A (anatomical) boy in the girl’s restroom

A boy who identifies as a girl has the right to use the girls’ restroom and play on girls’ sports teams, the Massachusetts Department of Education has told schools. Transgender girls have the right to use boys’ restrooms and play on boys’ teams.

The guidance said some students may feel uncomfortable sharing those facilities with a transgender student but this ‘‘discomfort is not a reason to deny access to the transgender student.’’

Students who “consistently and intentionally refuse to refer to a transgendered student by the name or sex” they choose should face discipline for bullying, the guidance advised.

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  1. If the girls are to be forced to share the girl’s room with the boys (and vice versa) then why not just do away with single-sex bathrooms all together, and dare the parents and students to object? Why not insist on co-ed locker rooms while they’re at it? Bonus points if any PE/swimming teachers are like this boy; anyone objecting to having them in the locker room/bathroom could just be branded as freakish hatemongers. And they shall all live happily ever after.

  2. I’m just waiting for the first high school sports controversy to erupt because of this ruling.

    I can easily see a school fielding an all anatomically male “girls” team. Team members that, of course, suddenly revert back to their original gender once the championship is won. Nobody will be able to say anything because “it’s a confusing time” and they are “just trying to discover their true identities”.

    • And, while anatomically adult males are in their “confusing time”, “trying to discover their true identities”, they are allowed into bathrooms and locker rooms with girls – and this is hailed as a victory for “safety”? Certainly, not the safety of the girls – unless, of course, it’s not your daughter or sister who’s potentially at risk. What if one of “them” decides he really is a heterosexual male and just likes hanging out in girls’ locker rooms?

      • Why are you assuming that somebody who is transgendered would not be interested in the (physically) opposite sex? Your assumption is not correct.

  3. Amazing how these geniuses can spot bullying in every conceivable situation, except in instances where bullying actually exists. – then they’re perfectly content to turn a blind eye.

  4. So when faced with the problem of discomforting one child, or entire classes of children, the clear choice is to put the burden on the larger number. The needs of the one outweigh the needs of the few, I guess.

  5. Really?

    If they had passed a law this stupid when I was in school I would have immediately announced I was now a woman and begun using the girl’s locker room and bathrooms, and then threaten to sue if anyone called me on it, just for the absurdity of it all…….

  6. Tyranny of the minority.

  7. lightly seasoned says:

    We have a couple of transgendered students in the building this year. They use the bathrooms without incident. Boys who identify as girls don’t tend to be rapists.

    • D's Squirrel Food says:

      It will come as a shock to many readers, but saying “no boys in the girls’ bathroom” may not actually be a strong rape prevention strategy.

  8. Richard Aubrey says:

    Recall–not the name–of a journeyman pro on the PGA circuit who wasn’t doing well. Figured he could sue his way into the LPGA and clean up–financially, at least. Turned down. Should have claimed trans status, not sued on the basis of discrimination.

  9. Linda Seebach says:

    Just FYI: There is some controversy within the trans community over whether a gender term refers to how someone identifies or to their biological sex. Is a transwoman someone born male who now identifies as female, or someone born female who now identifies as male?*
    Restrooms for females generally have private stalls, so boy-who-identifies-as-female can use them without disturbing others, but girl-who-identifies-as-male can’t use urinals.
    (Locker rooms, which presuppose nudity, are much harder to prescribe for; but we could decide to change that. Or stop caring.)
    Reason I know: my son’s spouse, the girl he fell for when they were in middle school, now identifies as male. They have been married for 18 years, they’re very happy, and they both refer to each other as husbands. (I don’t think the Associated Press has considered this case.) Pronouns are tricky – I have known the spouse in question for 30 years, and tend to say “she” when I’m not focusing on gendered terms – but he is tolerant of me and his mother. But he is not a transwoman, and he feels quite strongly about that.

    • Richard Aubrey says:

      More or less on point: Castrati were preferred for some choral work because, being bigger than women, having larger sinus cavities or whatever the issue was, helped with the soprano parts.
      What would your son’s spouse do if the question were, say, a competitive sport requiring strength? Insist on being in the women’s division with what some would consider an unfair advantage? Undercut the gender identification and participate in the men’s division? And if the former, what would be the response to the league’s refusal?
      Could other men join? Would a documented history of such identification be necessary?
      I say this more or less to shortcut one objection. When I coached youth soccer, divided by ages, we played some teams who, the league admin said, were “agressive” with their age policies. My son, playing in the Macker tournaments, had the same issue. Some guys nineteen and twenty thought it would be cool to insist they were sixteen and beat the legit kids.
      You see the potential difficulties of making identification malleable.

