Kelso: Time for legislators to get their minds out of the bathroom


I really don’t understand all this fuss about who goes where to the bathroom.

Oh, it’s a big deal at the Capitol. State Rep. Matt Schaefer, a Republican from Tyler, is so concerned about the issue that he proposed an amendment requiring people to use johns corresponding to their biological sex in the House’s bathrooms.

The Legislature is facing a budget shortfall because of a lagging oil economy. Texas is short of money. And this guy starts the legislative session by worrying about who goes where to take a leak?

See, Schaefer is worried that these folks who aren’t quite sure if they’re a buoy or a gull will go into the john and cause trouble.

By the way, I consider myself somewhat of an expert on this bathroom situation. I’m a veteran. I’ve been going to the bathroom for going on 72 years now. And never once have I had a problem in a bathroom caused by anyone who wasn’t sure if he was a pointer or a setter.

OK, so these people who are trying to regulate where transgender folks use the facilities think they have a legitimate concern. They’re afraid these people are going to mess with your kids.

Has there been a run of transgender trouble that I haven’t heard about? Not that I know of.

We did have an instance a few years back where an elected official sitting in the john tried to pick up the guy in the next stall over by tapping his shoe on the floor. That’s right, the star of the show to date in the bathroom behavior category is a politician. And I’m pretty sure the guy knew for certain that he’s a guy.

You’d think our lawmakers would have bigger things to worry about than regulating restrooms?

How does this make our state look when the first thing our lawmakers bring up in the new session is a bathroom problem? Even the business community — and you know those people aren’t a bunch of crazy hippies — are complaining. They’re afraid that picking on the transgender folks will keep conventioneers, tourists and other people spending money from coming here. Nothing like a little discrimination to bring in the tourists, right?

Now, if you do wander into the wrong bathroom by mistake, it’s not a big deal. Just keep your mouth shut and leave. I was in the men’s john in a fast food place in Post, Texas, a few years ago powdering my nose when a middle-aged woman walked in by mistake. Boy, did she looked startled. I think she figured I was some kind of weirdo and I was the one who was in the wrong spot. But as soon as she figured it out she’d made a mistake, she walked out and that was the end of it.

I didn’t say anything about it and neither did she. No harm, no foul.

But who is using which bathroom really doesn’t concern me. The world has bigger to fish to fry right now.



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