“He could hear me peeing.”
It’s happened to many of us: That awkward moment when a cleaner of the opposite sex walks in on you in a public restroom.
A transgender woman was bothered enough by the experience to complain about it on Facebook Monday. In a private community group for the town of Franklin, Massachusetts, Daniel Goes posted what she said was an image of a male McDonald’s employee cleaning while she was relieving herself.
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Goes said the man’s presence made her “super uncomfortable” and defeated the whole purpose of her using the women’s room, which was that it makes her “feel safer.” “Am I over reacting or is that messed up”? she asked her fellow All About Franklin Mass users.
The reaction by other locals was generally supportive. A number of people commented that they would have felt uncomfortable in the situation, too.
Apparently feeling empowered, Does added: “he could hear me peeing it made me very anxious.”
Some members of the group urged her to feel entitled to ask the employee to leave.
“Not cool,” said a woman. “Reach out to management.”
In what may have been a subtle troll, one man responded simply: “Its unnatural [sic].”
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Restroom access has been part of a national, as well as global, culture war over transgender rights, which includes social institutions from sports to the military to prisons. Liberals argue that transgender rights are human rights, while conservatives warn of a threat to values and the safety of women and children.
Massachusetts is among a number of states that have passed anti-discrimination laws enshrining transgender people’s restroom rights. Other states are considering legislation that would outlaw people from using restrooms that do not correspond with their biological sex.
But the advance of those conservative-backed bills may have been retarded by the liberal outrage that followed North Carolina’s passage of such a law in 2016. The legislature partially repealed the law a year later.
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