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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Trans Woman Banned for Life from Las Vegas Hotel—For Using the Toilet

Posted by on Wed, Apr 27, 2011 at 2:22 PM

Chrissy Lee Polis was brutally attacked while trying to use a public toilet at a McDonald's in Baltimore and now a transgender NYC woman has been banned for life from a Las Vegas hotel for using the toilet. No one complained, it was late at night, she peed alone. But security guards saw her go in and pounced on her as she came out. So where the hell are trans people supposed to piss if they can't use the toilet?


It seems to me that if trans women aren't allowed to use the toilets at the Cosmopolitan Hotel then they'll have to use the floor. The casino floor. I'm thinking a visit from a large group of trans folks and their supporters with full bladders—bladders they're willing to empty into their pants and skirts and onto the Cosmopolitan's floor—might be a good way to protest this sort of treatment.

And it's clear that some people are afraid of sharing public toilets with trans women. I'm not exactly sure why. They're not assaulting people in public toilets. They're the ones being assaulted.


Comments (36) RSS

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Canuck 1
You know what's also effective? (This tactic was used at Logan airport, back when people used to protest things on a regular basis...) You get a bunch of people to pack a lunch, bring a book, and hang out in the bathroom stalls all day. No one else is able to use them. You can't charge someone for being "sick" in a public washroom and having to spend the day there...
Posted by Canuck on April 27, 2011 at 2:30 PM · Report this
lark 3
That sounds like a page out of Saul Alinsky's "Radical Tactics"

And Dan,
While I find what happened to that trans in Baltimore despicable, I do have this delicate question to pose. Should a pre-op trans, male or female be allowed in the opposite gender's public restroom? At my health club in the men's locker room, I noticed a trans man who I swam with getting dressed into his skirt and putting on make-up. I had no problem with that. I got to know him and he seemed like a friendly fellow. But, should "she" have been allowed in the women's locker room?
Posted by lark on April 27, 2011 at 3:16 PM · Report this
bleedingheartlibertarian 4
Stephanie should really get in touch with a lawyer and try to figure out whether she has a case for a lawsuit. I realize that a casino can ban you if they want, but I wonder what the law in Nevada is regarding a tort of false imprisonment? IANAL, but, I believe in most states a security guard can only detain you if they have a good reason to believe that you have stolen something, and only long enough to establish whether or not that you have. I don't think they have any right to demand to see your ID to establish your legal gender.
Posted by bleedingheartlibertarian on April 27, 2011 at 3:16 PM · Report this
Writing letter to the general manager now!
Posted by LukeJoe on April 27, 2011 at 3:24 PM · Report this
@Lark At my last job, there was a transgender woman... I don't know if she ever had the operation, but I saw her in the women's bathroom occasionally.

I assume no one had any qualms about her using it. I guess it depends on whether the other people in the restroom have their head up their ass or not.
Posted by erly on April 27, 2011 at 3:52 PM · Report this
This sure didn't stay in Vegas...

But srsly I will make sure when we go to Vegas not to stay there, gamble there, conference there, or buy kitschy stuff in shops there!! That was really messed up.
Posted by subwlf on April 27, 2011 at 3:54 PM · Report this
Btw - female and not afraid to share a bathroom with transgenders...
Posted by subwlf on April 27, 2011 at 3:55 PM · Report this
@3 - thats a yes. You go into the restroom with the gender you identify.

God forbid we ever get around to having bathrooms that cater to whoever has to go regardless of their bits!
Posted by subwlf on April 27, 2011 at 3:57 PM · Report this

How do you tell the difference between a Trans-Gender woman and a traditional pervvy guy with a wig who just wants go into the ladies bathroom?

Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://_ on April 27, 2011 at 3:58 PM · Report this
Oh hometown of mine, why are you doing stupid stuff like this when we really, really need the money? How are we supposed to tax the casinos to pay for our schools if you're banning people for using the bathroom?

That sentence is so absurd that I can hardly believe that I had reason to type it.


Who exactly should I be contacting about this?
Posted by Namae nante iranai! on April 27, 2011 at 4:00 PM · Report this

Secondly, what exactly do you think a pre op trans woman is going to *do* with her penis in a public toilet that's so awful?

@6 The rather dubious theory is that men who aren't trans will dress in women's clothing, sneak into women's bathrooms, and assault women and children there.

Posted by Susan on April 27, 2011 at 4:05 PM · Report this
#11 - Are there a lot of pervy guys - "traditional" or otherwise - putting on wigs and trying to sneak into ladies' restrooms where you live? Why?
Posted by catsnbanjos on April 27, 2011 at 4:06 PM · Report this
@3 Yes she should be allowed to use the woman's locker room. Also she shouldn't have quotes around it.
Posted by redwulf25_ci on April 27, 2011 at 4:07 PM · Report this


Well that's my question.

If there aren't then why do the security guys keep pounding on people, because you can then assume that it is probably a transgender woman.
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://_ on April 27, 2011 at 4:10 PM · Report this
divalentdaddy 17
I can't believe this many people pay attention to the other people in the restroom.

Although I'm a dude, there are times I'd rather use the ladies room simply for sanitary reasons. Having owned several fast food franchises, I can attest that the soap dispenser had to be refilled much less frequently in the men's room. (You can draw your own conclusions.) And, having spent 8 years in the industry, I never did figure out why some dudes would poop in the urinal. Is there something confusing about a urinal and what its purpose is. And the floor - yuck. I swear there was more piss on the floor than what actually made it into the sewer. Men's restrooms are simply gross.

