Bizarre implications of County Council's transgender bathroom amendment

I am a transgender male (that is, female to male) person, and unfortunately, I had to work when the Baltimore County Council held a hearing on the bill to ban discrimination ("Transgender bill stirs fear, controversy in Baltimore Co." Feb. 20).

If I understand this correctly, the County Council is considering a proposal that — while allegedly freeing me from discrimination in Baltimore County where I live and work — would require me to use a women's bathroom, dressing room or locker room even though I look like a man.

I do not understand how that would make women using one of these public facilities feel more safe. If this amendment does pass, I think you would be requiring me to make a scene at every public facility I frequent.

The council should please remember that transgender people, like everyone else, come in two sexes. It seems that most of the testimony members are hearing and addressing in the newspaper is only about male to female transition.

If the council's intent is truly to pass a bill that would end discrimination, then simply end discrimination, regardless of the gender of the individual. The idea that any transgender person of either sex would be a sexual predator simply because they are transgender is ludicrous in and of itself.

To try and validate this ridiculous claim with an amendment that addresses certain people's prejudice against transgender females only is probably the most discriminatory thing I have ever heard. For 40 years, I was a male using a women's restroom because of the way I was born. No one has noticed.

So I guess I would ask the question, at what point in a person's transition would it be legal to switch bathrooms? Would I be required to have facial hair in order to switch? Would I be required to have (and carry verification of) a certain surgical procedure before I could lawfully use a public restroom?

If your proposed amendment is based on looks alone, will there be a dress code in order to use a women's bathroom? If I wear a baseball cap, have short hair and jeans on, should I use a different bathroom from someone wearing a dress? If I have a friend who is a very masculine-looking woman, but not transgender, which bathroom should she use?

What exactly, since you are going to make this a law, is the criteria to gain access to a public restroom? Because when I need to go, or when one of my children need to go, there won't be a lot of time for deliberation.

Whitney Conneally, Towson

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