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Friday, April 22, 2016

A European and Christian Look at the Restroom Controversy

I live in Spain, as most of you know. Since March 2007, anyone in Spain can self-identify however he wishes. One doesn’t need to change a thing. If a man decides he is female, he can change his national identification card to female. If a woman decides she is male, the same thing. If a person is transgender, it is accepted. Public school children are encouraged to experiment in order to figure out their sexual preferences and identities. They’re encouraged to be open-minded and tolerant.

I have, on occasion, been in public bathrooms washing my hands and observed a man coming in or out of the same bathroom. Though I was surprised, I honestly just thought he must have turned into the wrong doorway. In those cases, the man didn’t look like he felt out of place or that he noticed he was the only man in the public restroom.

Even though transgender is accepted in Europe, I could probably count on one hand the men I’ve noticed were cross dressing. It is certainly not typical to see men in women’s clothes. We do often see women in menswear and with men’s hairstyles.

Recently, I’ve watched some short videos and read some of the comments about what someone would do if a man walked into a women’s bathroom. One was a social experiment where a man dressed like a woman and walked into a public restroom. Most of the women said unkind, nasty things to him, and some even cursed. I’ve seen threats about what someone would do if a man walked into the bathroom where their relative was. (It’s strange that no one has mentioned women who self-identify as men walking into men’s rooms. Just an observation.)

Do you realize that:

  • Most cross dressers, gays, lesbians, and transgendered people are victims of childhood sexual abuse, and much of their gender confusion began with that abuse?
  • Men who cross dress are some of the most abused people in the gay community?
  • Most LBGT people are not sexual predators?

As a Christian, what should our attitude be towards a person who identifies as a different gender from his birth? How should we act when we see a cross dressing man or woman? Is it possible to condemn the sin and truly love the sinner?

I think so. Remember Jesus’ example.

How did He treat the woman caught in adultery, the Samaritan woman at the well, Mary Magdalene (who had seven demons), and the harlot who washed His feet with her tears? He loved them, forgave them, and told them to go and sin no more. Jesus didn’t condone their sins. He didn’t tolerate their sin. He offered each of them forgiveness out of a heart of infinite love.

He still does.

In 1 Corinthians 6:11, the Apostle Paul reminds the Corinthian church members, And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. Look what goes before that verse: Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God (verses 9-10).

Maybe you aren’t homosexual. Maybe you don’t cross dress. Maybe you have never thought one time about changing your gender. But, if you are a born again person, you were a rotten sinner. What Jesus did for you when He died for your sins opened the way for you to repent and accept His great gift of salvation.

The next time you see a person with gender identity issues:

  • Have compassion. Remember that when he (Jesus) saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd (Matthew 9:36). This person needs the Shepherd!
  • Be kind. The Virtuous Woman openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness (Proverbs 31:26).
  • When you have the opportunity, point people to Jesus.

Back to the bathroom controversy: I believe the problem is more about doors than about people. In Europe, most bathroom doors extend to the floor. There isn’t open space between the stalls at ceiling or floor level. There is no open space around the door. Each person is in a small, private room. If perchance a person of the opposite sex happened to use the same facility, it would actually not pose a problem, as each cubicle is completely private with a door that closes and locks.

Even in the States, there are bathrooms that are larger for wheelchair users and parents with small children. Many times they are unisex, and I never heard an outcry.

Don’t get me wrong. I really understand people’s concerns. No one wants sexual predators in public restrooms. I get it.

But, maybe it would make more sense to change the stalls.

I also think we might be forgetting to have the mind of Christ when we see troubled people. Let’s be less hateful and nasty and actually ask the Lord to make us soul conscious. How would you like to be treated? The Golden Rule says, Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them (Matthew 7:12a). That’s the way we’re to treat others.

Charity . . . is kind.

(from 1 Corinthians 13:4)


  1. This is one of the nicest things I've read on the issue. And with Jesus and our christianity at the center. Great read! I do not agree with everything, and I would drive some points further. Nevertheless this was a great article about an extremely complicated topic. Thanks for having the guts to go ahead and touch it.

    1. Thank you, Unknown. It's true much more could be--and has been--said. I only wanted to show the compassion side. God bless you.

  2. I do not agree with this author when she says the following in the very first paragraph?

    "Public school children are encouraged to experiment in order to figure out their sexual preferences and identities. They’re encouraged to be open-minded and tolerant."
    And in response to the 3 bullet points the author gives, rewarding victim status to people who want change, so they feel more comfortable in their sin does not help them. 3rd bullet point: Rapists and serial killers look very average. How do you tell the difference?

    There are already private “family” facilities in most businesses in the USA. Why don't these men just use the private facility provided? The LGBT community has an agenda and it has absolutely nothing to do with them feeling uncomfortable. The author states:
    "I believe the problem is more about doors than about people. In Europe, most bathroom doors extend to the floor.” Incorrect, not all businesses and facilities in Europe provide stalls with floor to ceiling walls. In many places “Europe” has open air public urinals with no privacy whatsoever. Europe is a continent, comprising of many countries with many different cultures and ideology. I was surprised this author used Europe to show how “closed minded" and “intolerant” Americans and Christians are. There are many places in Europe with no Christian influence that have abandoned Christ and Christian principles altogether, the very reason we send missionaries to those areas.

    Are we supposed to treat all people with kindness, YES! Does the US need to pass laws and regulations to tolerate they sin, Absolutely NOT!

    1. Thank you for your comments. I certainly did not want to give the impression that I agree with how children are taught in public schools. You are very correct in all of your arguments. I didn't say ALL walls in Europe go to the floor. But, many in Spain do. I agree totally that we shouldn't tolerate sin, and I am sure my vote would be the same as in NC. I was merely trying to express a different way of looking at this controversy. I thank you for your thoughtful response. God bless you.

  3. What about the "go and sin no more" part?

    1. Yes. Everyone needs the Lord, and that means repentance. Repentance is by definition turning from sin. Absolutely! Thank you for your question. God bless.

  4. Compassion, rather than fear, typically reflects Christ better than any words that we say. So often, believers aren't seen as compassionate, but more judgmental and legalistic, and due to this, when we need to be heard, non-believers don't trust us. This is the opposite of Christ's model that He gave us while on the Earth. I so appreciate your clearly articulated perspective and the way you direct us to Christ with this issue and others in your blog!

  5. Muy bueno tu artículo. tOTALMENTE DE ACUERDO en amar y respetar a esas personas. Tengo mucha compación por ellos. Cristo es nuestro ejemplo. El NT es claro. Los primeros cristianos que eran homosexuales, dejaron esa vida al conocer a Cristo. Debemos ayudarles. Ahora...Tengo un problema con respecto a los baños, suponiendo que ningún malintencionado/a entre en el baño contrario a su gé es problema un hombre ( que se "siente" mujer) entrar en un baño donde yo estoy, porque tendré la puerta cerrada...pero si una mujer entra en baño de hombres, ellos no son así. La mayoría de esos baños, tienen lugares para hacer pis, sin entrar a un lugar cerrado. Yo me pregunto, vamos a tener que tolerar que entren unos y otros a los baños contrarios por qué entonces baños para mujeres y hombres? Pues ya que todos entremos a los mismos baños! Es muy ridículo!! Vamos a tener que acompañar a nuestros hijos, en un baño público, va a llegar a ser MUY PELIGROSO....Yo propongo una idea. Un baño para hombres, otro para mujeres y otro para los que quieren ser otras cosas :) :)

    1. ¡Gracias, Schumayk! Pues me gusta tu idea. Que todos tengan su sitio. Un abrazo.


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