Thursday, July 27, 2017

Public and Private

I'm back from my family's annual trip to the beach. For the past three years we have stayed at a deliciously retro-feeling place in Lewes called the Beacon Motel. It's not fancy, but it's clean and comfortable and affordable. There's no work-out room or free breakfast and the internet is periodically rather thin. But the service is excellent and all the staff are warm and friendly. We'll probably be back next year.

There seem to be two schools on acknowledging vacations on social media. Some folks are right out there in the open, posting as they go. Some, like us, are a bit wary of advertising that they are away from home. By and large I save my photos and travel anecdotes for when I get back. There's no right or wrong way, I guess. It's just what we prefer. And we can all choose what to make public or keep private.

While we were enjoying a day of noodling around Rehoboth Avenue, I realized I was going to need to find a bathroom. And, if you have been to Rehoboth, you know that means finding your way to the public facilities down by the boardwalk. As I made my way down the street I thought about how crucial it is to have public restrooms. How many of us would leave the house for more than brief trips if we were not assured of a place to "go" if we needed it?

Imagine if using the toilet were not considered a normal bodily function that our society took into account. How would your life be different if all eyes were on you if you needed a restroom, if it were the subject of punitive laws and very public debate?

As we see various "Bathroom Bills" come up throughout the U.S., I think it's important to realize this is not some intellectual political concept.

Isolating transgender citizens as a class and restricting their rights to use bathrooms is both ignorant and crippling. I read somewhere that it's a way of attempting to erase transgender people from existing in the public sphere. I agree. Just how far would I get in life if the only place I could use a bathroom was in the privacy of my own home?

Shopping? Work? School? Vacation?

How could I risk it? I have no idea how I would live under those circumstances.

Do you?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.