery) to access women's locker rooms or if people are misrepresenting these policies as a scaremongering tactic. Does anyone know what these policies really do? Do they really let people with male anatomy access women's locker rooms even if they have not started hormones? I can't help but wonder if the person at Planet Fitness had started hormones, but maybe the person who said she looked like a man noticed a few masculine features on an otherwise feminine face and figured out she was transgender. Maybe she was dressed in unisex clothing instead of men's clothing. I know I could open up a can of worms when I ask when it is acceptable for transgender to use the locker room of the gender they identify as. I think transgender people should definitely not use the locker room of the gender they identify as if they have not been on hormones for at least several months. Otherwise it would be very easy for perverts to lie about being transgender to spy on the opposite sex naked. I want to emphasize that I don't think transgender people are perverts. I think the people who would lie about being transgender are perverts. However, there is no way to tell who is lying and who is not. Also, I think it is understandable for people to not want to change in front of someone of the opposite anatomical sex, even if it could be certain that the person is question is truely transgender. On the other hand, I think there should be no problem letting transgender people who have had genital surgery use the locker room that matches their identity. Cisgender men will not have vaginoplasties just to sneak into the women's locker room. The grey areas are from the time when transgender people have been on hormones for several months to when they have had surgery, when they have a combination of male and female physical characteristics. From what I have read, most people are freaked out by someone with male genitals using the women's locker room, even if all of the rest of her physical characteristics is female. I am especially concerned about this because I fear that if people have the wrong idea it would increase bigotry toward transgender people. A lot of people write comments on these news stories and blogs that say that transgender people are making women's locker rooms dangerous for women. But do these policies really allow what people are assuming they allow? In discussions unrelated to transgender issues, I have seen men say that their gyms allow women to enter the men's locker room (but not men in the women's locker room) just to hang out or talk to guys even when men are changing and showering. I have a feeling that men who say these things are lying because they find it sexually arousing to let women in men's locker rooms. However, I have read that female sports reporters are allowed in men's locker rooms to interview athletes and that female police officers are allowed to guard men's showers and bathrooms at prisons. I personally would not want to use the women's locker room until after surgery. I wouldn't want anyone to see you know what pre-op anyway. Does anyone know what the general population would think about a post-op transgender woman using the women's locker room? Would people react differently depending on the location, like San Francisco vs. a small town in Mississippi? If the policies regarding transgender people and locker rooms do not allow what people think they allow, is there a way to make people realize this so they won't think transgender people are some sort of threat?