Seattle’s Parks and Rec is confused about how best to handle a man in the women’s locker room who is using the new transgender bathroom law against concerned citizens.
In an effort to cater to the transgender community, Seattle passed a law stating that you can use the bathroom of the gender with which you identify. This has lead to a first-of-its-kind case in which a man in board shorts began undressing in the woman’s locker room of Evans Pool. Several of the locker room’s female occupants approached the staff with concerned, but when asked to leave, the man cited the new gender rule, which he says gives him the “right” to use the facilities.
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The man merely justified his presence in the female locker room using the law, but made no attempt to identify himself as a woman.
One woman, MaryAnne Soto, says she visits the pool a couple times a week, but says nothing like this has ever happened.
“Really bizarre. I can’t imagine why they would want to do that anyway!”
Protesters came from as far away as Olympia to voice their opinions on the topic. While opponents say that the law opens the door for voyeurism and victimization of young women, supporters of the law maintain that the fear is unrealistic.
“Sort of works against the point they’re trying to make. They’re causing people to feel exposed and vulnerable with the intention of reducing people feeling exposed and vulnerable,” said pool regular Aldan Shank.
The police were not called in this case, despite the man returning to the locker room a second time when young girls were changing.
Parks and Rec spokesperson David Takami stated that they are working on ways to fix the issue, as there is no protocol for identifying the legitimacy of a transgendered person’s sexual identity.
“This didn’t seem like a transgender issue to staff – someone who was “identifying” as a woman,” Takami wrote in a statement to KING 5. “We have guidelines that allow transgender individuals to use restrooms and locker rooms consistent with their gender identity. We want everyone to feel comfortable in our facilities.”
It’s unclear whether this man is simply a pervert, or someone trying to make a point about the dangers of allowing anyone into any bathroom they please. Either way, it’s clear that gender rules for public facilities need a lot of work.
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