School and a surprisingly active social life have been keeping me pretty busy lately. Although I am not usually a big music buff, I was tempted by four concerts in two months: Tori Amos, Tegan & Sara, Sia, Regina Spektor. I see a trend. Anyway, my sex life has also been markedly more interesting this fall, with visitors from near and far adding spice to my bedroom. I also purchased a new sex toy, although this one has been quite disappointing thus far. But putting an old one to new use, on the other hand (or, on the other person)....

I digress. My point is this: I have been a little mentally absent from the sociopolitical world outside my personal life. So forgive the slight un-timeliness of the discussion to follow. Our primary topic: gender identity protection in Montgomery County, MD.

According to a press release by Montgomery County, "more than 100 U.S. jurisdictions, including 13 states and the District of Columbia, have already passed similar legislation, covering 37 percent of the country’s population."
The county's new bill providing protection for gender identity, passed unanimously by the council and signed off on by the county executive,

...prohibits discrimination based on gender identity in housing, employment, taxi and cable service, and public accommodations. …Initially, council members in committee agreed to allow a person to use [private facilities, such as health club locker rooms,] based on the gender that a person "publicly and exclusively" asserts…[The bill sponsor] agreed to pull references to such facilities after hearing concerns of colleagues and the community. The county's anti-discrimination code makes exceptions for areas considered "distinctly private or personal," and Michael Dennis, compliance director for the county's Human Rights Commission, said the exemption would extend to locker rooms and restrooms. This would allow a facility owner to segregate based on biological sex.
     -- Washington Post

County law now defines gender identity as "an individual's actual or perceived gender, including a person's gender-related appearance, expression, image, identity, or behavior, whether or not those gender-related characteristics differ from the characteristics customarily associated with the person's assigned sex at birth."

I particularly like to check out the conservative reactions to this kind of legislation, much as it sometimes elevates my blood pressure in a most alarming fashion. Negative reactions focus largely on the safety of defenseless women and children, whose privacy will surely be preyed upon by men who are "confused about their 'gender identity'":
The council and county executive have publicly stated that access to these areas will be decided by their operators. But all they are doing is kicking the issue into the lap of the county's Human Rights Commission, which is on record saying it will grant bathroom rights to transgenders according to their perceived gender when a case is brought before it," Turner said. … In other words, a male teacher or student will be able to use the female restrooms and locker rooms if he thinks he is a female.
     -- World Net Daily

It always surprises me when religious conservatives, who should be focused on our spiritual well-being, are so incapable of looking past our physical bodies.

In a separate but related article from WND:
The problem, according to [the Transgender Law Center], is that many transgendered people have few safe places to go to the bathroom. They claim to "get harassed … and arrested in BOTH women's and men's rooms." One sufferer, who had clearly entered a restroom of the opposite sex, whined that he had been "dragged out by security guards."
     -- WND

It's interesting that not only is the woman's gender claim being refuted and male gender asserted ("clearly…of the opposite sex"), but then the loaded vocabulary ("whined") that immediately follows deliberately undercuts the supposed masculinity. So we see the discomfort the authors feel, their unwillingness to fully accept either the person's self-identified gender or their assigned gender. The "claims" of harassment are dismissed as whining, the people (and we can reasonably assume it is MTFs being targeted in this article) told to toughen up and get over their "confusion"—nevermind that some of the discomfort and harassment transgender people face centers around the same privacy and personal security concerns that women are asserting.

A brief excerpt from the truly frustrating, to which I feel no need to comment:
According to [the TLC's document supporting gender neutral restrooms, called] 'Peeing in Peace,' it is important that transgenders be allowed to use multi-stall facilities with mixed company. The guide states, "If people are worried about privacy ...stall doors could extend all the way to the ground and locks on individual stalls could function more effectively."

Why would such desires be so important?

Considering that, according to Yale and Harvard-connected psychiatrist Jeffrey Satinover [link added], pedophilia is more than three times more common among homosexuals than among heterosexuals, and since the GLBT population is strongly unified, doesn't it strike you as odd that a major transgender organization endorsed by the homosexual lobby would consider having children undress in a teacher's office? And that they would insist on using multi-stall restrooms of the opposite sex? And that they would desire stalls that extend to the floor and securely lock? (If only Sen. Larry Craig had been so lucky.)
     -- WND

Some unrelated German litigation for thought: an intersex woman is suing the doctor she claims removed her female organs without proper consent 30 years ago.

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