All the recent hubbub about transgender access to bathrooms, and laws restricting access to bathrooms according to your gender at birth, seems in my mind to raise another issue, one that even Republicans should understand. Adam and Jen are nearing thirty now, but when they were very small Elizabeth and I had to face the challenge of how to manage their bathroom needs. If I had Jen by myself, would I send her into the Ladies room by herself, or smuggle her into the Mens room, desperately trying to shield her eyes from the urinal showcase? (Men are pigs, by the way.) Before Jen mastered the delicate art of bathroom hygiene, the choice was clear, except for the rare occasion where a kind lady offered her services. And I think all of the women had no issue with Adam waltzing in amongst them, his mother in tow. But is that even legal anymore in North Carolina? At what precise age does a person stop being innocent and evolve into a potential predator? And are public bathrooms truly the first line of defense against sexual predators?
All this reminds me of the time when Adam was a baby and Elizabeth and I traded off diaper duty. I took him into a men’s bathroom at a restaurant and was changing him using a rollout changing mat on the filthy floor. (Men are pigs, by the way.) An older man wandered in, saw what I was doing, and asked me “Why don’t you let his mother handle that?” I looked up at him with anguish draping across my face and answered, “His mother died in a car crash two weeks ago!” I never saw a guy back out of a room sputtering “I’m sorry” so fast in all my life. I guess if it’s all right to speak truth to power, it’s also all right to speak untruths to assholes.