Those of us with siblings or who’ve had roommates, whether family or not, know what it’s like to share a bathroom, sometimes even with members of the opposite sex. We’ve waited our turn for the toilet and shower, slipped on other’s towels, wiped toothpaste smears from sinks and cleaned hair from drains. Boys with sisters know about sanitary napkins and tampons; girls with brothers know to check that the seat is down.
I’d venture that includes a majority of us.
Now North Carolina, in its haste to join the national GOP mud-slinging circus, has passed a bill barring transgender people from bathrooms and locker rooms that do not match the gender on their birth certificates.
This blatant slap in the face (or should I say rear-end?) to civil rights has quickly drawn criticism within the state and nationwide, eliciting protests from several corporations such as American Airlines, Apple, Facebook, and Google; organizations like the National Basketball Association, universities like NC-based Duke, and the city of San Francisco, where Mayor Ed Lee banned city employees from traveling to North Carolina on public business.
Promoting discrimination can’t be good for North Carolina.
Unisex bathrooms have already become prevalent in many bars and restaurants. Really, what’s the big deal? When behind the stall door, no one really cares if the seat is up or down and most users just want to do what they need to do and return to their table or barstool.
My ex-brother-in-law used to kid that my sister would return from the Ladies Room with five new best friends. Let’s hope North Carolina repeals this repressive law and everyone can be a friend—no matter their gender—in public restrooms.