Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Transgender Children...

California Governor Gerry “Moonbeam” Brown has signed into law a bill (AB-1266) protecting transgender children enrolled in public schools.  Provisions in the bill allow transgender children to choose which gender's restrooms and locker rooms they will use, and choose which gender sports teams they'll participate in.

What does this actually mean?

The bill uses the term “gender identity”, which I found several definitions for out on the web – similar, but not identical.  The basic notion is that your gender identity is that gender that you deeply feel you are – even if that's different than your physical gender.  I couldn't find anything that defined (under California law) how one gets a particular gender identity under the law.  It could be that you simply declare it, or it could be that you have to have a psychiatric professional certify it.  I have no idea.

There really are people out there whose gender identity is different than their actual physical gender – transgendered people.  I've known two in my life.  The first was born a man (and that's how I first new him), but who thought of himself as a woman.  “Robert” became “Robin” while (s)he was an employee of mine.  That was quite an experience, on many levels.  The other was a person born as a woman (coincidentally, “Robin”) who thought of herself as a man.  She became “Al” several years before I first met him.  In this case, Al was an employee of the company I was CEO of, and I had another male employee who complained about Al's inappropriate advances.  Yes, transgender people can also be gay, as I got a quick education on.

I relate the preceding mainly to illustrate through my own experience that transgender people exist.  I have no doubt, personally, of the reality of this condition.  I also have no doubt that some transgender children exist, and in this day and age, they might well be recognized at a young age. 

So I don't doubt the sincerity of the bill's authors, nor the reality of the issue they address.

But I, like many others, am worried about the bill's imposition of potentially very uncomfortable situations on young people who already have enough social challenges.  Again like many others, I worry about its potential for abuse.

First the uncomfortable situations.  Imagine a 16 year old person who is physically male, but identifies as female.  That person, under AB-1266, has the right to choose to use the girl's restrooms and the girls locker room.  I suspect that even in these “enlightened”  times, there are still girls of high school age who are uncomfortable in the presence of nude men, and who would be uncomfortable being nude in the presence of a man (nude or not).  Basically this bill says “tough” to those girls (or the boys in an opposite situation, though the discomfort potential there is admittedly far lower :). 

Then there's the potential for abuse.  This mainly rests upon the requirements imposed by California law on establishing gender identity.  If those requirements are very loose – say, simply the declaration of the student – then it doesn't take much imagination to contrive situations where a horny and curious boy (that would be all of them) establishes gender identity as a girl and thereby gains admittance to about 80% of all teenage boy sexual fantasies.  Because I couldn't find the rules by which one establishes gender identity (under the law), I can't assess the probability of abuse.  I can imagine a fairly “tight” set of rules that would make it difficult for abuse to occur, but this is California; there's no telling what those idiots in Sacramento have actually done.  They probably don't know themselves!

No comments:

Post a Comment