Rape victim: Transgender bathrooms would expose girls, women to sexual assault

by Michael Foust , Guest Reviewer |

(REUTERS/Erin Siegal)Topher Logan looks in the bathroom mirror at home in his Brooklyn apartment, New York, February 18, 2007. Logan, 28, refers to himself as a "queer transman", meaning he was born as female, but identifies as a male and has relationships with women, men and other transgender people. He injects himself with testosterone, known as "T", twice a week in order to create and sustain traditionally masculine gender traits such as facial hair and a deeper voice. Two years ago he underwent a bilateral mastectomy, known as top surgery, to modify his chest. Logan believes in gender fluidity, and binary gender as a social construct. Such individuals, under current ordinances in many of the cities throughout the United States, can use either men's or women's bathrooms and locker rooms.

SEATTLE (Christian Examiner) – A woman who was raped as a child is speaking out against transgender bathrooms and locker rooms, saying that such a setting would expose women and girls to sexual assault by giving "deviant men" the protection of law.

In the column, writer Kaeley Triller Haver made clear she was "not saying that transgender people are predators" – although she did say that any law that allows people to use whichever restroom they choose will have tragic results.

"I am saying is that there are countless deviant men in this world who will pretend to be transgender as a means of gaining access to the people they want to exploit, namely women and children," she wrote at TheFederalist.com. "It already happens. Just Google Jason Pomares, Norwood Smith Burnes, or Taylor Buehler, for starters."

Pomares dressed as a woman and snuck into a Macy's bathroom in 2013 to videotape women, while Burnes went into a Walmart women's restroom in 2010 and exposed himself to children. Buehler wore a bra and wig and slipped into a Washington state community college bathroom and locker room in 2012 to watch woman. All three men were arrested.

Haver doesn't go into detail about her own experience but says she was sexually assaulted around the age of 10, and that it took her another decade to "figure out why she still slept with the light on and showered in her underwear and vigilantly lined the crack under the bathroom door with a beach towel." She said she watches the political and cultural debate over transgender bathrooms and wants to scream: "Wake up! Can't you see what's going on? Do something about it!"

"Don't they know that one out of every four little girls will be sexually abused during childhood, and that's without giving predators free access to them while they shower?" she asked. "Don't they know that, for women who have experienced sexual trauma, finding the courage to use a locker room at all is a freaking badge of honor? That many of these women view life through a kaleidoscope of shame and suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, dissociation, poor body image, eating disorders, drug and alcohol abuse, difficulty with intimacy, and worse?

"Why would people knowingly invite further exploitation by creating policies with no safeguards in place to protect them from injury? With zero screening options to ensure that biological males who enter locker rooms actually identify as female, how could a woman be sure the person staring at her wasn't exploiting her? Why is it okay to make her wonder?"

Insurance companies, Haver wrote, view "locker rooms as a high-risk area for abuse that should be carefully monitored and protected."

"There's no way to make everyone happy in the situation of transgender locker room use," she wrote. "So the priority ought to be finding a way to keep everyone safe. I'd much rather risk hurting a smaller number of people's feelings by asking transgender people to use a single-occupancy restroom that still offers safety than risk jeopardizing the safety of thousands of women and kids with a policy that gives would-be predators a free pass.

"Is it ironic to no one that being 'progressive' actually sets women's lib back about a century?"

The solution, Haver wrote, is to offer single-occupancy restrooms and showers, although she noted it has been shot down as "discriminatory" and "emotionally damaging" to transgender people. She bemoans the notion that "anyone can use whatever restroom he or she wants without being questioned" – with the protection of the law.

"I read these reports, and my heart starts to race," she wrote. "They can't be serious. ... I feel a sense of urgency to invite people to consider the not-so-hidden dangers of these policies before more and more of them get cemented into place. Once that happens, the only way they'll change is when innocent people get hurt. Even if there aren't hundreds of abusers rushing into locker rooms by the dozens, the question I keep asking myself is, 'What if just one little girl gets hurt by this? Would that be enough to make people reconsider it?'"