Green Room

DOJ upholds transgendered man’s lawsuit for right to use female restrooms

posted at 4:07 pm on May 31, 2012 by

It is not the policy of this site to shill for charity, but I wanted to make readers aware that time was running out on the chance to help young Jennifer pay for her operation. OK, full disclosure dictates acknowledging that Jennifer isn’t actually that young; according to her website she is 38. Also, the surgery she is seeking—an operation to have her sex reassigned from male to female—would strike many as elective and many more as perverse.

If you’re still feeling empathy toward Jennifer (pictured here, surname Braly), you may want to familiarize yourself with other details of her story before you reach for your checkbook.

Jennifer suffers from gender identity disorder, also known as gender dysphoria. After two marriages (to women) that ended in divorce, Jennifer enrolled at the University of Arkansas Fort Smith (UAFS) as a full-time student.

It was there that her disease threw up a red flag of sorts, at least when she used the toilet. Seeing herself as a woman born into a man’s body, she elected to do her business in the women’s restroom. But the sight of her male “equipment” caused discomfort in some women (who been born into women’s bodies). A number of them banded together and filed a joint complaint with the administration, which ruled that Braly couldn’t use the bathroom facilities with “F” on the door. In what strikes this commentator as a reasonable concession, the university gave Jennifer the go-ahead to use the campus’s several gender-neutral toilet facilities and even offered to convert other single-sex facilities into unisex ones.

Jennifer, however, decided a lawsuit would yield a more satisfactory (read: vengeful) outcome so she contacted the U.S. Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. That agency responded with a threatening letter to UAFS—and the university capitulated.

Mark Horn, vice president of university relations, was interviewed on Tuesday by CampusReform.org, where he explained UAFS’s decision to wimp out:

[T]he office of civil rights basically made its expectations through the attorney and the decision was made to respond to that direction. [T]he DOJ complaint caused revisiting of our thinking.

In the eyes of the law this individual [Braly] is entitled to use the bathroom that she identifies with.

It’s encouraging that the university was open-minded enough to revisit its thinking on a policy. Now, if administrators could find a way to extract their open minds from their tightly clenched butts, they’d really be getting somewhere. According to its Wikipedia entry, UAFS has a current enrollment of 7,587 students. Even if only one tenth of the student body is female, that means there are 758.7 students who should be able to expect some modicum of decency when they used a public restroom, which I would presume includes not having to look at a man’s “junk.”

If you’re still interested in helping to finance Jennifer’s sex reassignment, it is worth noting that she has so far collected $140 toward her goal of $18,500. It is also worth commenting that, according to the website, only 556 days remain, though I’m not entirely sure why there is a time limit.

Related Articles

Follow me on Twitter or join me at Facebook. You can reach me at howard.portnoy@gmail.com or by posting a comment below.

Recently in the Green Room:

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Well as a gal, if this ‘guy/gal/whatever’ wants to use the gals restroom, just PUT THE SEAT DOWN after you go! But, maybe he/she/whatever/ sits also when going?
L

letget on May 31, 2012 at 4:41 PM

Can I use the women’s locker room at the gym if I say I feel like a lesbian trapped in a man’s body?

malclave on May 31, 2012 at 4:49 PM

I’m a conservative trapped in a liberal state.

Accommodate me!

/s

Joe Mama on May 31, 2012 at 5:53 PM

It used to be we gave the “Jennifers” of the world therapy, helped them overcome it. These days liberal morals force the idea from a small but vocal psychiatric wing that they are “born this way and can’t help it.”

News for you. We’re all born with the ability to be violent, to be theives, to do all sorts of perversion. What keeps us from doing it is being taught it’s not OK and being taught self control. It’s learning that we can’t punch somebody in the face if they make us mad.

What do we do with people with no self control? Those are just people that refuse to learn it. This whatever is just the beginning. We are doomed if every time somebody wants to do something that impinges on the rights of others based on some “condition” we have to allow it.

“Don’t lock me up for killing that person! Accomodate me by providing more! I have homocidolopathy and can’t help it!”

