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Referendum threatens transgender student law

Original post made on Dec 31, 2013

A law that articulates the rights and treatment of transgender students at schools across the state goes into effect Jan. 1, but it could be in jeopardy if a referendum for its repeal makes it onto the November ballot.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, December 31, 2013, 9:57 AM

Comments (38)

Posted by strtech, a resident of another community
on Dec 31, 2013 at 4:23 pm

I'm sure they'll find enough [portion removed] to sign the petition for a repeal. Let's just all regress back to segregation, and have done with it. The dark ages are what conservatives would like to re-visit.


Posted by musical, a resident of Palo Verde
on Dec 31, 2013 at 4:31 pm

Bathrooms segregated by gender are common throughout the world. That doesn't make it right, but demonstrates that most societies consider it to be a good idea.


Posted by Julie, a resident of Midtown
on Dec 31, 2013 at 4:36 pm

This is the logical outcome from Title IX (forced funding for women's athletics) and the LGBT agenda. The obvious solution is to eliminate Title IX, and simply have athletics for all, at many different levels of competence. For example, there should be no gender bias for tennis or swimming or soccer or golf or football or baseball/softball. Just allow the best to make the team, at various levels. There is no longer any reason to favor women in sports, because we are quite capable of determining our own level of interest.


Posted by Nayeli, a resident of Midtown
on Dec 31, 2013 at 8:03 pm

@ strtech:

[Portion removed.] Such ridiculous "dark ages" rhetoric is simply a distortion about how people -- Conservatives, Moderates and many Liberals -- feel in regard to public restrooms. Most people recognize that public bathrooms are created according to BIOLOGY and not the gender that someone might mentally associate with that might contradict to their own biology.

If a person wants to identify with the gender of which they were not born into, then more power to them. However, a bathroom is designed for the current biological gender of which they are endowed. There is no "discrimination" when a bathroom is designated according to biology.


Posted by Skeptical, a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 1, 2014 at 1:14 pm

[Portion removed.] There are serious, legitimate questions to discuss on this issue. Letting youths use the bathroom gender of their choice, or signing up for the sport gender of their choice is a major, serious and unprecedented change, and gives pause to many people. [Portion removed.]


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 1, 2014 at 1:29 pm

Lots of issues here.

I am reminded of the days in the 70s and 80s when East German female athletes had to take gender tests in the Olympics.

Our single gender restrooms may be a luxury that we will lose soon. It will not be long before all restrooms (in the USA anyway) will soon become available for all to use, something like we have at present in airplanes. The long line outside women's bathrooms in public places while men are able to go straight in, will be a thing of the past as everyone lines up together and those that wish to use a stall and those that don't all share the same facilities. Hopefully, we will get a screen in front of the urinals.


Posted by Nayeli, a resident of Midtown
on Jan 1, 2014 at 3:51 pm

[Portion removed.]

The notion of considering male/female restrooms as "segregation" and equating it to some asinine suggestion that Republicans want to revert to the "dark ages" is more newsworthy than the notion that there are some people who actually believe that public bathrooms -- designed for gender biology -- should preserve gender specificity.

It is amazing to me that there are still some partisan people who seem to believe their own rhetoric that include wacky stereotypes about Conservatives.


Posted by Skeptical, a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 1, 2014 at 8:28 pm

Does Palo Alto Online publish their standards for doing a "Portion Removed" on their posts? I would appreciate if the censor would publish that for us. I had most of my post removed above. And I thought it was a well-reasoned, polite set of points I was making.

Please let us know, so that we can edit our own comments appropriately and get our thoughts out here. Many of us spend some time framing these posts, and to have they "Removed" for unknown, seemingly arbitrary reasons seems almost Kafkaesque.

I'm guessing this post may be removed soon....


Posted by Strtech, a resident of another community
on Jan 1, 2014 at 9:05 pm

Wacky stereotypes are what Conservatives (who mentioned Republicans except you?!?) delight in becoming and what they prove by being. Segregation is what separate bathrooms is, and many countries in Europe have communal (different sexes) bathrooms and showers. Of course, they also show nudity in TV commercials. Nothing like being defensive, Nayeli, and verbose. As more transsexuals "come out" more care will be taken to protect them from narrow-minded thinking.


Posted by Nervous about this, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Jan 1, 2014 at 11:11 pm

A person could just "say" they associate themselves with a differe t sex just in order to get inside of the opposite sex just to rape someone or do some peeking.


