In an earlier post, I mentioned Lydia McGrew’s team blog, What’s Wrong with the World. I’ve been reading several of the articles there and came across this.
Dr. McGrew blogs about a recent case in American state of Washington, where a pre-operative (“pre-op”)* Male-to-Female (M2F) transsexual named Colleen Francis. Although the news report does not refer to Colleen Francis as a pre-op M2F, I am assuming that she must be pre-op otherwise the teenage girls would not have identified her as a man. Based on the photo of Francis in the news reports, I am assuming that she has breasts but has not yet had the “bottom” surgery that would remove/transform her male genitalia into female genitalia. This fact will be important for reasons which will soon be obvious.
Francis demanded that Evergreen State College allow her to fully use the women’s locker room. What makes this case interesting is that Francis is not merely demanding the right to use a toilet, in a stall with the door closed, in the women’s locker room while transitioning from male to female. Rather, Francis apparently demanded the right to sit naked in the sauna inside the women’s locker room, exposing her male genitals to any women or girls who happened to be there at the same time. A couple of teenage girls saw Francis in the sauna and complained that there was a “man” in the sauna.
I consider myself extremely supportive of the transgender community, but I’m having a hard time seeing how Francis’s demand is reasonable. It seems to me that a pre-op F2M transsexual should not be going topless in a men’s locker room if they have not had a complete removal of their breasts; F2M transsexuals should not be going bottomless in a men’s locker room unless they are “post-op,” i.e., unless they have had the “bottom” surgery. (I doubt this issue would ever come up since presumably the F2M would fear for their safety.) Likewise, I don’t think a M2F transsexual should be fully naked in a women’s locker room unless they are post-op.
Dr. McGrew argues that this should be treated as a case of indecent exposure. I am inclined to agree.
So I end this post with a question to all of you who, like me, consider themselves supportive of persons who are transgendered. Is Francis’s demand reasonable? Why or why not?