In college, I stayed at the University of Vermont for two weeks for debate training. The dorms were co-ed, but we figured that was fine until the first morning. I distinctly remember going to the bathroom for a shower, undressing, and hopping in the shower. A few minutes later, I noticed hairy man legs in the shower next to me. That was a wake-up far more alarming than ten cups of coffee. The bathrooms were co-ed, too.
Utterly embarrassed, I left as quickly and un-exposed as possible, furtively grabbing my towel from outside the shower and dressing in a toilet stall.
Now judges in Maine and California, and lawmakers in some seven other states, want to make thousands of little boys and girls feel like that, and worse. They are demanding that schoolkids be allowed to use whatever bathroom, locker room, and sports team they want. As Owen Strachan writes:
In our enlightened new world, boys can shower with girls. They can enter a locker room of the opposite sex when they wish, and, provided they profess to be transgender, no one can stop them. This is true not only of teenagers, but kindergartners. The sexually curious no longer have a barrier to their exploration. Teachers cannot step in. Administrators cannot intervene. In public schools, per the will of the Maine judiciary and the California legislature, children no longer enjoy the protection our society has assumed as a matter of course.As an adult during the Vermont incident, I could take steps to handle this awkward situation myself. It is utterly unfair and cruel to put small children in similar situations. Does no one care for their discomfort? In nearly all of these cases, the question is not whether sex-confused children will have somewhere to go, too, as they are always offered private bathrooms and changing rooms. No, they (or their parents) want the power to make everyone else uncomfortable so they can have exactly what they want. At the very least, this is rude. At the most, it is predatory.
In Vermont, after realizing the bedrooms and bathrooms were all co-ed, the gallant young men from my school staged a protest. They went to administrators and demanded that we be placed on at least separate halls (it was summer, so there was plenty of room). They acquiesced.
Image by Pål Joakim Olsen.