Being transgender is not about sexual orientation, who you have sex with. A person who identifies as female is not being that way just so he can go to the bathroom or locker room just to get his, that should read, her, jollies off.

A female identifying as male behaves that way because that is who they see themselves as. I think it fair to say most women would never willingly go into a male facility for any reason, except maybe sometimes if needs must.

So to suggest that transgender people will go to these facilities with any suspicious motive in mind is ridiculous.

They go there for the same reason as everyone else.


Probably the most important thing to remember when considering this issue is, people who are transgender actually identify as the opposite sex.

Forget want-to-be, in their minds, they are.

In reality we live in a male-dominated world.

Men make the rules, and seriously, the male track record when it comes to women is not a good one. It is the males that rape, males are able to dominate, males that take advantage of a female if they choose, and some do.

Most males are proud of their privilege, so for many, they cannot understand why any male would want to give all that up and become a woman.

Before I gave up my male privilege, as part of my transition process; it was necessary to visit a psychiatrist, another rule made up by males in an attempt to protect me from myself.

As he signed away my male privilege, allowing me to have my manhood removed, he commented about my decision, one that would make me as anatomically female as modern medicine can.

His comment: If men were offered a million dollars to give up their manhood there would be no takers.

As this male specialist saw it, my decision was the right one, allowing me to be finally the person, who for more than 60 years, my mind always told me I was: female.

And that dear sceptic who believes Family First idea's on transgender people, is what our reality is about.

Unfortunately, far too many males have instincts that are difficult to control, natural ideas based on what they might, or could do, if they went into a female bathroom or locker room.

Fear of the consequences; women are suspicious of a man, even one who identifies as a female, that they might have the same instincts as them.

But we are not men in the strict sense of the word.

What they fail to recognise, is that for transgender people, all their lives their instincts have been the opposite, in their mind.

This is the conflict, the confusion that transgender people feel. Your mind tells you one thing, yet the mirror shows something different, the opposite.

Think: Who do you see in the mirror every day? Is that the image your mind expects to see, or is it different?

I will never forget the first time I grew a beard, that image was devastating. Everyday as the beard grew I became more like a man, and it was not me. Never.

Again I say transgender people whether young or old, go to the bathroom for one reason: relieve a natural bodily function.

And, while we are doing a bit of educating here, for those who still do not get it, who do you mostly see complaining they don't want a boy in the girl's bathroom?

Mainly men, women tend to be more accepting when it comes to transgender.

I do not know of any boy who would dress as up as a girl just to go in the female bathroom. They would soon get the heave-ho from the girls, especially those at school. Guys, don't underestimate them, they can be a force to be reckoned with.

The point is, these female transgender students have been allowed into the girls' domain, accepted for who they are, by most.

It is the parents who do not accept, because of what they think might happen.

Statistics, however, show the number of times transgender people have assaulted anyone in bathrooms as zero.

Alternatively statistics of assaults against transgender people are so high they are seldom recorded. It goes with the territory of being different and not being accepted.

But it is getting better, as more transgender people are standing up for their rights; as being seen for who they are.

The media has much to be praised for on that account, no longer do they sensationalise our stories as they once did, thankfully, realising our stories are worth telling, and writing about.

• Diane Sparkes, a transgender woman, is a writer of Auckland.