Transgender bill stokes fears

Transgender bill stokes fears

There are 860 comments on the Berkshire Eagle story from Jul 15, 2009, titled Transgender bill stokes fears. In it, Berkshire Eagle reports that:

When Ethan St. Pierre decided in 2001 to begin a public transformation from woman to man, he said the security company he worked for at first supported his decision.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Berkshire Eagle.

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Vox Pop

Cobleskill, NY

#1 Jul 15, 2009
so let me get this straight - our own ben downing and gov. deval patrick apparently believe that just because we don't have mens and womens bathrooms in our homes - that means that we don't need to have mens and womens restrooms in places like gyms, train stations and movie theaters? And they are willing to place children and others at risk of victimization in order to supposedly protect cross dressers by allowing men who dress up as women to use womens lockerrooms and restrooms. Why do these people think we elected them to change how we use restrooms? Does anybody remember downing or patrick running for office on a transgender bathroom issue?
SAL

Swannanoa, NC

#2 Jul 15, 2009
NO
Get Real

Alton, NH

#3 Jul 15, 2009
There is no such thing as "transgender". There are only people who make themselves look like the opposite gender--you can't actually change your gender.
royboy

Clockville, NY

#4 Jul 15, 2009
Why can't people just be happy with how they really are!! Doctors make people want to change, by saying you will be happier being what you should have been from birth. I wish I was 5'8" but I'm 5'2". Does that mean to stretch me out or to give me growth hormones that will make me taller. If you are man trying to be a woman or a woman trying to be a man, just be happy for the things you have. Not for the thing you don't have. My god, there are people dying out in this world by starving, wars, ect. Just be happy with you and what you are. After all it is just looks these people are going after. How vein. Your looks can not change who you are on the inside. That is what counts.. The grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence..

Since: Apr 09

North Adams, MA

#5 Jul 15, 2009
This state is doomed!
Vox Pop

Cobleskill, NY

#6 Jul 15, 2009
downing's own website fails to mention that his 2009 agenda is to ensure that cross dressers can use whatever restroom and lockeroom they choose. If this legislation is so great for the voters why is downing refusing to even mention it on his own website? He's sponsoring the bill that enables men who dress like women to suddenly have more rights then men who dress like men - the bill is essentially discrimination against men who aren't cross dressers. this bizarre legislation is sponsored by downing who never ran on the issue, never discussed his intentions on this issue with the voters and fails to even reveal his plans on his own website. Why is it okay to deceive the voters? If a guy wants to wear a dress - okay but why does he suddenly have more civil rights than a guy that doesn't wear a dress? Downing should be embarrassed by his duplicity. Women and children will be humiliated and victimized because of this legislation - thanks senator !
Francis A

Flagstaff, AZ

#7 Jul 15, 2009
royboy wrote:
Why can't people just be happy with how they really are!! Doctors make people want to change, by saying you will be happier being what you should have been from birth. I wish I was 5'8" but I'm 5'2". Does that mean to stretch me out or to give me growth hormones that will make me taller. If you are man trying to be a woman or a woman trying to be a man, just be happy for the things you have. Not for the thing you don't have. My god, there are people dying out in this world by starving, wars, ect. Just be happy with you and what you are. After all it is just looks these people are going after. How vein. Your looks can not change who you are on the inside. That is what counts.. The grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence..
I don't think it's "vain"... I think it's much deeper than wanting to "look" different. It's not like that guy "Bob" who can't stop smiling in the TV commercials.
flbadcatowner

Clearwater, FL

#8 Jul 15, 2009
It seems like the disapproval of this bill is almost universal, yet totally clueless politicians keep pushing this nonsense. I do support reasonable equality, but not at the cost od exposing young girls to being gawked at or worse in public facilities by dirty old men masquerading as transgendered males in order to gain access to the ladies facilities. One reason I can think of is that there are many politicians taking donations from some of the fringe radicals who are promoting this radical decadence. Another reason might be a conspiracy to further destroy our moral fibre and to bring down organized religion with it. If you had a young daughter, would you want a grown man to enter bathroom, dressing room, or shower facilities that she was using? If you are so concerned about those who are unsure of their gender identity or express a gender identity at odds with their biological gender, why not simply require that facilities be built for those with non-conventional gender identities?
Roxanne

Albuquerque, NM

#9 Jul 15, 2009
Francis A wrote:
<quoted text>
I don't think it's "vain"... I think it's much deeper than wanting to "look" different. It's not like that guy "Bob" who can't stop smiling in the TV commercials.
I agree. It isn't just looks that transwomen and transmen are going for. The main reason that looks are important to them - and they are not important to all of them - is because how someone looks is so important to non-trans people, more important than who another person is in their heart and their soul. Transpeople are concerned with looks - when they are - in order to appease shallow and superficial non-trans folk. They desire to be accepted for who they really are.

