It is absurd that there should be any public discourse examining where people void their bladders and bowels in 2017, and yet that backward and childish discussion illustrates exactly where we are as a country. Thanks in no small part to the White House’s reversal of Obama’s 2016 directive ordering schools to grant students access to their choice of bathroom, we are still talking about where transgender people piss—or in the case of Travis Weber, director of the Center for Religious Liberty at the Family Research Council (a hate group, per the Southern Poverty Law Center), talking around this while preaching intolerance.
On last night’s episode of MSNBC’s Hardball, Weber appeared (via satellite) alongside two trans women: activist/actress/icon Laverne Cox and Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality. The show’s host Chris Matthews asked Weber, point blank, if Cox should use the men’s room. Based on presentation alone, which is all anyone potentially disturbed by encountering a trans person in a restroom would be going on anyway, the answer is a no-brainer. You don’t even have to think about it, just use your sense, see Laverne as the woman that she is, and say, “No.”
Weber, however, said, “So...”
He didn’t answer as to whether Keisling should use the men’s room either. It’s at once infuriating and a tangible illustration of how impractical these anti-trans arguments are, as they are based on theories regarding other people’s discomfort (as if the world isn’t already tailored to maximize the comfort of cisgender people) and trans boogeymen who simply do not exist. Weber is full of shit.
And he’s been full of shit! You would think that he would at least have some sort of answer to this beyond, “So...” given his showing on a May 2016 episode of Hardball, when Matthews asked Weber no fewer than 10 times which bathroom trans activist Jenny Boylan, who was also on the show, should use, and Weber couldn’t come up with an answer. This guy had almost a year to figure some caustic bullshit out that would at least suffice as something in response to this question, and he still couldn’t do it! This is his cause in a nutshell.
The conversation last night ensued in exactly the way you would expect if you have a brain and a shred of compassion, with Cox and Keisling making sound points, grounded in the reality of their experiences, and Weber flailing in lies and vagueness. Weber doesn’t have a leg to stand on, but thanks to the bigots ruling this country, his nonsense nonetheless has a platform.