The Pissoirs of Crackpot Alley

Toilets, toilets, toilets! If it weren’t for the farcical but terrifying triumph of the billionaire buffoon Spy magazine used to call “the short-fingered vulgarian,” the news would be dominated by bathroom chatter. That coverage of Donald Trump — news, analyses, endorsements, denunciations — has managed to render secondary America’s creepy fixation on who goes where demonstrates the inexplicable power “the developer from Queens” (another of Spy’s endlessly repeated tags) has managed to accrue over the past 11 months since he declared his candidacy in the hideous rose-marbled lobby of Trump Tower.

But despite Trump’s everyday dominance of the news cycle, toilet talk is still trending. Take Kerry Hubartt’s piece in the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel. We know we’re in for it as early as the second paragraph: “Because some people don’t agree with the gender given them on their birth certificate, the question of whether they use a men’s or women’s restroom has the nation in a tizzy.” Don’t agree with…? It would be funny if it wasn’t so idiotically — and willfully — misguided. Is being transgender really so difficult to understand? Is having a heart so difficult to achieve?

Hubartt has his knickers in a twist over the retail giant Target’s new trans-inclusive policy, which “welcome[s] transgender team members and guests to use the restroom or fitting room facility that corresponds with their gender.”

“In response,” Hubartt reports, “more than a million people have joined a boycott sponsored by the American Family Association. ‘Nearly everyone has a mother, wife, daughter, or friend who is put in jeopardy by this policy,’ AFA president Tim Wildmon said. ‘Predators and voyeurs would take advantage of the policy to prey on those who are vulnerable.’ The National Organization for Marriage is among others joining the protest against Target, saying the retail giant that has made billions of dollars selling merchandise to American families has in recent years ‘taken on an anti-family agenda, working in lockstep with extremist LGBT organizations to push the gay ideology.’”

Face facts, Tim and NOM: Straight male predators and voyeurs have been lurking around public bathrooms since they invented bathrooms. Sinister cavemen probably followed innocent cavewomen into the woods. Trans folks are not the problem.’s Bob Unruh takes it a few steps further, writing that “in North Carolina, lawmakers adopted a law in March requiring people to use gender-designated public facilities that correspond to the gender listed on their driver’s license. The aim was to protect women and children from being confronted by a naked man.”

Um, Bob? It’s their birth certificates, not their driver’s licenses. Where do they dig these people up?

Apparently from under the same outhouse from which fantasists emerge. You can usually count on Breitbart to distort beyond recognition any story about LGBT issues. In a piece about Oregon’s new trans-friendly guidelines for schools, the not-very-Breitbart’s Susan Berry spews, “The new rules state that the student — regardless of age — should decide his or her gender, regardless of science. ‘The person best situated to determine a student’s gender identity is the individual student,’ the department states. State officials may choose to hide school support for a child’s choice of ‘gender identity’ [quotation marks sic], the document suggests. ‘Transgender students may not want their parents to know about their transgender identity,’ but school districts ‘should balance the goal of supporting the student with the requirement that parents be kept informed about their children,’ the document said.”

Let’s repeat that last part: “the requirement that parents be kept informed about their children.” Nobody can “choose to hide school support.” Period.

But what else can we expect from Berry, who spat out a piece last year titled “Who Will Be the Next Victim of the Big Gay Hate Machine,” in which she opined that “unconditional love, respect, and dignity are out the door. The militant LGBT lobby now wants blood — your lifeblood. If you aren’t willing to stand up in the public square and declare your undying support for same-sex marriage — you’ll be trashed.”

She should have stuck with her initial metaphor and ended the sentence with “you’ll be sucked dry by a homosexual vampire.” I hadn’t realized that the whole bloodletting-in–the-public-square scene was going on, but I’ve added it to my homosexual agenda, which I keep on iCal. (It’s so convenient! I think up some new nefarious plot to destroy straight people’s lives, I jot it down on my iPhone, and in a flash it syncs to my desktop. The marvels of modern technology!) These ritual sacrifices are not likely to take place in New York City, so I suppose I’ll have to head out to the heartland to witness hapless bigots get their lifeblood drained by bands of crazed gay people. It must happen a lot out there.

Not to be left out of a crank conversation, the radio blabbermouth Tammy Bruce writes in the Washington Times, “Never did I think the gay civil rights movement would devolve into irrelevant arguments about bathrooms, but here we are. The newest controversy involving Target stores highlights how leftists aren’t concerned at all about bathrooms, but about using gay rights as a cudgel with which to punish those who do not pay allegiance or conform to the liberal agenda. This is where Target’s announcement about ‘inclusive’ bathrooms and fitting rooms comes in. For some reason, Target felt compelled to announce to the world that everyone in its stores should feel comfortable using whichever bathroom and fitting room that ‘corresponds with their gender identity.’”

The kicker? Tammy Bruce is an out lesbian.

“When I was on the left,” she casually tosses out, “we marveled at how conservatives never really defended themselves or companies when threatened with boycotts or other marketplace harassment. We knew if they began to do so, the power of the left would be diminished if not wiped out.”

We? Really? I don’t recall ever marveling at this particular phenomenon, probably because it never occurred. Anita Bryant defended herself. The owners of Chick-fil-A defended themselves. So did the owners of Cracker Barrel, who refused to add sexual orientation to its non-discrimination policy for a full decade after an internal memo surfaced that explicitly told managers to fire gay employees.

Who on the far right haven’t defended themselves?

Her use of the expression “marketplace harassment” to describe consumer choice is too silly to pursue.

To set the record gay, Tammy Bruce actually has a point: “We” in the LGBT world aren’t especially interested in bathrooms. It’s equality we care about. Men should not be forced to use women’s rooms, and that includes trans men. Women should not be forced to use men’s rooms, and that includes trans women. No, the bathroom scare-a-thon is purely a right-wing thing. As far as bathrooms per se are concerned, most of us really don’t give a shit.

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