Op-ed: I'm a Bathroom Renegade
I’m Dina Martinez and I’m here to clear up a few things for those of you who are interested in what’s happening in my pants. You see, I keep hearing about people, like Arizona legislators, who are opposed to transgender people using the restroom.
Until recently remedied, grade schooler Coy Mathis, who has identified as a girl although she was born male for years, was told that she couldn’t use the restroom of her choice.
Now, Pinellas Technical Education Centers in Pinellas County Florida has asked a student, Alex Wilson, to not use the women’s restroom but a restroom clear across the campus in a dirty storage room that is completely out of view. It is becoming increasingly evident that our government and now educational institutions are increasingly interested in what’s happening in our pants.
So, to let you know, there is nothing going on in my pants. Depressing as that may be there is absolutely nothing going on in my pants that is any different from what’s going on in yours (I assume). Am I looking forward to a little bit of change and remodeling down there? Yes, but when I go to a restroom I am absolutely not concerned with my dating life nor am I concerned with anyone else in that room. I mostly concerned about relieving myself. How about you? Is there anything nefarious or of malintent on your mind when you go into a lady’s room?
When I go to the restroom, I just want to go to the restroom. I am doing something that is completely natural for all humans on this planet. You see, I’m transsexual. I am pre-op transexual to be precise and I don’t care at all to see your bits or your child’s bits. That would be a “sexual predator.” Transsexual, transgender, or any other term that describes those of us who are gender diverse simply describes our gender identity and has very little to do with sexuality.
I have been living my life as the woman I was born to become for seven years now. Although my passport says the gender I was born, my state IDs have a strong “F” depicting the gender that I truly am — the first “F” that I could be truly proud about having. In my daily life and travels there is very little question about my gender. I travel much of the country, including a great many trips to the South, and I raise little more than an eyebrow. To be honest, if I wasn’t such a huge personality, I’d probably slip under 95% of peoples’ radar. I am just a woman.
With all this in mind, why should you or anyone feel threatened by my urination? I’ve never felt threatened by anyone else's. Quite honestly, almost all of the ladies rooms that I’ve visited over the years have had private stalls. I go into a stall and lock the stall and do my business. How about you? Do your practices deviate from mine? Sure, I do sometimes question if my urinary stream sounds stronger than most women. And I sometimes try really hard not to clear my throat because my voice is a bit husky. But by any account that makes me neurotic, and not a threat to your excretive practices or process nor your child's.
So should you, on your next visit to the ladies or men’s room, encounter someone who might look a little masculine or a little too feminine and find yourself feeling uncomfortable, please recall the immortal words of Dina Martinez: “Grow the freak UP!”
I highly doubt that you would report someone of color for using the restroom. So unless someone who is being sexually inappropriate, which we learned is called a sexual predator and not a transgender, is in your restroom terrorizing you and your children, hold your discomfort at bay and, like an adult, do your business and leave. Plain and simple!
DINA MARTINEZ is an actress, comedian, and writer. For more visit Dinamartinez.com