The new anti-discrimination law to protect transgendered individuals caused me to reflect upon the new pro-discrimination policies at the Columbia swim center and how we will decide who makes us "feel uncomfortable."

For example, how do we plan to define "female" for our new women-only swim times? If we define "woman" as "absence of a Y chromosome," we will discriminate against transgendered men who identify as women. If we define "woman" as "someone who does not identify as a man," we will discriminate against transgendered women, though they are genetically female. If we define "woman" as someone who does not have a sexual attraction to women, (in order to protect women from "unwanted attention") then we discriminate against the lesbian community. Perhaps we can hire someone from the Transportation Security Administration to decide who gets to go swimming.

Meanwhile, there are some folk who "feel uncomfortable" with the idea of interracial swim time. That can only lead to the evils of miscegenation. But don't forget about the Great American Ideal of "separate but equal." I think the Supreme Court had something to say about that, but I forgot, and so did everyone else in Howard County, it seems.

The Columbia Association administration says that women-only swim time doesn't cost much, only about $100 per week. But I say that the cost of discrimination is a lot more than they think.


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Amy Chai

Ellicott City