Yeah, forcing women to share a bathroom with a MAN is not on the level of murder, but how much has the line moved already . . .

PastorJon on May 31, 2012 at 6:08 PM

I’ve been a fan of Hot Air from the beginning, but for the life of me I can’t understand it’s obsession with transgender cases. These people are to be pitied, not scorned. I find these kinds of posts to be gratuitously mean-spirited.

SWLiP on May 31, 2012 at 6:18 PM

SWLiP on May 31, 2012 at 6:18 PM

SWLIP, ordinarily I would agree with you but (1) by this person’s own admission, he suffers from gender dysphoria, which means he recognizes, at least superficially, that he is mentally ill, yet seeks a solution that will not correct that deficiency, and (2) the stunt with the DOJ hardly invokes pity. I would argue that it invites contempt.

Howard Portnoy on May 31, 2012 at 6:30 PM

I find that it is normally pretty easy to spot the transgenders, not out of any biological traits (though those too) but simply because they try too hard. I submit that this may in fact be because they have an idealized and unrealistic view of what it actually means to be the opposite gender. I further submit that this means that even if the current state of gender ‘reassignment’ surgery was not a horrible freak-show, that they would still be doomed to a life of constant disappointment.

Jennifer doesn’t want to be a woman. Jennifer wants to be something better than he is. He wants to be Special. Thus: Lawsuit.

SpikeRHSC on May 31, 2012 at 6:46 PM

This story doesn’t pass the smell test. Women’s restrooms almost always have doors. And unless you’ve gone in with a girlfriend, bathroom interaction tends to be pretty reserved, not social. So just how did women know that this guy has male parts, unless he had them on display? If he’s into showing off his stuff, there’s more here than just a she/he wanting bathroom privacy.

gobblemom on May 31, 2012 at 7:17 PM

I wonder if I went to a plastic surgeon and asked him to make me look like George Washington, and he did, and I went around declaring that I am now GW, if I’d be committed to an insane asylum?

But if I go ask the same doctor to make me look like a woman, and he does, and I go around declaring I’m a woman, I’d be protected by law.

Oh well. At least I take comfort in the fact that ‘civilization’ will fall and the whole thing’ll start all over.

avgjo on May 31, 2012 at 7:50 PM

BDD is a serious illness that affects about 2% of the population. Folks with BDD suffer from a skewed self-image that leads to irrational and sometimes dangerous choices in lifestyle and cosmetic surgery.

Transgendered people do not have BDD because their skewed self-image involves their wee-wee or hoo-ha.

That’s my submission to the new DSM VI.

batterup on May 31, 2012 at 10:09 PM

There’s more coming. In researching a post several months ago (on California’s impending resolution to ask college students to declare their sexual orientation), I turned up material from briefs given to the US Department of Health and Human Services.

It is considered discriminatory that when a transgender person decides to live as the opposite sex, insurance does not have categories that allow, say, a biological “F” to buy insurance as an “M” and also continue to receive the services an “F” would get. Register as an “M” and you’re treated by the insurance plan as an “M,” as if, for some reason, you might have prostate cancer and not ovarian cancer, just to name one silly prejudice embedded in our insurance industry.

The obvious, logical solution — for the biological “F” to buy insurance as an “F,” or vice versa for the “M” — is an unfair imposition that causes “unequal access to health services” for the transgendered.

At some point, it seems like sanity will have to prevail. But I suspect the lawsuit is coming.

J.E. Dyer on June 1, 2012 at 10:30 AM

Obama Scary Ad coming: “If Romney is elected president, the DOJ will no longer defend mens’ rights to use women’s restrooms!”

Yeah, that oughta be effective…

Marcola on June 1, 2012 at 11:24 AM

At some point, it seems like sanity will have to prevail.
J.E. Dyer on June 1, 2012 at 10:30 AM

Sanity is dead, dude. We let the crazies kill it, and now it’s much too late for tears.

squint on June 1, 2012 at 5:11 PM