Saturday, October 28, 2006

Transgender MP in toilet fracas

just read this on the bbc news site:

"An Italian opposition MP and former showgirl has expressed outrage after meeting a transgender colleague in the parliament's ladies' toilets. Elisabetta Gardini, spokeswoman for former PM Silvio Berlusconi's party, said she felt ill after the encounter during a break in Friday's session. The incident led to heated debate about which toilet the transgender MP, known as Vladimir Luxuria, could use. Ms Luxuria says she has been using ladies' toilets for years. Using the men's would have created even bigger problems, she said. The matter has now been passed to parliamentary procedural officials to resolve.

'Sexual violence'
Ms Gardini said she had been horrified to find Ms Luxuria in the toilets. "It never entered my mind that I'd find him in there", she said. "It felt like sexual violence - I really felt ill." Centre-right MPs backed her call for the creation of a third "transgender" toilet, Reuters news agency said. But ruling coalition deputies accused Ms Gardini of discrimination tantamount to racism. Ms Luxuria said she had not expected such aggression in the parliament.

Born Wladimiro Guadagno, Ms Luxuria wears women's clothes but has not had sex-change surgery. A 40-year-old former drag queen and prominent gay rights activist, she was elected MP for the Communist Refoundation, a member of Prime Minister Romano Prodi's centre-left coalition, in April."

one of my sisters, if she ruled the world, the first thing she would do would be to give each human being their own toilet.

having grown up in bottom-obsessed britain, and lived many years in a hypoallergenic america; my objection to sharing toilets has nothing to do with gender, and everything to do with some kind of fear of being contaminated by, well ... i'm not really sure but it has something to do with the smells and unsavoury nature of bodily waste products. enough already!

so why did this catch my eye? i think because, while i think the complainer is totally over the top, i also had to acknowledge that my path to thinking that had to go through my own initial reaction of yuck a guy in the bathroom. this was followed by but wait a minute this is not a guy it is a woman, and then it was ok. i was just interested that i had that yuck reaction in me. i hope and trust i would not act on it. however, knowing that it is in me too (even if i choose not to act upon it), may help me to be a bit less judgemental.

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