Transgender Students in the Locker Room

I was just reading about the school in Missouri where students walked out because a transgender student was allowed to use the girls’ locker room.  I had heard it was over a bathroom.  No, a locker room is quite different.  In a bathroom, at least there are stalls with doors for privacy.

My last locker room experience was in junior high, after which I waived PE the rest of my school years.  The girls in my school HATED the locker room.  Most of us were incredibly shy and all of us being girls didn’t make us feel any better about it.  We were in our awkward stage for sure – some of us wishing our boobs weren’t so big and others wishing we would finally get them.

Even though we most likely didn’t break a sweat in PE, we were required to shower before we went to class, which was not done in privacy.  Female gym teachers stood there with clipboards as they marked us off.  If they didn’t witness us showering, then it didn’t happen.  If we were on our periods, we could remain in our underwear and rub ourselves down with wet towels.  Or course, this caused some of us to be on our periods a lot!  (We lied.)

If were weren’t on our periods, we left our underwear on anyway, slipped our brastraps down, and covered ourselves with our towels.  We dipped our legs in the shower and didn’t actually let go of our towels.  No, we didn’t scrub our armpits with soap or anything.  We were determined to never be naked in front of each other or see each other naked.

This was a humiliating Hell that I dreaded every day because I thought the teachers were going to tell us to take the towels off and put our naked bodies in the shower.  It was bad enough having them stare at us.  If a transgender girl had been allowed into the locker room, meaning a person who identifies as a girl but still has a penis, I can’t even describe how that would have affected me, although I think a good ice breaker would have been if they yelled, “Rub down!” claiming they’re on they’re period too.

I don’t know how school locker rooms work nowadays.  Are they more modest?  Is there more privacy?  Are kids not forced to shower after PE?  All I know is that when I was a teenage girl, one of my goals in life was to not see anyone’s penis until I was married, unless it involved a diaper and babysitting.  In fact, a boy I was giving a spelling test to in a back room when I was a teacher’s assistant was making “jokes” that he needed to adjust himself and would need to remove it from his pants.  I don’t know if he did, because I wasn’t going to look.  (Still, I should have reported the incident immediately.)  As I told this story to a relative, I said, “I decided that was NOT going to be the first penis I ever saw!”

There is no perfect solution to make everyone happy when a student declares they are the opposite sex of what they appear to be.  I would never want anyone to feel bad, but I feel like the fairest and most respectful solution is for transgender students to use a private bathroom since you can’t offer it to the 100+ girls who feel like it’s a violation of their privacy.  Oh, what I wouldn’t have done for a private bathroom!

Students who are transgender have feelings.  So do students who are not transgender.  We don’t know their experiences.  We don’t know what they have gone through that would make this sort of experience especially upsetting.

I have taken my kids to the pool where many women are comfortable walking around completely naked in the locker room.  Now if a transgender woman who hasn’t had sex reassignment surgery was walking around in such a fashion, I think I would be quite alarmed thinking a man had come in there to expose himself.  They’ve just been in the pool, their hair is wet, and their make-up most likely washed off.  How would anyone be able to tell they identify as a woman?  In fact, any man could just put on a women’s bathing suit for a day and claim they identify as a woman just to gain access to the bathroom where both women and little girls are changing.

No. Just no.

The key to getting everyone to understand your plight is not forcing everyone into this kind of situation.  If we had had co-ed locker rooms when I was a kid, I would have protested.  I never would have set foot in one.  I don’t hate men.  I just don’t want to change in front of them!  And whatever gender you identify with does not change the way I perceive you when faced with locker room nudity.  Your thoughts and feelings don’t travel to my brain.

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No Sugar: Day Four

No, I’m not going to document every single day that I’m off sugar.  That would even bore me to tears.  I just want to state that this time around isn’t as hard.  I’m having moments of, “Hey, I think I’d like to eat some ice cream.” but then I remember, “Oh yeah.  I’m off sugar.”  I don’t feel extremely deprived.  I’m not experiencing headaches or more fatigue than usual.  Like I could feel more fatigued anyway with a baby who’s been fighting an ear infection and never slept much to begin with.

