Facebook annoyances of the weekend

I’ll start with the benign one. One of my more, hmm, shall we say “melodramatic” “friends”, (i.e., someone I have not seen since high school) posted a picture of a man I didn’t recognize along with a name I didn’t recognize and did some cryptic caterwauling about how it was too soon, in other words, he died. No explanation. No link. No nothing.

Here I was, peering at the pic and racking my brain trying to figure out who it was. Was he from my high school? He didn’t look familiar and the name was definitely not familiar. Turned out it was an actor named Bill Paxton. I. did. not. know. who. he. was. I know. I live under a rock, albeit an “amethyst” rock. I don’t know actors. Oh, I know Marilyn Monroe and Dash Riprock, etc., the ones who are more or less household names. Mr. Paxton? No clue. Apparently he was a wonderful actor and I’m sorry he died and I wish his family solace. But please, if you are posting something like that, provide some context, all right?

Stop reading right now if you are not a social progressive or do not want to hear the views of one. This is about using the bathroom with transgendered people.

Another facebook friend from high school (one who I greatly love and respect) shared a meme asking folks about sharing a bathroom with a transgendered person. I don’t usually reply to anything remotely political on facebook but this one struck home because I do that very thing all the time. I have a co-worker who used to be a man. I do not know her history because it is not discussed at work – as it shouldn’t be! This is a very valued employee, a talented and gracious person. A major asset to our team. And, incidentally, when I broke my dern pinky last year, she was one of the folks who made me feel better about it by talking about the *multiple* fingers she has broken in her life and *caring* about my stupid little accident. I do not know what kind of hell this woman went through to sort herself out (she has adult children) and then transition to who she is today but she does not in any way, shape, or form creep me out.

Other people replied with various things. One person said that she didn’t think she would always even be able to tell if a person was transgendered and I agree with that. Another said that she didn’t want her grandchildren to have to deal with a predatory man disguised as a woman. What? Yes. Sure that *could* happen. But what’s different about that than any other episode of perverts in the bathroom? My co-worker would be the LAST person to harass a child! The kicker was when a male high school friend commented about how hard it was for 13-year-old males to share a *male* sports locker room with 18-year-old males. I’ll bet there were some difficult issues with that situation (sounded like there were some bullies) but I wanted to ask something like, Were any of those guys transgender?” I didn’t think so and I did not ask. I did not want it to escalate. I like and respect this male high school friend. He does a lot of good in the world and I’m sorry that we seem to disagree on this.

I do not know how to effectively argue these kinds of things. I just want for people to get along and try to understand each other despite their superficial differences. I believe that if you get to know someone different than you and learn their story, more often than not, you may actually change your opinion about “their kind” or whatever.

If you’ve made it this far, know that I didn’t really mean to get down into the dark today. The pic is from yesterday. How brown can it get? It is beautiful in its own way.

4 Responses to “Facebook annoyances of the weekend”

  1. Margaret Says:

    I did know Bill Paxton and was gobsmacked that he died at 61. Patt was a big Apollo 13 fan so we had to watch that movie every time it came on. I’ve also seen Twister and a couple of other films he’s been in. Seemed like a decent guy, and WAY TOO YOUNG. I honestly don’t understand why people feel so threatened by transgendered people. They are the ones at risk 99% of the time.

  2. Margaret Says:

    I mean that trans people are at risk, in case I was unclear.

  3. isa Says:

    Preaching to the choir here but I agree with Margaret, transgender people are more likely than most to suffer from violence, etc. Any man who’s creepy enough to disguise himself as a woman to prey on people will do it regardless of the law and is probably breaking much “more important” laws, like the rarely enforced sexual assault barring laws. I’m not a particularly scared person partly because I have a good gut to rely on when it comes to people, but men who are performing masculinity to an extreme make me way more nervous than any trans person I’ve ever encountered, and I encounter them more frequently.

    And I suppose I’m not most people here, but honestly when it comes down to it, usually if I’m in a public bathroom I’m just peeing anyway and I don’t really care who’s in the bathroom as long as my stall has a lock on it.

  4. Pooh Says:

    Then there’s the HS wrestler in TX who was told he had to wrestle on the girls’ team, b/c that’s what it says on his birth certificate. He’s started HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy), and either because of the testosterone or natural talent or both, he was undefeated this year. Some of the parents of the girls he defeated, said that it wasn’t fair. He and his parents had petitioned the state athletic commission to let him wrestle on the boys’ team, so it’s not like he wanted to be defeating girls. It’s a great big world out there, folks, so breathe in, breathe out, and repeat.