No, not really - I want to compare the debate over transgender use of bathrooms and locker rooms to service animals.
I saw a news story about people taking pets around and pretending they are service animals so they can take them on airplanes, in stores and restaurants, etc.
I know from previous research that there is no official certification of service animals. The Dept. of Justice guidelines on the Americans with Disabilities Act say that if a someone says their animal is a service animal, it’s legally a service animal and a business must accept it inside. (The most recent guidelines say only dogs qualify and a business may ask if the dog is a service animal, but it must accept the answer “yes” without demanding any kind of documentation to prove it).
I presume some states want to add some kind of official certification or “doctor’s note” to prove the dog is a service dog.
I noticed this is relevant to the transgender debate. The laws allowing for transgender people to use the bathrooms/locker rooms of the gender they identify with. Yet one concern brought up is how we know someone is “legitimately” transgender or just faking it, or how one can determine that. Should there be some kind of doctor’s note, or certification, or whatever, to prevent abuse? Do any of the state laws or policies on transgender accomodation include anything like that? Is it even a problem?
This is especially interesting to me because I see a conflict in the issue: If genetic or genital status is no longer a way to determine gender, how can we turn around and say that appearance or mode of dress is? Is it any more unusual for a woman with female genitals to dress and get a haircut and “act like a man?” Can we impose strict ideas about how men and women should dress when we don’t even impose those limits based on genitals? So couldn’t a genetically male person say she identifies as a woman and still wear “men’s” clothes or appear somewhat, or completely, male?
My comments do not represent hatred or dislike for transgender people nor opposition to the bathroom laws, so please don’t get all angry. It’s just a discussion about how new ideas bring new questions.