Transgender, toilets and my newest heroine Lila Perry

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This is probably the most controversial post I have ever written. I have no doubt that it may alienate me from some of my followers, friends and certainly raise a few eyebrows.  My goal is not to be salacious simply for the sake of putting myself on the radar by riding the coattails of a very complex and trending topic. Instead I am confused and need to speak my truth.

photo credit: CNN

While I am a man who is gay that does not make me an expert on transgender issues. In fact, it does not even make me an expert on gay issues nor do I wish to be the voice of the LGBT community. Now that we have that silliness aside let me get to the point of this post. While Bruce Jenner has bravely risen from the ashes like the mythical Phoenix and introduced us to Caitlyn Jenner, there is far more happening in the transgender community. Make no mistake, I have the utmost respect for Caitlyn and if she can make some noise, knot some panties and use her celebrity to raise awareness I am in 100% support despite my very public distaste for the entire Kardashian train wreck that has left me wondering what is pop-culture and what is simply a “hot mess” that has become a cash cow and simply won’t go away.

Growing up gay was hard enough as I come from an era prior to gay straight alliances on campus, marriage equality and a world where in many places nobody now gives a damn who I love let alone who I’m intimate with.

Yet a 17-year-old high school student navigating her genderl identity while dealing with everyday life as a teenager still has the insight to see that segregation and marginalization have never been the answer. In contrast, a room full of misguided parents who apparently have not taken the time to educate themselves on transgender issues have the audacity to refer to this young woman as “confused”.

It does not appear that Lila is confused but what does seem evident is that once again ignorance prevails and gender identity is equated with sex, sexuality and sexual orientation.

Lila lives in a small town of approximately 2,900 residents all of whom are not anti-Lila but for those who are I feel a deep sense of sadness and embarrassment as we are the adults in this situation and as such we have a responsibility to not only love and respect our own children, but to do so from a place of compassion, acceptance and most of all an unwavering commitment to educating ourselves on those issues that we must face first so that we can best address and advise our kids.

I’m not even going to begin to get into the legalities of this issue because I believe it derails us from the humanity of it. Ladies and gentlemen of the United States of America this great nation has always been about diversity, about freedom and about embracing the reality that the world is not made up of you and your three best friends.

Shame on you Hillsboro and shame on anyone else in this country, my country the United States of America that feels that citizens, people just like Lila are a threat to the health and well-being of our children.

How did the transgender discussion become about bathrooms and locker rooms? And while we sort it all out in the courts and town meetings here’s a radical idea. While I’m also not an expert on women’s bathrooms and locker rooms, for the time being put in stalls so that each young woman can dress, primp and answer any call of nature she needs in privacy.

In fact, without getting too graphic, isn’t that how the ladies room works?  While I’m not an expert on many of the issues mentioned I have certainly used my fair share of urinals and I certainly don’t see how they could possibly be of any use to ladies of any age in any bathroom or locker room.

To all the Lila’s in America and across the globe I am no expert on what you are living every day but I admire and respect you for having the courage to be authentic. And to the rest of you can we please stop talking about bathrooms and locker rooms?

her·o·ine (aka Lila)
noun: heroine; plural noun: heroines
  1. a woman admired or idealized for her courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities.

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