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Chicago: Transgender man prevented from using men’s shower room at spa

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  1. That There Other David 22 Jan 2013, 11:12am

    It’s about time that managers of publicly available facilities stood up to complaining customers and told them that a shared space is a shared space. Why was the person making the complaint not ushered to the private shower area if they’re so damn uncomfortable?

    1. Im a trans woman. Ok For Female to male Transsexuals they have NO way of making a male genital for them. Its not they completely refused him
      service. Id say this is much ado about nothing.
      I’ve seen Transphobia its not fun. This just dont strike me a discrimination.
      Vagina equals placed with women. Penis equal placed with men.
      End of story.

      1. That There Other David 22 Jan 2013, 2:57pm

        I disagree. The manager decided that the customer or customers who complained were justified in doing so, and sided with him or them by asking Levi Pine to hide himself as a result. That’s transphobic discrimination in my book. Ask yourself what thoughts were going through the heads of the other men in that shower in order for them to complain. Where they disgusted by Mr. Pine’s body? Were they afraid what their own nakedness might betray? Or were they simply determined to cast out the person they perceived as different from them? These are all negative emotional responses caused by insecurity, so why should Mr. Pine be the one to leave?

        1. They offered him a private shower.
          And a gym isn’t a birthright.
          Now if this was a shelter, jail, prison school,
          Id be 100% behind him. But….

          1. That There Other David 22 Jan 2013, 3:05pm

            A gym is also not the sole preserve of men who feel uncomfortable around the transgendered. It’s a shared space, which is exactly my point.

      2. I’m a trans man. I think this is BS. If these guys were ‘uncomfortable’, they shouldn’t be looking. End of story.

      3. I’m a trans man, and I really don’t think women would feel comfortable with me in their shower, penis or no. How long does it even take to shower anyway? About 5 minutes? How is that long enough to worry about what genitals someone’s got?

      4. I’m a transwomen too. You are wrong to suggest that transmen can’t have bottom surgery, it just doesn’t usually have the quality of outcome transwomen have become accustomed to. Transmen though, in a sort of cosmic karma, gain much better outcomes in voice, appearance etc.
        It is simply wrong to suggest transwomen should be forced into men’s showers and similarly transmen into women’s according to their genetalia. It is discrimination pure and simple. I can understand in a woman’s facility some women being concerned about male genetalia but really the guys are worried about a guy without a cock? What would happen if a guy had an accident and lost his? Send him to the women’s facilities? Nah, I hate the phrase but really these guys could use a bit of manning up lol.

  2. cynthialee 22 Jan 2013, 2:45pm

    I am also a trans woman and I think Crista is dead wrong and displaying internalized transphobia.

    1. Let me be clearer. I meant seperation when nudity is around others.
      Particularly at a gym. Its bit like prison or school where one should be placed by gender Identity as opposed to just sex. No one is forcing you to be at a gym. And they offered him a private shower. That usually costs extra. No?!
      I just feel that if we want respect we should respect others as well.
      Just sayin.

  3. Staircase2 22 Jan 2013, 3:33pm

    I think Crista has a valid point under an existing ‘social norm’ albeit one which I actually believed should be changed.

    This is based as she quite rightly says on the notion that ‘penis’ and ‘vagina’ should be kept separate in public spaces…

    Personally I’ve always thought that protectionism surrounding nudity is unnecessary and comes from a place of shame.

    There are many counties in the world who have a far healthier attitude towards public nudity than others.

    The uptight notion is that “if we allow men and women to be naked together then uncontrollable sex will happen!”

    Which is, of course, bollocks (quite literally)

    It comes from the idea that ‘men just cannot control themselves and women are ‘to blame’ for that.

    It’s high time we changed that ridiculous notion and grew up.

    And the very brave Levi Pine might just well be the man to bring it about.

  4. Staircase2 22 Jan 2013, 3:45pm

    It’s interesting that there are two commentators on here who are trans women but as yet none from trans men.

    Perhaps that speaks about relative levels of social visibility/acceptability.

    I must confess to being ignorant of what takes place in terms of genital reconstruction for a trans man. But if Crista is right in what she says then that does suggest that it would be easier for a trans woman to be able to slip into the female shower unnoticed versus a trans man to do the same in the male shower.

    This does create a ‘dilemma’ for a prudish society hellbent on maintaining rigid (pun intended) ‘sexual isolation’ (read ‘gender’…)

    I doubt if Sweden would be having an issue with this ‘dilemma’…

    The issue is potentially a catalyst for healthy and positive change.

    Keep up the good work, Levi!

    1. Staircase 2: we trans guys are urban legends and people think we don’t really exist. That’s why so many (many, many) trans news items don’t mention us at all and use the term “trans” to mean trans women only. So here you go, here’s a comment from a trans man: Christa, I didn’t ask you to speak for me. Maybe you, as a trans woman, don’t have a problem showering with men (with or without your own surgery), but don’t state that I belong in a shower with women if I haven’t had lower surgery. And as a trans woman, I would hope you’d know better than to suggest it’s the physical changes that define us. If that’s true for you, that’s fine, but speak for yourself. Surgery does not necessarily equal transition and your saying so is why people have the wrong idea about us.

  5. It’s not that long ago that African Americans had to use separate wash facilities because whites felt ‘uncomfortable’. Isn’t it time we all just grew up and started behaving like adults? The world is FULL of ‘difference’. Just get used to it.

  6. Trans man* here. Absolutely NOT TRUE that trans men can’t have lower surgery, we definitely can. If you’re going to speak on behalf of trans* men (when you really shouldn’t be), at least get the facts right. Also, completely disagree that it’s okay for a person who hasn’t had lower surgery to change with the sex they were assigned at birth. Wouldn’t want trans* women changing with cis men, and don’t want trans* men changing with cis women.

  7. de Villiers 22 Jan 2013, 6:17pm

    To say that people should be unconcerned about nudity is unrealistic – most people are conscious about it.

    For trans persons to say, as they have here, that women would be unconcerned with a person with male genitalia in a female shower is, I am sorry to say, at right angles to reality.

    There is no comparison between black and white persons showering together and persons of different physical genders showering together – even if only for five minutes as stated by one person.

    This is not to express any opinion on the subject or to invite (the inevitable) accusations of transphobia. It is to show the extent to which societal norms cannot be ignored or wished away and that these are not easy issues that can be resolved easily by a resort to the argument of non-discrimination (which under the ECHR can always be justified if there are rational reasons for so doing).

  8. kathy marie hoerner 25 Jan 2013, 10:35pm

    I am a transsexual woman I have not had complete SRS yet and i would never enter a woman shower,or dressing area, I always us a private place or i don’t use anyplace period. I think it would be so wrong for me or anyone else that has not had full surgery or trans men without lower surgery to do so in a mans shower,dressing area

  9. I don’t want to get all Freudian about this, but I think it goes deeper than mere, shallow offense.
    We males are generally insecure about ours “bits”, whether we admit it or not, and the sight of a man with no penis might evoke deep-seated fears of penis loss, through accident or disease.
    My head says “grow up and stop looking if it offends you”. My emotions tell me I would be uncomfortable seeing a man with no genitals, and that SHAMES me, I admit, but it is my problem, my own fear, not any trans-phobia or prejudice. Sorry.

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