The locker room, and homosexuality.

I was discussing this with my friends, and I want to know what you Dopers think.

So, if there was a man in the woman’s locker room, people would freak. My friends argue that if there’s a homosexual in the locker rooms, people have the right to freak out too. I PERSONALY wouldn’t give a shit if there was a gay man showering and changing around me. Even if I caught someone checking me out, (no, I’m not trying to flatter myself, this is just a ‘for instance’), I wouldn’t give a shit. Not everyone would feel comfortable with a homosexual in the locker room though.

How is it any different than having a man in the woman’s locker room, or a woman in a man’s locker room? I hate to say this, but I might have to agree with my friends on this one, though I’m open to hearing other arguments and point’s of view.

It’s a foolish argument.

This is also an issue with transgendered people and people who have ambiguous sexual appearances. Some people who identify as female appear to a casual examination to be male. Which locker room should they use? There aren’t necessarily easy solutions that will make everyone happy.

The simple answer is that there’s a long tradition of segregating locker rooms by sex, and there’s plenty of evidence that gay people have been around for a long time. So you’ve probably always been sharing a locker room with homosexuals. The fact that generally you can’t even tell goes a long way to showing that whatever discomfort or concern some straight men may now feel over sharing a locker room with gay men is just in their heads. That doesn’t mean that it’s not real discomfort, but we don’t have a right to always be comfortable. We have to balance their desire to not be uncomfortable against the right that gay people have to not be ostracized.

The societal relationship between women and men is very different than that between gay men and straight men. Women are often treated as sexual objects and are more likely to be the victims of sexual assault at the hands of men. Neither is true for straight men and gay men (if anything, gay men are more likely to be sexually assaulted by straight men than the other way around).

QuickSilver, thank you for the link. I DID try to search for this topic, but for some reason the search option wasn’t working for me at the time. I’ll read through the replies and see what people have to say about it.

Should we not be upset if there was a man in the woman’s locker room? A quick peak of the thread you provided has a homosexual man admitting to checking out men in the dressing room. How is this any different? That what I hope the thread you linked to provides an answer to.

Well, one big difference is enforcement. A woman goes to a gym employee and says, “There’s a man in the women’s locker room,” that’s usually pretty easy to independently verify. A guy goes to a gym employee and says, “There’s a gay guy in the men’s locker room,” how exactly does the employee determine if this is true?

Also, you could look at the rate of sexual assault committed by men against women, and compare with the rate committed by men against other men.

There’s also the problem of a lack of an equitable solution - if gay guys can’t change in the men’s locker room, where can they change? Are you going to have Men’s, Women’s, Gay Men’s, and Lesbian’s changing rooms now? Or do gay people just not get to go to gyms any more? Or do we just get rid of public changing rooms altogether? Also, why does Firefox’s spellchecker flag “men’s” as incorrect, but is okay with “women’s”?

Sorry, got off track there. Point is, there are three potential groups here that are going to be disadvantaged no matter what you do: gays, people who are freaked out by gays, and businesses. Either gays can’t use public accomodations, businesses have to renovate and use up valuable floor space for ridiculously specific changing rooms, or homophobes will have to put up with the possibility that they might someday be naked near a gay person.

Of the three solutions, the third is both the least onerous, and applies to the least sympathetic of the three interests. Win win!

What if there was a gay man in the woman’s locker room? There’s no threat of sexual assault… Does that make it ok?

Gyms could address this by allowing modest people to have privacy in the locker room. They could provide changing rooms and showers could have stalls with curtains. This way anyone who is worried about someone seeing their naked body could avoid public nudity.

I’m surprised they don’t do this already, since many people don’t like being nude in public. I don’t really care who sees me, but even I get a little squicked out showering in a big open room with a bunch of strangers.

filmore, one of my friends said the same thing.

Why don’t they do this?

I can’t imagine it would cost that much.

How is this a thing that would bother someone? I see naked men in the locker room all the time. I see their entire bodies, including parts that are not generally available for public view. I’m not, however, gay. Would it really feel different if I was?

I’ve been in co ed locker rooms. I never felt any of the women were checking me out. (or the men) but I honestly wouldn’t care if they were. As long as people aren’t acting weird about it, nakedness on display (even of your preferred gender) isn’t really that big a deal.

I believe you. I knew the thread existed but it took me a couple of tries as well before I located it.

Anyway, Miller summarized it nicely so you don’t have to read the entire thread. Though you might want to anyway because the OP raises the same objections as your friends did.

I’m fine with it.

I’m also fine with a heterosexual guy being in the locker room with me as long as he doesn’t glare at me or do anything else “overt”.

Join a better class of gyms. The ones with private stall/shower facilities typically cost a little more, but not always.

I understand that. But I don’t think most women would agree with you.

When I was in the fifth grade, our elementary school started a practice of requiring all 5th and 6th graders to shower after PE class. I was very, very uncomfortable with the idea and was very anxious about it until the second or third day of school, when it was no longer an issue. Ever since I have viewed the “problem” people have about being naked in a locker room as something people grow out of by 7th grade.


Well, like I said, I personally don’t care. :slight_smile:

Edit: (I guess what I’m trying to say is that, for me, it’s not worth going to a more pricey gym… if I even went to the gym. But I’m sure there are others out there that would pay the extra cash)

Why don’t big stadiums have this, like the NFL?

This is the core issue - not sexual orientation but behavior. When people worry about co-ed locker rooms, it’s the risk of bad behavior that causes concern. The same applies to single-gender locker rooms - it’s not about if someone is gay, it’s about how they behave towards others and how others behave towards them. What if people are uncomfortable around black people, hispanics, redheads? Part of life is learning to deal with people and situations that aren’t ideally suited for the special little snowflake that is you. Americans seem to be getting really bad at that lately.

So it’s ok for a man to be in the woman’s locker room if the behaved themselves?

Gyms unofficially already do this. It’s called “the handicapped stall”. :dubious:

Do people get sexually assaulted in locker rooms? I’ve never heard of such a thing.

Anyway, I don’t care either way. I’m just pissing. Or pooping. Whatevs. Sexual identity/preference of my fellow restroom goers is about the farther thing from my mind.

No, but that’s because you can’t really guarantee a man is gay. What happens if a man simply claims homosexuality to get his jollies in the women’s shower?

You can claim a hypothetical where the man (whether straight or not) is safe, but in practice, you can’t guarantee this at all.