At the airport in San Diego, the city where I grew up, there are three options at each bathroom station — one for people who identify as men, another for people who identify as women, and one for people who identify as transgender.
I identify as a man. I live in Houston and identify as a Houstonian. And I regularly use women’s bathrooms.
Yes, that’s right, I regularly use women’s bathrooms in Houston, my adoptive city and the city where voters yesterday rejected a city ordinance that would have allowed — among other things — for trans- and pan-gender persons to use the bathroom of their choice.
The 2014 Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, or HERO as it is known, was repealed by voters in Houston this week. I am one of those voters (my wife and I early-voted a week ago Monday) and I can now be thrown out of women’s bathrooms by restaurateurs and office building doorpeople and superintendents etc.
Mostly I use women’s bathrooms in Houston when I visit restaurants. There is a good reason for that.
Actually there are two good reasons for that: Georgia P (nearly age 4) and Lila Jane (age 2), our daughters, can’t yet “go to the potty” by themselves.
So when we eat in restaurants after our Saturday and Sunday visits to the zoo, NASA (the “real astronauts” as it is known in the Parzen familiar lexicon), or the Natural Science Museum (the “dinosaurs” and “butterflies”), I often take both of them into women’s bathrooms for Georgia P to go tee-tee (she’s potty trained) or to change Lila Jane’s diaper.
Generally, the women I meet in Houston bathrooms are very sweet to us and greet us with a smile. As a matter of fact, ever since we moved to Houston a year and a half ago and ever since Georgia P potty trained and she began using the “big girl” potty, no one has ever complained about us using the women’s bathroom. But, evidently, that’s no longer kosher in the city where we live.
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I’ve also taken the girls into men’s rooms. But now, without the protection of HERO, we could be thrown out of those, too!
I’m not sure where the new state of equal rights leaves us. Squatting behind our minivan in the parking lot? Occasionally, I need to go to the bathroom when I’m out with the girls, too. They really don’t (self) identify as anything at this point but I know that other Houstonians identify them as females. I can only imagine what people are going to think when they see me urinating on the street because I can’t take them into the men’s room and they can’t be accompanied by me in the women’s room now.
I’m sure that most Houston restaurateurs won’t mind when I take them into the women’s room or they come with me into the men’s room.
I guess at this point our girls and I will just have to take our chances…