Exclusive to OpEdNews:
OpEdNews Op Eds

Too Butch to Pee

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 1 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com

Become a Fan
  (2 fans)
- Advertisement -

It’s not often I run across a news story (or a film or book) that captures my experiences in the Land of the Free. 

Khadijah Farmer, a New York City lesbian, stopped to eat with two friends, during NYC’s LBGT Pride celebration in June of this year.  The restaurant, the Caliente Cab Company, physically ejected Farmer for using the women’s room, even though she offered to show her ID which proved she was female.  Through Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund, she filed a lawsuit this week.

More than once I’ve been warned that I was in the women’s room, as if I had made a mistake.  I suspect my tiny physique and mirthful reaction convinces an accuser of her error, despite my short hair and sensible shoes. 

Most women become contrite and apologetic when they realize their mistake.  A few times, though, someone has become hostile and condescending, as if there is something wrong with me because I’m not femme enough for her.  I keep things light by replying, “The world is amazingly diverse, isn’t it?” 

I can easily imagine the public humiliation that Khadijah Farmer felt, as the bouncer pounded on her locked stall door.  I mean, really, was the guy on drugs, or did he forget to take his drugs that day?  What an overreaction.  I hope the Caliente Cab Company restaurant fires the bouncer, issues a public apology and pays Farmer a substantial sum.   Humiliation isn’t free.   

Being physically ejected from a bathroom stall for not dressing according to someone else’s standards of role attire, is not that far away from hanging a noose outside your office for not having the right skin color. Undoubtedly, the latter is a bit more frightening given recent eruptions of US racial tension.  Since Farmer is black, and the bouncer refused to look at her proffered ID indicating she is female, it’s easy to suspect that race was an issue as well. 

- Advertisement -

Few of us can forget the murder of Matthew Shepard or Brandon Tina.  Recently, John Aravosis complained that gays, lesbians and bisexuals have to include transgender or transsexual (“T”) people in our political movement for equality.  He fails to grasp that 1) we’re all equally viewed with derision by our enemies, thus equally subject to violence and discrimination; and 2) united we stand.   

Farmer’s case highlights another point Aravosis misses: Farmer is not transgendered, yet suffered from T-discrimination.  Her case raises the T discussion to a legal level, which Avavosis is well advised to follow.  Part 2 of the Gay USA interview includes a lucid discussion of sex, gender, and role discrimination, showing how this type of discrimination impacts straight women as well.  In Part 3, Michael Silverman of www.transgenderlegal.org explains more of the legal issues behind the action filed on Farmer’s behalf.   

As one blogger wrote, “Effeminate gay men and ‘butch’ lesbians are subjected to anti-transgender bigotry as well as anti-gay bigotry. For many in our country, 'transgender' is equal to 'gay,' and there's little distinction when it comes to hate.”  At this same blog site, someone else writes, “ALL lesbians, gays and bisexuals are engaged in transgender behavior.” 

While Aravosis would further alienate sexual radicals from each other, Khadijah Farmer shows how that is not even possible in a world that deems some of us too butch to pee in public restrooms.

- Advertisement -

 

In 2004, Rady Ananda joined the growing community of citizen journalists. Initially focused on elections, she investigated the 2004 Ohio election, organizing, training and leading several forays into counties to photograph the 2004 ballots. She officially served at three recounts, including the 2004 recount. She also organized and led the team that audited Franklin County Ohio's 2006 election, proving the number of voter signatures did not match official results. Her work appears in three books.

Her blogs also address religious, gender, sexual and racial equality, as well as environmental issues; and are sprinkled with book and film reviews on various topics. She spent most of her working life as a researcher or investigator for private lawyers, and five years as an editor.

She graduated from The Ohio State University's School of Agriculture in December 2003 with a B.S. in Natural Resources.

All material offered here is the property of Rady Ananda, copyright 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009. Permission is granted to repost, with proper attribution including the original link.

"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act." Tell the truth anyway.

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon


Go To Commenting

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles
- Advertisement -

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Anne Kilkenny Full Email on Sarah Palin

Zeitgeist Addendum: Steps toward a sustainable future

Kevorkian: The Right to Die and Other 9th Amendment Freedoms

Afghan Women Protest Marital Rape Law; Men Spit and Stone Them

The new weapons of genetic engineering

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
1 people are discussing this page, with 1 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)

They shouldn't be sexual pick-up spots. They s... by Mark E. Smith on Wednesday, Oct 10, 2007 at 4:22:03 PM