For many - if not most - transwomen, they have known that they had a female brain in a male body, in just the same way that the majority of genetic men have known that they have a male brain in a male body. But they have struggled for years to conform to the expectations of non-trans people who are unable to see past the surface of others, and this has been at great cost to their emotional and spiritual well-being. In other words, they have been "dying to please you."

In the majority of indigenous tribal cultures that haven't succumbed to the spiritual shallowness of white culture (and I speak as a white person here) these "two-spirit" people are highly valued for their spiritual gifts and insight, because they are able to see and understand the material and spirit worlds from both a masculine and feminine perspective.

In a sense, God cares enough about this world and the people in it that He is sending us more transpeople at precisely the time when we need to be listening to them. I would not be the least surprised if transpeople turn out to be the force that transforms this sad world into the kind of world that Jesus envisioned (and yes, I speak here as a Christian).
freedom

Clockville, NY

#10 Jul 15, 2009
Francis A wrote:
<quoted text>
I don't think it's "vain"... I think it's much deeper than wanting to "look" different. It's not like that guy "Bob" who can't stop smiling in the TV commercials.
Bob who???
lost freedoms

Williamstown, MA

#11 Jul 15, 2009
Jerry Springer had an entertaining show about transgenders: Men who became women, who want to become men again.
a human

Clockville, NY

#12 Jul 15, 2009
Roxanne wrote:
<quoted text>
I agree. It isn't just looks that transwomen and transmen are going for. The main reason that looks are important to them - and they are not important to all of them - is because how someone looks is so important to non-trans people, more important than who another person is in their heart and their soul. Transpeople are concerned with looks - when they are - in order to appease shallow and superficial non-trans folk. They desire to be accepted for who they really are.
For many - if not most - transwomen, they have known that they had a female brain in a male body, in just the same way that the majority of genetic men have known that they have a male brain in a male body. But they have struggled for years to conform to the expectations of non-trans people who are unable to see past the surface of others, and this has been at great cost to their emotional and spiritual well-being. In other words, they have been "dying to please you."
In the majority of indigenous tribal cultures that haven't succumbed to the spiritual shallowness of white culture (and I speak as a white person here) these "two-spirit" people are highly valued for their spiritual gifts and insight, because they are able to see and understand the material and spirit worlds from both a masculine and feminine perspective.
In a sense, God cares enough about this world and the people in it that He is sending us more transpeople at precisely the time when we need to be listening to them. I would not be the least surprised if transpeople turn out to be the force that transforms this sad world into the kind of world that Jesus envisioned (and yes, I speak here as a Christian).
Where you brought up making sure you look good. It is what is inside of you that counts. You can add breast and a penis to yourself but that will not make you still feel good about yourself. If you are not happy with yourself now you will never be happy. Our outer skin is just that skin. I am a woman not that bad looking but I am a human first. What sex you are have nothing to do with living and being happy. When I look in the mirror, I can see my mother and father in myself. But I wish I could be taller. Well thats life make the most out of what you have. I would not want to be man. I'm happy with the love that my family has giving me. But I sure do work like a man!!!And I will say that if god made every one why did he goof up on some?? I do not believe in god. But I do believe in the evolution of man. If their was a god why do so many priest rape little boys then. God should strike them down before the priest even hurts them?? But does god do it, no!!Just be happy with who you are and not what you don't have. I believe their was a good story teller out in ancient times telling people of the promise land. But thousands of years later we are still looking for that land. And no god has shown up yet. God have failed many people. Plus how much time was the person job to give him off? By birth he was born a man. By operation he might look like a woman, but still is a man. One thing he can never, never change. I would not want to be a woman using the same bathroom as him. He is a she that is a man. Boy I'm confused now. I speaking as a human being. And not that of gods words.
sandsifter

Port Saint Lucie, FL

#13 Jul 15, 2009
Whats wrong with a third bathroom with a question mark on it??????
Vox Pop

Cobleskill, NY

#14 Jul 15, 2009
this is patently ridiculous. there are men and there are women. somehow, I know it sounds incredible - but somehow we have been able to exist & prosper for thousands of years without specialized rights for transgender/cross dressing people. But in the year 2009 ben downing has decided that men who dress up like women - should have the right to use whatever public restroom/lockerroom/changing area they want to use - even if that deprives all women of their own rights to privacy and their rights not to be ogled and vicitimized by somebody who may have gender identity disorder - or might just be a pervert in a dress who gets his kicks on hanging out in womens lavatories. Is there anybody on beacon hill with a brain?
royboy

Clockville, NY

#15 Jul 15, 2009
sandsifter wrote:
Whats wrong with a third bathroom with a question mark on it??????
Sounds good to me. I know I will stay away from the bathrooms with the question mark on it.
religion kills

United States

#16 Jul 15, 2009
This is not a personal issue of mine, but for all you that say "get over it" or float the ridiculous assertion that it is just perverts trying to get at the women using the bathroom it is clear you do not understand the issue.

it is not about outward appearance. Just like I feel like a man and the women on here feel like a woman, transgendered people truly feel like the sex they are not physically. I know some of these people and it really is something they struggle with until they figure out what they suffer from. Don't think someone chooses to cross dress...this is a difficult thing for most of them to come to terms with.

