My answer to What do you think of the bathroom issue happening, over human rights?
Answer by Desmond Last:
I can speak with authority and experience on the ‘Bathroom Laws’. Whilst living in Sydney for about 3–5 years I used to socialise as – I do not like the descriptions so I will use the term ‘Gender Bender’.
Blessed as I am with a set of legs to die for and a personality that wanted to challenge it was an experience I excelled at (let's be blunt I was Hot) – it also allowed me to question beliefs and produce a whole fashion line – which was all copied.
I caused a stir wherever I went and unfortunately a lot of unwanted attention. It got me into a lot of trouble but it was illuminating to see prejudice at work.
The Bathroom quesion has to be dealt with. For me it was easy. I used the ladies loo. It was cleaner, safer and I did not have some (I was straight-apart from a few drugged occasions- the drugs I gave up even though they were put into my home, drug and food) guy leering at me. The most attention comes from straight guys and hot women.
I got on well with woman who never raised an objection but and it is a big but Sydney is a (in the City) liberal and had it been say 10 years earlier I many have not been so easily accepted.
As ‘Tina’ I danced my own style, sang and wrote. But in the end the need to experience had been overrun by the want to change the world and its prejudices – of all sorts.
I also wanted to meet with the Taliban and Al-Qaeda to progress Peace and out of respect to them Tina was folded away.
I was once told I could not use a Ladies loo. I held my ground (The Ivy in Sydney) and Security were called. It only happened once – they offered me the disabled loo. I only went there to casue and stri and confront – which I often did.
It took a lot of balls to walk out as I knew the whole of Sydney and who knows how many around the world were watching.
For genuine Transgenders it is a problem. I met many and their life is not easy. I once evicted, from a nightclub as Tina, a nasty little piece of work who was making some TG’s cry with his filth. But I was able to stand up for myself. Many TG’s are very soft people who cannot. They also genuinely want to transgender.
I would say this. You cannot force people not to be prejudiced. You also cannot expect people to suddenly change mid-stream that which they have been used to. Texas is not San Francisco. I would suggest that the people need a little
more time (mixed loos are an answer) and in the meantime let the hotel and bar owners make-up their own minds based on who walked in the door.
The Transgender community should be allowed to use loos that offer privacy and safety – but there is a big difference between a cross -dresser, a Drag Queen and a Transgender and the TG’s should understand that a lot of people do not know the difference.
The TG should not stop their campaign but they must enter into dialogue with the community not confrontation.