Pam Stone: NC bathroom law has 1 tall woman worried

Joerg says: I'm just going to leave this here

By Pam Stone
For the Herald-Journal

Published: Sunday, April 10, 2016 at 6:15 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, April 8, 2016 at 9:18 a.m.

This recent legislation that was allegedly hustled through in North Carolina, opponents will tell you, is far less about bathrooms and far more about the denying of civil rights.

The governor argues no civil rights have been changed.

Others who aren't sure can read the bill in its entirety.

But the bathroom aspect of it, the new "you must use the bathroom that corresponds with the gender recorded on your birth certificate" (although it appears no one told Pat McCrory that it is legal in North Carolina for a transgender to change their gender on their birth certificate), has quite frankly, made me pretty nervous. I mean, I go into North Carolina a lot on business, and in some of the larger cities there have been clashes as supporters have stood with cardboard signs reading, "NO MEN IN WOMEN'S BATHROOMS!" while proponents shout back, "NO HATE IN MY STATE!"

And then in the meantime, I might have to go to the bathroom. All flat-chested 6-feet, 2-inches of me.

Now, what would you do? Listen, I've been called "Sir" enough in my life by cashiers, not quite looking up as they've given me back my change (as well as one that stared me straight in the eyes and replied, "if you say so," upon my correcting her) to know that I could probably pass as a guy. An incredibly skinny guy with a penchant for hair bands, but a guy. Seriously, if you saw me walking along with Caitlyn Jenner, you'd probably think, "Huh, she looks OK, but weird that she didn't get breast implants."

So which bathroom should I go in if I encounter protesters or suspicious glances? And keep in mind this could be after lunch and two sweet teas and my bladder's about to pop. Do I go into the woman's bathroom, as usual, and risk threatening glares or do I dash into the men's and encounter possible violence and get so rattled that I make the horrific mistake of misjudging the urinal for a bidet? And will there now be Potty Patrols to enforce this new law? Exactly how will that work? Might make an interesting segment for Mike Rowe on "Dirty Jobs."

See, you normal women of the 5-feet, 5-inches variety will go your entire life without ever even entertaining such an idea. But we Amazons who can sling the average Joe on the street (or Mike Rowe, because he's pretty cute) over our shoulder without a break in our stride, we have to think about this. We also have to think about how to quietly strangle the passenger in front of us on a plane that just kneecapped us by suddenly reclining their seat all the way back, constantly.

Look, I know I'm making light of a serious situation — as a comic that's all I can do because I don't know what's going to happen about this law. Supporters argue that without it straight men can dress up in drag to pretend to be transgender (like straight men have a clue of how to match colors) and prey on women. And opponents say that if you force a transgender to use the men's bathroom, they could be beaten up in what would have been called a hate crime, but now there is no legal protection whatsoever for them. There appears to be a vigorous fight underway to have the law overturned with businesses already pulling out or threatening to, and the governor replies that he is fine with those businesses who disagree. And as a resident of South Cakkalakki, it doesn't matter what I think, anyway, as I can't vote in their next election.

But if I do find myself in North Carolina anytime soon after drinking a trough of The Beacon Drive-In's ice tea, I'll be easy to spot: I'll be the one at the wheel of the Dodge truck on Interstate 85, breaking the sound barrier to get back home.

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