Yes, "native" cultures revered transgenders as healers and demi-gods. That is just the same superstition that we have in our religiosity but it shows that at least they were understood and welcomed...even elevated within the community.

The issue is none of you are comfortable with this...I understand, it is very different than what we are used to. But, the fact you are uncomfortable with it leaves the door open for discrimination, so they need protection.

The whole bathroom issue is a result of our society's fear of all things sex and sexual. It comes from christianity. Get rid of that horrible influence on us and we will no longer be ashamed of our bodies.

I also see in some comments envy....you men want to sneak into the ladies room and being denied that don't want someone else to be able to. Last I checked that falls in the pervert column.

Do the ladies run around naked in the girls room anyway? We men don't...so I don't see where the issue of perverts comes up. Last I heard you ladies have stalls!

Kudos to Downing to have the guts to stand up to you people that don't want to take the time to understand this complex issue. It is a rare showing of insight on his part.
Francis A

United States

#17 Jul 15, 2009
Vox Pop wrote:
this is patently ridiculous. there are men and there are women. somehow, I know it sounds incredible - but somehow we have been able to exist & prosper for thousands of years without specialized rights for transgender/cross dressing people. But in the year 2009 ben downing has decided that men who dress up like women - should have the right to use whatever public restroom/lockerroom/changing area they want to use - even if that deprives all women of their own rights to privacy and their rights not to be ogled and vicitimized by somebody who may have gender identity disorder - or might just be a pervert in a dress who gets his kicks on hanging out in womens lavatories. Is there anybody on beacon hill with a brain?
It's anything but ridiculous. I don't believe sexuality is a binary issue (either one or the other) as you propose... I think it's a spectrum.... And the bit about perverts in a dress is not at all what the bill, or transgenders, are about.

We lived and prospered for thousands of years with slavery, but we have become better than that. The same should be true of how we treat any group of people.

“Everything is local”

Since: Apr 08

Great Barrington, MA

#18 Jul 15, 2009
The simple solution for most small businesses is one bathroom, a lock inside and a sign that says, "Knock First", that way everyone has their own privacy.

Larger restrooms have stalls with doors, so really what is the problem? It is more dangerous for kids in public parks and across the street from schools, than public restrooms in large stores or malls, if that is really the fear.

Since: Aug 08

Springfield, MA

#19 Jul 15, 2009
Pat, just watch out for the Republican with the "wide stance"...
flbadcatowner

Clearwater, FL

#20 Jul 15, 2009
religion kills wrote:
This is not a personal issue of mine, but for all you that say "get over it" or float the ridiculous assertion that it is just perverts trying to get at the women using the bathroom it is clear you do not understand the issue.
it is not about outward appearance. Just like I feel like a man and the women on here feel like a woman, transgendered people truly feel like the sex they are not physically. I know some of these people and it really is something they struggle with until they figure out what they suffer from. Don't think someone chooses to cross dress...this is a difficult thing for most of them to come to terms with.
Yes, "native" cultures revered transgenders as healers and demi-gods. That is just the same superstition that we have in our religiosity but it shows that at least they were understood and welcomed...even elevated within the community.
The issue is none of you are comfortable with this...I understand, it is very different than what we are used to. But, the fact you are uncomfortable with it leaves the door open for discrimination, so they need protection.
The whole bathroom issue is a result of our society's fear of all things sex and sexual. It comes from christianity. Get rid of that horrible influence on us and we will no longer be ashamed of our bodies.
I also see in some comments envy....you men want to sneak into the ladies room and being denied that don't want someone else to be able to. Last I checked that falls in the pervert column.
Do the ladies run around naked in the girls room anyway? We men don't...so I don't see where the issue of perverts comes up. Last I heard you ladies have stalls!
Kudos to Downing to have the guts to stand up to you people that don't want to take the time to understand this complex issue. It is a rare showing of insight on his part.
Let me try and understand. You people with a gender identity different from the one you were physically born with want the right to use the men's rooms even though you are actually female or the ladies' room even though you are male because your confused sexual identity makes you feel uncomfortable when you use the facilities meant for your actual biological sex. the ket word is comfortable. Did you ever consider your right to be comfortable in using facilities meant for the opposite sex might make those are happy to use the facilities meant for their own sex uncomfortable. Yes, your "right" to feel comfortable will make many others uncomfortable. Are people who are satisfied with identifying with the sex they were born with any less entitled to feel comfortable by not having to share the facilities of those who don't? When my wife uses public restroom facilities, she would not feel comfortable if "she-men" were sharing the facilities. I would not feel comfortable thinking that there may be men(some of whom may be there just to gawk at the women) in the ladies' facilities while she was using them. For every one with a opposite gender identity who will be made to feel more comfortable, there will be many more normal identity people who will feel uncomfortable with this set-up. It is one more case of a tiny minority trying to shove their desires down the throats of the conventional majority.

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