This was bound to happen.
Seattle Parks and Recreation is facing a first-of-a-kind challenge to gender bathroom rules. A man undressed in a women’s locker room, citing a new state rule that allows people to choose a bathroom based on gender identity.
It was a busy time at Evans Pool around 5:30pm Monday February 8. The pool was open for lap swim. According to Seattle Parks and Recreation, a man wearing board shorts entered the women’s locker room and took off his shirt. Women alerted staff, who told the man to leave, but he said “the law has changed and I have a right to be here.”
Particularly sticky is this:
Right now, there’s no specific protocol for how someone should demonstrate their gender in order to access a bathroom. Employees just rely on verbal identification or physical appearance, and this man offered neither.
Nor can there be a specific protocol. In our culture, we have been conditioned to not question how someone feels. If a man says he identifies as a woman – even if he has a magnificent beard and a soothing baritone voice – who are we to doubt him? What city employee is going to risk being sued and/or fired for making that call? Once we have unmoored ourselves from nature and centuries of social norms, it is no easy matter to settle on a new societal consensus.