We were standing in the men's locker room when I began telling Edward that I get it, as a society, we want to separate the penises from the vaginas. That is the only appropriate thing to do when penises want so desperately to get into vaginas. At least that is the logic as it was explained to me when I was just a young kid - in order to keep the penises out of the vaginas, we need to have them exist in different rooms.
It all seemed fair enough, but at some point as a child I learned about gay people. Then I became confused again about the locker and rest room situation. Why do we need to separate penises and vaginas when it is not always vaginas that penises want to get into and it is not always penises that vaginas want to bump up against?
Nobody was able to give me a fair answer to this question. Does it mean that we need to have at least four changing and potty rooms? One for the penises, one for the vaginas, one for the gay penises, and one more for the gay vaginas. That should cover it, shouldn't it?
Oh damn, we forgot all about the bisexual penises and vaginas. Shit, what are we going to do about those bit owners? Shit, shit, shit. Now we are in a real f'd up situation. Maybe we could ask them to indicate which gender they are preferring to have sex with right then and then match them up to one of the four existing rooms?
Okay, that is obviously ridiculous, right? Well this is the conversation that I was having, standing in the penis room, with my friend, Edward this past weekend. Neither one of our penises were showing by the way! This past weekend Jules and I went to Vegas and we decided to have a spa day with our friends, another couple. That day the four of us headed off to the spa. Two women, one man, and me, (who is currently refraining from gendering myself!! Ha!!)
A brief conversation ensued on the way to the spa between Edward and my wife. "Which locker room is ________ (insert male name here) going to use today?" I heard my wife respond "well he will use the men's room, I think, being as he is presenting mainly as a male today." I overheard this tidbit of conversation about me and what I really wanted to shout was "I'm right here!" But I didn't, instead I responded, rather loudly, "Oh I will be using the penis room. Because I get it, we need to group all of the penises together."
Thus it was that as we checked into the spa, and we were herded into our respective genital locations, that in my head, I heard someone distinctly saying "penises to the left and vaginas to the right." Nobody actually did say those words, but I swear I almost did. I almost said them as it just seems absurd to me that this is what it comes down to - what is between our legs will always determine which direction we will turn at the locker room.
This idea of separation based upon genitals really bugs me, to be honest with you. It bugs me so much, and actually offends me quite deeply, that I did not particularly care to go to the spa and be herded off to all of the other penises. Because people, am I a male? I was wearing a bra. With a spaghetti strap tank top. With breast inserts in. Sure I did not have my wig on. Sure I did not have makeup on. Sure I have a penis. But I am on the big E, estrogen, if you don't know. And more and more as time passes I am pondering my own gender classification. But apparently nobody else seems to care that I don't think I fit all that well into either one of the binaries.
But I understand how society works. I understand that I don't want to make a scene. I understand that I don't want to embarrass my friends. I understand that nobody really knows what to do with people like me in situations like that and that everybody wants me to just go along with things so that we can just have a nice day. I get it. I have a penis.
So I followed the group norms and headed off to the penis room, where I proudly stood and took off my clothes, showing quite clearly who I am, and what I choose to wear. Personally I found it quite funny to be standing in the middle of the penis room wearing a bra. Then, later, after getting a fabu massage, I again amused myself by donning my super cute black and white polka-dot bikini while standing yet again in the penis room.
Was I rudely interrupted at any point by an unwelcome penis intrusion? No. Nothing happened. No unwanted penises trying to invade my space. I don't know if anybody even really looked at me. It was a super huge, non-event.
And thus I found myself at the end of the day contemplating the separation of penises and vaginas with my friend Edward in the middle of the locker room. At the time, there weren't any other patrons within ear shot, only a worker who was slowly folding towels.
Most people don't really contemplate this whole penis vs. vagina issue nearly as much as most of us transgender people do. I mean it is right in our face pretty much the entire day with wherever we go and whatever we do, but I suppose their must be some price to pay for happiness right?
Anywho..... I was having fun with this conversation even if my friend Edward seemed a bit uncomfortable with my forthright conversation in front of strangers, even if he was just a towel folder. I seemed to sum up my thoughts on this topic with stating, I get it, you want the penises separated from the vaginas, regardless of who is attracted to who, apparently that is not important, well then what do you do with somebody like me, who has boobs (well trying to grow them at least!) and has a penis, just which facility should we use?
It was at this point that the room attendant looked up, smiled, and said "I totally agree with you! It just seems so arbitrary where we place people. I wish that more people were comfortable with their bodies and that we didn't have to worry about that sort of stuff!"
We all agreed it was a bit silly having these sort of separations and I think Edward was a little surprised. I don't think he was anticipating getting a response from that worker as he leaned over to me and said "My gay-dar didn't even go off at all with that guy." Edward is not gay, but he is bi, and discussing it seems to be a bit new for him.
For me though, discussing being transgender is becoming more and more common. I seem to be discussing it with just about anybody these days. And the people I have yet to speak with about it, might possibly be having a conversation heading their way soon!
So, um, yeah. Spas. I love getting massaged. I love being pampered. I hate being told that since I have a penis, I must go into the cattle pen with all of the other penises.
Isn't there a better way to draw lines between us then what genitals are between our legs. You know what? Scratch that. Couldn't we do better as a society if we stop figuring out where to draw lines and separate ourselves from each other?
I'm female, you are male, thus we are different. We are so different, we need to have special places for our differences. We need to have special separate rooms just so that we all don't ever forget how different we are. That what bits dangle, or not, between your legs somehow defines who we are. Isn't this all just a bit archaic? How about if I said, if you are white you get to use these locker rooms, but if you are not white, you have to use those locker rooms. Oh well then, all hell will break loose. What about if that was the case when we were heading off to the spa and the question of which facility I was going to use came up? How would it sound then, "oh well which locker room is _______ going to use? Well he is Hispanic, so he will have to use the non-white room."
Does it sound okay then? Is it palatable to you? Or does that leave a nasty taste in your mouth?
How about this? Maybe just settle on three spaces. One for the paranoid penis holders who only want to show other penis holders their penises. A second for the paranoid vagina holders who only want to show other vagina holders their vaginas. And a third one for all the rest of us who don't give a damn who sees what is between our legs.
My penis does not define me, and I hate whenever someone thinks that it does and forces me to conform to their expectations for what is right and wrong for me.