One of the reasons I just love New York is its willingness to do the unexpected. Despite America’s decidedly right conservative leanings these days, the Big Apple remains wholeheartedly maverick and liberal.
Witness the decision by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the board that controls the subways. Officials have ruled that transgender men, who live exclusively as women, can use the women’s MTA restrooms.
It is a matter of choosing the room that best suits your “gender expression.” So I guess that means that women who live as men can go into the little boy’s room, once they learn how to pee standing up.
The decision came about because of a Verizon wireless technician who is assigned to Grand Central Station. She is a 70 year old, birth name Henry, who goes by the name Helena. Helena says she is a “24 hour woman.” She feels like one, so she dresses like one, she says. It is not clear if she has had the surgery, but the picture of her that I saw, shows she has bigger breasts than I do, so she must be taking hormones at least. Girlfriend got arrested for using the women’s restroom while on the job and decided to fight. Verizon backed her, the MTA gave in. Hence the new ruling.
While most of the country is still trying to handle discrimination against gays and lesbians, New York’s laws are already one step ahead, prohibiting discrimination against transgender men and women.
Now we have to really work on getting more restrooms for women. We already don’t have enough public stalls to accommodate those of us born women, much less to share with our trans sisters. The lines are gonna get lots and lots longer. Good thing we have better bladder control.