You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myStatesman.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myStatesman.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myStatesman.com.

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.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Voters to weigh Austin district’s $1.05 billion single-proposition bond
Voters to weigh Austin district’s $1.05 billion single-proposition bond

Austin voters in November will weigh a $1.05 billion, single-proposition Austin school bond package. Funds from the bond package would rebuild several campuses, construct new schools and target overcrowding in pockets of the 83,000-student district. Among the most contentious projects in the package is the relocation of the Liberal Arts and Science...
CAR WASH CAPERS: Police searching for suspect in burglaries across Round Rock, Pflugerville, North Austin
CAR WASH CAPERS: Police searching for suspect in burglaries across Round Rock, Pflugerville, North Austin

Police are searching for a man they believe is behind at least 10 car wash burglaries since Saturday in Round Rock, Pflugerville and North Austin. According to Round Rock police, the suspect, a man in his 20s between 5-feet-8 and 6-feet with a short fade haircut, has been breaking into the businesses between 2 and 6 a.m. and targeting cash drawers...
19-year-old shoots, kills man trying to break into apartment
19-year-old shoots, kills man trying to break into apartment

Police said a teenager shot and killed a man Monday as he attempted to break into the teen’s apartment in DeKalb County, Georgia.  The 19-year-old told police he heard someone banging on the door of his apartment and trying to kick it in.  He grabbed a gun and shot through the door, authorities said.  Police found the intruder...
BEER BATTLE: Man accused of hurling Dos Equis cans at clerk who tried to stop theft, police say
BEER BATTLE: Man accused of hurling Dos Equis cans at clerk who tried to stop theft, police say

An Austin man is accused of stealing beers and throwing them at the store clerk who tried to stop him, according to court documents. A man who police identified as 47-year-old Douglas Wright Jr. was heading out the door of the Wells Grocery bodega on the 1900 block of Rosewood Avenue in East Austin with a stolen 12-pack of Dos Equis when the store...
Where to celebrate the Fourth of July in Austin
Where to celebrate the Fourth of July in Austin

Fourth of July falls on a Tuesday this year, which means you totally have an excuse to celebrate all weekend long. Here are some of the top events in Austin, from fireworks and festivals to live music, dancing and great food.  First of all, click here for a definitive list of fireworks displays in Central Texas, including Willie Nelson’s...
More Stories