Posted by Nayeli, a resident of Midtown
on Jan 2, 2014 at 9:15 pm

@ Strtech:

That is nonsense. You were the one who introduced a silly stereotype that exemplified a typical ad hominem fallacy into this debate.

"Segregation" by gender is not only historic -- it is also the norm in both civilized and uncivilized societies. Of course, there isn't really any sinister "segregation" here. Bathrooms are designed for specific genders. They are equally available for both -- but based upon the biological gender.

Those who want to make an issue out of this are simply reinforcing the stereotypes that the rest of the nation holds in regard to California.

You can slur anyone who opposes radical shifts in thinking about something as simple as a public restroom as "narrow-minded" thinking, but I suppose that some people can be so broad-minded with undefined scruples that they suddenly narrow them when they try to force a self-pleasingly specific goal upon the rest of the population which simply doesn't make any sense to them.

Again: Biology has nothing to do with "transgender." A bathroom is based upon the current biological "pipes" and "outlets" of the person using it.

BTW, I wouldn't be "defensive" if you weren't so "offensive" with your attacks on anyone who doesn't completely agree with your view.


Posted by Rupert of henzau, a resident of Midtown
on Jan 2, 2014 at 10:03 pm

""Segregation" by gender is not only historic -- it is also the norm in both civilized and uncivilized societies. Of course, there isn't really any sinister "segregation" here. Bathrooms are designed for specific genders. They are equally available for both -- but based upon the biological gender. "
I was in the Hobbees in palo,alto the other day and their bathrooms are for both sexes-- no separate restrooms.
Plus I am sure that " uncivilized" societies are not as uptight about such things as republicans/conservatives/ born agains are..
As for dark ages, isn't it these same republicans/conservatives/born agains that want to roll back women's reproductive rights, criminalize gay behavior and disenfranchise minority voters?


Posted by Panic, a resident of Barron Park
on Jan 3, 2014 at 8:16 am

"A person could just "say" they associate themselves with a differe t sex just in order to get inside of the opposite sex just to rape someone or do some peeking."

How is that different from someone just going into an opposite sex bathroom in the first place?

If it's a justification after the fact, that certainly won't hold water. If it's an pre-emptive explanation (to who? a bathroom guard?), wouldn't that put people on alert to their behavior?

It seems to me that if someone wants to rape someone in a bathroom, announcing that they are transgendered in order to gain access is probably the stupidest thing to do.


Posted by Nayeli, a resident of Midtown
on Jan 3, 2014 at 9:12 am

@ Rupert of henzau:

I think that you are misunderstanding just what this silly attempt to "non-segregate" bathrooms consists of. It isn't just a gender-neutral restroom where individuals wait -- one at a time -- to use a private bathroom facility. It gives students -- from young children to high school -- the right to use the facility that they "feel" to associate with. It isn't based upon biology or actual biological gender at all.

There are consequences for this. What if a man needs to use the restroom yet feels like he is a woman? In an emergency, will he be allowed to use the little girls' room at a school? Will he expose himself (as it is typical for individuals to privately dress among their own gender in a restroom)?

If a man walked into my young daughter's restroom and exposed himself (inadvertently or not), I think that he should be arrested and confined (or, if on purpose, institutionalized).

This is the potential with the current law.


Posted by Panic, a resident of Barron Park
on Jan 3, 2014 at 10:56 am

"There are consequences for this. What if a man needs to use the restroom yet feels like he is a woman? In an emergency, will he be allowed to use the little girls' room at a school? Will he expose himself (as it is typical for individuals to privately dress among their own gender in a restroom)? "

How will the law change this situation? Can't any man go into a women's bathroom at any time? Are there guards in front of bathrooms that currently check gender, but because of this law will have to let in people they normally prohibit?


Posted by Rupert of henzau, a resident of Midtown
on Jan 3, 2014 at 10:58 am

Nayeli-- you are really reaching for straws. Read panics comments above.
Republicans/conservatives/ born agains love to compare gays to perverts( remember the duck dynasty fellow), now you are trying to compare transgender people to perverts as well.
Transgender people do not go into bathrooms to expose themselves. As panic stated nothng is stopping someone from going into an opposite sex bathroom for criminal purposes and this law does nothing to change that


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 3, 2014 at 12:25 pm

The logical response to this law is that we will lose our individual gender bathrooms and all will become unisex.