I haven’t cut out cereal yet.  I’ll do that when my baby is completely better and she’s being more reasonable when it comes to me not holding her all day.

Today I had a large helping of watermelon and also some chips.  One thing at a time.  The chips will be on my no list soon.

No, don’t tell me, “Fruit has sugar in it.”  I’m not cutting out natural sugar.  I will lessen it over time, but fruit has nutrients that I need.

Going Off Sugar

Almost exactly two years ago, I made the split decision to go off sugar with my sister for a week.  Or was it two weeks?  Either way, I decided to continue until my son’s birthday and had dessert just that day.  Then my second son asked me to go sugar free the whole month of October with him.  He went trick or treating, but didn’t eat the candy until November 1st.  I was proud to say that I didn’t eat a single morsel of candy and then I continued until Thanksgiving.  I think I really overdid it that day.

My in-laws were having a weight loss challenge somewhere into my sugar-free spree, so I was even more determined to keep going.  I made a choice between Christmas and New Year’s Eve.  Considering my last weigh-in would be on New Year’s Eve day, I decided to skip treats on Christmas.  My husband didn’t know what the heck to put in my stocking or give me for Valentine’s Day.

I splurged on New Year’s Eve and continued until my birthday, then until my husband’s birthday, all the way until the time I became pregnant the following February. I had lost 50 pounds by then.  Because my eating habits took so much focus and I didn’t have much of an appetite, I was still pretty good, but would enjoy a granola bar once in a while.  My third trimester was horrid, so ice cream made its way back in on a semi-regular basis.  After my car accident, things were even more difficult.  I couldn’t run to the store for quick trips anymore and then after my baby was born, I pretty much gave up for the time being.

I finally feel like I have it in me to go “sugar free” again.  It helps that I remember how much easier it got over time, although I’m still sleep deprived right now and that makes me crave sweets.  Right now I’d kind of like a bowl of ice cream, but I have my back-up – frozen banana shakes!  It’s just banana, milk, and cocoa powder.  Not sweetener added.  My kids love it!

Here are my personal rules:

  1.  No desserts made with sugar. This is the main thing.  And no doughnuts and that sort of thing.  Basically anything you want to eat because it’s so sugary.
  2.  I can eat as much fruit as a want until I adjust.
  3.  I can stuff myself silly with protein if I’m overly hungry.
  4.  I’m not going to nitpick over things like BBQ sauce that has sugar in it.
  5. When the hardest part is over, I will cut down on white carbs.  I’m not super strict on this.
  6. If I’m really struggling, I may make some hot chocolate from scratch, sweetened with honey. It’s actually pretty good!  This is something I would do once a week at the most on a cold night.

I made some interesting discoveries such as, I could have a giant plate of nachos (just tortilla chips with melted cheddar) with a heaping amount of guacamole and weigh 3 pounds lighter the next day.  It became my favorite evening snack, especially if I felt deprived while my family was eating dessert.

I definitely felt deprived at times, but I kept telling myself the sugar would always be there.  I could have it anytime I wanted to.  I was just choosing not to.  I asked myself what I was really missing out on by not having it.  How long does it take to eat dessert?  5 minutes?  Did I really want to negatively impact my health on a regular basis over 5 minutes of something tasting good?  This can be applied to many situations in life.

The hardest part was missing making special treats for other people and not eat any or lick my hand if any delicious chocolate got on my hand.  I love to surprise loved ones!  I always thought it was ridiculous that Sam on the show “Cheers” was an alcoholic, yet was a bartender.  That has to be the worst job an alcoholic could ever have.  If I were a pastry chef, I would have to quit.

Today was day one.  I had a bowl of cereal (the healthiest I had on hand) for breakfast because I didn’t have time to make eggs.  My baby has had an ear infection, so when she falls asleep, it gives me very little time to do anything. I’ve been snacking on almonds, apples, cheese, and am about to have some toast.  I should probably have an actual dinner, but I haven’t gotten around to it.  My family will be complaining soon about whole wheat pasta.  Sorry, but I’m not going to be making two dinners.  That’s another issue – trying to change eating habits against your family’s will.

See you later, sugar!