A new California law will allow K-12 public-school students to use restrooms and join sports teams based not on their sex — but on their gender identity. That means that starting January 1, transgender students who are biologically male will be allowed into girls’ bathrooms and those who are biologically female will be welcome on football teams and in boys’ locker rooms.
So, naturally, some folks are freaking out.
Signed by Governor Brown in August, the School Success and Opportunity Act is the first of its kind in the U.S. But a group called Privacy for All Students has gathered thousands of signatures hoping to bring the issue to a public vote — and ultimately overturn the law. They say it’s unfair to regular guy-guys and girl-girls to have to share their facilities and, I don’t know, bonding zones with someone who has differently shaped private parts.
This particular fight centers around urinals and communal showers, but the transgender rights movement neither begins nor ends at plumbing. It’s happening on Dancing with the Stars, where Chaz Bono cha-cha-cha’d; and in the U.S. Army, where Wikileaks whistleblower Bradley Manning reinvented himself as Chelsea; and in the Girl Scouts, where a Colorado troop’s decision to allow a 7-year-old transgender child to join its ranks inspired a cookie boycott; and in the Miss Universe pageant, where a transgender Canadian contestant won the right to compete in 2012; and so on, and so on.