I will repeat (by cut and paste) my earlier post.

I am reminded of the days in the 70s and 80s when East German female athletes had to take gender tests in the Olympics.

Our single gender restrooms may be a luxury that we will lose soon. It will not be long before all restrooms (in the USA anyway) will soon become available for all to use, something like we have at present in airplanes. The long line outside women's bathrooms in public places while men are able to go straight in, will be a thing of the past as everyone lines up together and those that wish to use a stall and those that don't all share the same facilities. Hopefully, we will get a screen in front of the urinals


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 3, 2014 at 12:32 pm

There is in fact very little reason for single gender restrooms anyway, some may say that it is a Victorian attitude that carries over into the 21st century. We are no longer carrying the modesties that would make a Victorian lady blush.

A better design of restroom facilities with stalls near the entrance and the urinals hidden behind a screen at the far end, with handwashing facilities beside the door could be just as useful and presumably cheaper to maintain. As a parent who has often had to take an opposite gender child into "my" restroom, it would make a lot of sense as well as those who have to look after older people also. It may make the designers of stalls get rid of those embarrassing and amusing gaps at the side of the doors and use a better method of seeing if they are in use than checking to look if there are feet underneath!

If a restroom is designed properly, what do we need single gender restrooms for anyway?


Posted by Nayeli, a resident of Midtown
on Jan 3, 2014 at 1:29 pm

@ Rupert of henzau:

Why are you making things up? I am not making ANY comparison in terms of morality or what is right or wrong -- even if you repeat stereotypes about Republicans, Conservatives or "born agains."

Rather, this is about PHYSICAL BIOLOGY.

You cannot make a determination (or a personal stereotype/wish) to validate a claim about why "transgenders" walk into bathrooms. Like I said before, this isn't about transgenders anyway. It is about an unnecessary, broad law that has the potential to be misused.

First of all, bathrooms are designed specifically for CURRENT PHYSICAL BIOLOGY. There is no "discrimination" because your biology is accounted for (and not what you mentally perceive your gender to be). This is akin to having parking spaces and entrances for the handicapped and non-handicapped. The "transgender" child can use the bathrooms designed for his/her biology.

Secondly, biological designations for bathrooms prevents misuse by dishonest or genuinely bad people. While there may be a "transgender" person who genuinely wants to use the restroom because they mentally associate with the gender that they weren't born with, there are individuals who -- like it or not -- could potentially misuse this law for their own advantage.

This law is unnecessary for these reasons. It isn't about "discrimination" because there is no discrimination involved.


Posted by Nayeli, a resident of Midtown
on Jan 3, 2014 at 1:39 pm

@ Resident: Bathrooms aren't simply filled with locked stalls in California (or the rest of the United States). They are places where individuals can privately dress or freshen up with the modesty and safety among individuals of the same gender.

When we first moved to California, we were walking along Fisherman's Wharf with my parents, my sister and her little children. There were two men holding hands who walked down the touristy areas sans clothing (except for shoes). They were sexually "excited" as well (in a physical sense). They did this in the full view of my five, six and eight year old nieces and nephews. They had painted an anti-Prop 8 message on their backs.

There is nothing wrong wit nudity -- if it is done in the privacy of one's home or in a non-public area (or should I say "pubic" area) designated for it. However, it isn't up to this couple to gleefully parade themselves and their own moral views on nudity in front of my nephews and niece. There were angry tourists who told them to put clothes on...but they just smiled and shot the bird at others (including children).

The potential for misusing "personal liberty" in such matters -- such as non-gender specific bathrooms -- is disturbing. What hormonal or pubescent teenage boy wouldn't want to share the locker room with girls? Why do schools have a right to expose our children via the amoral views of a select few in bathrooms where COMMON SENSE tells you they are designed according to present biology?

We wonder why the rest of the nation -- and most of the world -- look at California and simply roll their eyes. Laws like this only serve to substantiate the stereotype that a minority of California residents are so narrow-minded with their activism that they "cannot see the forest for the trees."


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 3, 2014 at 2:24 pm

Nayeli

I will first say that I am not advocating unisex restrooms, in fact I do prefer them but I am beginning to think that they are a luxury. Yes, in a nice restaurant, a bar, an hotel lobby, etc. they can be considered a luxury with nice appointments and facilities to enable patrons to do more than deal with a call of nature.