      • Perhaps this is just an issue inherent to sports. Most sports require a combination of genetics and skill in order to succeed. No matter how talented, you will never be a top division college football player without having won the genetic lottery as well.

        We have tried to balance that out a bit by having separate divisions for Men and Women, as genetically, they tend to average at different sizes. However, a smaller man would be outclassed by a larger woman, so it was merely a simple distinction.

        Is it time to just have all sports be co-ed?

      • Linda Seebach says:

        Yes, there are potential difficulties, in sports and elsewhere, but there are also difficulties in not allowing people to claim what they believe to be their true gender identities — up to and including suicide, far too often. The essential difficulty arises from the stubborn fact that gender identity is not malleable and people whose bodies do not match their sense of self are often greatly distressed.

        Anyway, my point was a linguistic one; my son’s husband does not call himself a transgendered *woman*; he would prefer “transgendered man,” though he’d be more likely to say “gay guy.”

        • I have always heard the term “transman” in reference to a FAAB/FTM, and “transwoman” in reference to a MAAB/MTF. And yes, the trans- axis is orthogonal to the orientation axis.

          • Forgot to point out that some transfolk don’t consider themselves to be either of the two “traditional” genders, but somewhere in the middle and/or “other”.

  10. Sounds reasonable.

    I note a commenter talking about “a boy in the girls- restroom”. But it’s just as accurate to claim that the other option results in “a girl in the boys’ restroom”. You might ask whether it should be the head or the genitals that determines whether someone is called male or female; my advice is, ask them both, and if only one of them answers you, that one gets the deciding vote.

    I recognize that transgendered people are confusing and upsetting to a lot of people. There’s a good reason for that; like every other species with enough cognition to result in recognizable behaviors, and sexual reproduction, humans come equipped with powerful instincts telling us to categorize things as male or female. So, if you’re finding this upsetting, well, there’s a reason for that.

    But if you think about it, that very reason is why it is reasonable to, as a matter of policy, mandate respect for an individual’s chosen identity. They, too, have those instincts. And their instinct is telling them who they are.

    Whether another person matches your instinct of who they should be has very little impact of you. Whether other people acknowledge your instinct of who you are has an enormous impact on you. So we can choose between keeping the attempted suicide rate among trans people well over 50%, or nudging other people a tiny little bit out of their comfort zones on rare occasions. I am sort of inclined to favor nudging people a little in a way which does them no harm as better than trying to kill people.

    • Reasonable would be finding a situation that takes everyone’s interests to heart.

      How about providing a staff bathroom (which are usually single person and gener neutral) for the transgendered to use?

      • One obvious problem with that is convenience.

        But I suspect the larger objection would be “A student in *our* restroom?” 😉

      • Interesting that they didn’t think of doing that. It could be that they’re stupid and unimaginative. I would think that if I were inclined to be charitable.

    • Why do children have to be the guinea pigs for this? Why do little girls have to be made out to be villains for not wanting to use the restroom/locker rooms with boys there? I guess this could be good training for obliterating all sense of personal boundaries–how dare she not want to get undressed in front of a boy! Oooh, what a bigot in need of reeducation.


      Counsel the boy who wants to be in the girls’ room. And if that’s not permissible, if that must be off the table, how about giving him a separate room? Then everyone’s interests are satisfied, and no child is trained to believe it’s wrong to want to maintain their modesty with the opposite sex. Maybe Massachusetts needs more devout Muslims–then this preference wouldn’t be considered objectionable, it would actually be respected.

    • Mark Roulo says:

      You might ask whether it should be the head or the genitals that determines whether someone is called male or female; my advice is, ask them both, and if only one of them answers you, that one gets the deciding vote.

      I don’t see how you arrive at this conclusion. I could try a variation and it wouldn’t work:

      You might ask whether it should be the head or the ridged foreheads that determines whether someone is called human or klingon; my advice is, ask them both, and if only one of them answers you, that one gets the deciding vote.

      Why do you think whether someone is male or female is decided by voting?

  11. Seems like this is all missing the point: this kid needs mental help/medication, much more so than ADHD kids.

    • Pretty much this. But instead of getting him help, others see fit to insist that everyone *else* has the problem, and force them to participate.

  12. Obi-Wandreas says:

    Our beliefs may shape our perception of reality, but they have no effect on reality itself. Watch the first few episodes of any season of American Idol, and see what happens when people who have deluded themselves into believing they have talent finally run into reality.

    A person’s right to believe that they are something which they are not imposes no obligation on anyone else to indulge them in their belief.

    • Another anon says:

      So we can start taxing churches? After all, we’re indulging them in their delusional belief that they hold a special protected position because of their supposed relationship with their imaginary friends…