I work at one of the leading hospitals in the U.S. in the southwest region of Ohio. Whereupon I was taking a quick break from my busy day to use the restroom outside of my department located in the front lobby. There in front of me was a person walking slowly that could have been mine or anybody else’s dad that would be around my age, I am 53. I was really needing to hurry, but in respect, I didn’t dart around this man but walked patiently behind him since he was our guest here at the hospital. He walked slowly due to his weight and age which gave me the time to notice he was bald on top except around his ears. He stopped briefly at the first door on his right being the private family restroom that was wheelchair accessible for public and employees. The door was locked and in use. I still waited, not wanting to seem rude. When he came upon the men’s room which is the next door on the same side as the family restroom. I watched him cross over to the ladies room that was direct across from the men’s where he opened the door and walked in.
It caught me off guard but I responded quickly by saying “Oh sir, the men’s room is to the right”. There seemed to be a brief pause before he looked up at the sign on the door and said something that was too low for me to hear, followed by a light hearty laugh and said: “Oh yes, thank you”.
I didn’t laugh with him for thinking, did I just make an error? Could I have been wrong to assume what gender this person might be? Possibly this person was choosing the restroom they feel most comfortable in. I only saw this person from the back and I observed without any prejudices except what is already, there from my involvement with my environment. I started to ask myself this question living under Ohio laws. Could it have been, this person’s right to choose which restroom he or she felt most comfortable using based on gender and did I make this person feel uncomfortable?
I ask you. Though it has been quiet on this topic lately, but as we proceed forward, will this be some of the new experiences people will face. How would your human complex mind have responded?
If this person would have proceeded through that door, is it in his right as an Ohio citizen? I googled this question and read that. In Ohio, there are no Transgender restroom laws. So what if you would have been in there and this person walks past and enters a stall?
You have to ask yourself this question. Does this happen more than we might believe? This person did try to use the private restroom for families before opening the ladies room during which he never knew I was behind him the whole time until I spoke.
_____Randall Johnson May 03, 2017