But, in many of our fast paced life pitstops, we do not need that type of luxury. Yes I am sure that I prefer them, but I am not sure of the need for them. I am not talking about locker rooms designed for showering after sports and complete changes of clothes, but just the pitstop restaurant that schools, businesses, etc. provide for use of nature calls and handwashing as a public benefit.

Target, WalMart, and other places have fitting rooms that are unisex, and it can be argued that they are more likely to be used by females than males and are often placed beside the bras (an item that most people like to try on before buying, I believe). So what really would be the difference?

I am not advocating for this, but when we see stupid rules about who is allowed to use what bathroom, the logical conclusion will become the need for separate facilities.

I think it would be a step backwards to do away with separate gender restrooms, but I believe this is where we are heading. If a transgender individual has the choice to use whichever, then someone will come up with a lawsuit somehow about unfair lines outside female restrooms, or the anti social smell that comes from male restrooms, or elderly/disabled/children's caregivers wanting to use either, and who knows what else for suing someone is going to come next. I don't like playing devil's advocate, I am just commenting on the downward spiral this new law may take us.

I


Posted by Rupert of henzau, a resident of Midtown
on Jan 3, 2014 at 4:02 pm

Nayeli-- your posting are overlong and try to twist the issues. Me thinks the lady does protests too much.
If you want to join the republicans/ conservatives/ born agains who oppose this law, that is your choice. But note how they consistently oppose matters of equality.


Posted by Perspective, a resident of Greater Miranda
on Jan 4, 2014 at 7:18 am

I am more concerned about the effect on sports teams. Genetic males feeling like they are females being allowed to join in women/girl sport teams could really impact the integrity of the sport.
Personally, I believe that biology "wins". If I am born a female, I have female chromosomes, regardless of how I feel or what medical options I choose, I am a female and can not play on a "male" team.


Posted by Nayeli, a resident of Midtown
on Jan 6, 2014 at 2:37 pm

@ Rupert of henzau:

"Protests too much?" Is that what you say to all of the people -- the majority of California residents according to polls on this issue -- who disagree with you? Perhaps it is YOU who is protesting too much about all of those "nasty" Conservatives, Christians and Republicans that you seem somewhat enamored by.

"Equality" doesn't mean that I can use the men's room simply because I claim that I feel like a man. "Equality" doesn't mean that I can claim that I am an disabled, elderly African American male when I am really a young, healthy Hispanic female.


Posted by Rupert of henzau, a resident of Midtown
on Jan 6, 2014 at 3:02 pm

[Post removed.]


Posted by Hushabye, a resident of Stanford
on Jan 7, 2014 at 8:21 am

[Post removed.]


Posted by Rupert of Henzau, a resident of Midtown
on Jan 7, 2014 at 8:34 am

Nayeli-- if you would bother to read my posts carefully, you will see that I am not enameled with conservatives, Christians right wingers and republicans. Just the opposite, I dislike their disregard for equal rights for minorities,gays etc. just because a majority of,people oppose something does not mean anything- rights issues are not decided by majority vote.

[Portion removed.]


Posted by mom of tg teen, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 7, 2014 at 11:04 am

Most of the comments here are way off topic and show little or no understanding of the issue at hand. Do any of you even know a transgender teen? Do you have any idea of the emotional pain they suffer or of the immense bravery it takes for them to tell their friends and family about their feelings? Do you know how at risk tg teens are for suicide? Do you seriously think a heterosexual teen would subject himself to possible ridicule and ostacization by declaring himself transgendered just to get a peek inside a girls' bathroom? We're talking about accommodating a very small fraction of the population. Come on, show some compassion towards this highly marginalized group. Instead of employing reactionary, slippery slope, "this is another sign the world is going to hell" rhetoric, try first to understand the challenges facing a transgender youth; it requires empathy, education, and a willingness to abandon your narrow world-view.


Posted by Hutch 7.62, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jan 7, 2014 at 11:58 am

This law will have it's unintended consequences. The door is wide open for pedophiles to hid behind this law by using the transgender card as a get out of Jail card.

Think it won't happen? just look at Medical Marijuana. The abuse of prop 215 is staggering

This is another extreme left 'feel good law' that should not be on the books


Posted by Rupert of henzau, a resident of Midtown
on Jan 7, 2014 at 12:06 pm

As with the discussion of gay rights issues, posters are trying to compare TG people with pedophiles!!! Hutch 7.62, did you read mom of TG teens comments above yours. Someone who goes into bathrooms with the express purpose of peeping and/ or molesting children is breaking the law-- transgender teens have no desire to,peep or molest. The claim that it is " get out of jail card" is ridiculous.


Posted by difficult, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 7, 2014 at 12:18 pm

mom of lg teen,

"We're talking about accommodating a very small fraction of the population. Come on, show some compassion towards this highly marginalized group."

It's hard to balance the desire to be compassionate with cultural constraints which a large part of society is beholden to.

For example, would a tg biologically boy/man need a urinal in the girl's bathroom? If the urinal in the girl's bathroom is open, how would age differences be handled in a school with a broad range of ages? A 5th grade boy and a kindergarten girl going to the bathroom at the same time.

Culturally, many families could find that difficult to accept if their girl was to view the biological parts of a boy, tg or not. Would the idea be to teach compassion for tg in these complex scenarios?

That seems really difficult not because parents want to marginalize tg, but simply because many have an expectations that genitals of the opposite biological sex will not be in view of young children. Would it not be easier for tg families to be understanding of the majority, and to consider that this is not necessarily a marginalization of tg?






Posted by difficult, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 7, 2014 at 12:30 pm


Rupert,

Like it or not, people who have cultural issues with body parts are in the schools, you cannot coerce beliefs. Reference to the threads on the streaking incidents in our local high school. Some are not bothered, some are. Trying to balance this is not easy.


Posted by mom of tg teen, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 7, 2014 at 12:53 pm

I don't know what girls' bathrooms you people go into, but the ones I've been in have stalls with toilets into which I'm pretty sure people with penises as well as without can urinate with some degree of success .... behind a closed door, without displaying genitalia to any unsuspecting kindergartner. I haven't been to many mens' rooms, but I believe even they tend to have stalls as well as urinals, which can be used discreetly by trans men. Sex offenders and child molesters seem to find ample opportunities as it is to engage in illicit and immoral behavior; I can't believe that this law would be a particularly big boon to them. Anyway, it's absurd to think they could "play the transgender card" to stay out of jail. People who molest or sexually abuse children are sex offenders, period, regardless of their professed sexual orientation or gender.


Posted by difficult, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 7, 2014 at 1:16 pm

mom of lg teen,

My comments were not accusing of perversion, though the entire issue of clothing and covering up could be squarely an issue related to perversion. Polarizing to the extreme is one way to call everyone on the issue, but declaring right and wrong ignores reality.

The reality is that everything is a matter of degree of comfort with the issues, until they become law and you have to obey. I do not see compassion being used to explain a law which shows no compassion to kids and families who have other beliefs. The accommodations for the accommodations will need to be in place.


Posted by Sand, a resident of Green Acres
on Jan 7, 2014 at 2:06 pm

Is this recall funded by the same outsiders as the prop 8 initiative?

Smells like it. Talk about perversion (of our process!)


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 7, 2014 at 2:26 pm

Prior to the early 1900, there was no such thing as a public restroom. When they first started appearing, they were unisex (or really male only) until such time as women decided that they needed their own private place to powder their noses. Ladies otherwise could only remain outside the home for as long as their bladders would hold out. The first Ladies Powder Rooms were refuges as much as sanitary facilities. Their sensibilities could never even rise to use the word toilet unless it was toilette which referred to much more than urination and somewhere to do it.

Fast forward to today, we still don't see the word toilet used, although for some reason urinals seems to be OK in context. The mixed gender public restroom will solve all the problems and very soon they will appear in our schools, airports, fast food restaurants, shopping malls, because it will be the only way to deal with the sensitive issues of hurting a transgender individual's self esteem. I wonder if we will start using the word toilet for it also.

Funny how history goes around in circles.


Posted by difficult, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 7, 2014 at 4:09 pm

Resident,

Making all bathrooms gender free would work, but good luck with that. The whole point of not mixing genders in school bathrooms is not to alienate transgender kids, does anyone get that?

A small group of kids going to bathrooms opposite their biological gender alienates both the transgender and the kids with diverse cultural beliefs about the matters of children mixing with the opposite gender in school bathrooms.
These beliefs BTW are not rooted in alienating transgender children, they are rooted in other beliefs (call them perversions if you so please) which a law may or may not be able to change, and forcing this will require accommodations for the accommodations.






Posted by Pscoll16, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jan 28, 2014 at 10:14 pm

What if the transgendered kids just want to go smoke?


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