The only ichy part of the women's restroom was changing out the liner for the tampon drop box - which I never knew even existed until I bought my first restaurant.
Posted by divalentdaddy on April 27, 2011 at 4:16 PM · Report this
I've been using ladies' rooms for 32 years, and not once have I seen a pervy guy in one. I don't know that I've ever seen a trans woman in one, either, but you know what? Even if she was pre-op, if she passed, I wouldn't know *because women take care of their business in private stalls.*

Perhaps we should provide separate but equal restrooms? /end sarcasm

Posted by fallen angel on April 27, 2011 at 4:31 PM · Report this
STS 20
Just shared it on FB with a request to boycott. I hate to see this crap in my city.
Posted by STS on April 27, 2011 at 4:43 PM · Report this
Posted by STS on April 27, 2011 at 4:53 PM · Report this
Susan @13: At least according to the NYC law quoted in the linked article, in that city they don't have to dress as women or otherwise make any attempt to pass. Any 'ol guy can just waltz into the women's restroom and, if challenged, say "I self-define as female".
Posted by David Wright on April 27, 2011 at 4:56 PM · Report this
STS 23
Deutcsh Bank owns The Cosmopolitan, contact them here:…
Posted by STS on April 27, 2011 at 5:15 PM · Report this
Fifty-Two-Eighty 24
Time to call a spade a spade here - there's no such thing as "passing." I'll always know. Lots of other people will too. The more time you spend around trans people, the more you realize "passing" is a joke.

I really, really hate to agree with Bailo about anything, but so they don't pass - so fucking what? When's the last time a guy in a wig and high heels assaulted someone in a women's restroom (or even a men's restroom, for that matter)? Give it a break.
Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty on April 27, 2011 at 5:20 PM · Report this
Cosmopolitan is backing down on Facebook.
Posted by Susan on April 27, 2011 at 5:24 PM · Report this
There's a bar/restaurant in DC that has a single-gender bathroom. The stalls have floor-to-ceiling doors, and while technically every other one is marked with a very faint man or woman figure set into the frosted glass windows, no one pays that much attention. Each has a standard toilet which, let's face it, both genders use at home and is equally effective for everyone. Seems like a decent solution to me. Also, it's illegal for single-occupancy bathrooms in DC to specify gender. I can understand to *some* extent in a place like a gym locker room where people might be walking around naked, but in a bathroom where people go into a private stall or a wholly private room to do their business, who are these people who care?
Posted by Ms. D on April 27, 2011 at 5:44 PM · Report this
@11 you're committing a formal logical fallacy here, though I'm danged if I can remember which one at the moment, by confusing the "might be" with the "is." There might be perverted guys who want to dress as ladies to get into women's restrooms, but there definitely are transgendered ladies who just want to take a ladylike leak in peace. Reality trumps paranoid fantasy in the world of logical decision-making.

Speaking as a transgendered man, I've been hauled out of women's rooms by cops, and chased out of men's rooms with the threat of violence from other dudes. I solemnly swear that I wasn't fixing to molest anyone.
Posted by TeratoMarty on April 27, 2011 at 5:44 PM · Report this
this is revolting.
Posted by sylvia browning on April 27, 2011 at 6:14 PM · Report this
Glad to know she's been allowed back in. The questions are has the asshole responsible been fired, and what are they doing to compensate her for her horrible experience?
Posted by redwulf25_ci on April 27, 2011 at 6:23 PM · Report this
Honestly, I don't mind if trans people use whatever washroom, but I am against integrating all washrooms everywhere.

I would be much more worried about my personal safety not knowing whether or not there is a man in the washroom. Washrooms are often isolated, I would be pretty freaked out at odd hours or in more out of the way bathrooms.

The muslims at school would have to hold it all day, wouldn't be able to pray at school (can't pray without washing) and the women wouldn't be able to fix their hijab.

I like how my school does it, special washrooms near the prayer room outfitted with jugs of water in the stalls for the girls, and a foot washing station, and non gender marked private washrooms in two of the buildings. Everyone's happy.
Posted by Caralain on April 27, 2011 at 9:09 PM · Report this
@26 the only scenario here is that a woman uses the woman's bathroom/locker room even if the woman in question has a penis.
Posted by redwulf25_ci on April 27, 2011 at 10:26 PM · Report this
Having read the entire story, it appears that the casino owners rescinded this ban and clarified their position. It looks like this was the action of a few people in security, and for some reason they maybe took the unfortunate patron for a prostitute or something.

Anyway, isn't the reasonable approach to take the company at their word that this particular incident was a mistake, but with the stipulation that they prove they're doing something to avoid such mistakes in the future?
Posted by madcap on April 27, 2011 at 10:31 PM · Report this
Dan, I got beaten up for posting this over at dailykos and I'm sure I will get beaten up here too, but this the wrong tactic to take. Please don't highlight the bathroom issue--there are more important things that the trans community needs first and it just serves to galvanize the social conservatives. Focus on hate crime legislation, on job security and equal rights. Let the emphasis be on non-discrimination so that trans and crossdressers are free to enter any public building (this is still an issue in many places--some restaurants, clubs and shops will deny entrance).

Before people say that I'm being prejudiced, for the past couple of years I have only dated MtF CD's and have also received some discrimination (people assuming I'm a passing crossdresser since I am with them. I have gotten the bathroom looks. The thing that sucks the most is that the person I have been seeing the last year won't acknowledge me publicly in boy mode because I've been public about liking crossdressers and he's worried about losing his job. He won't go out in public dressed. Jobs, equal rights, public safety--all those things should be tackled first before this bathroom issue. In the meantime they can use the restroom for the opposite sex.
Posted by Marrena on April 28, 2011 at 2:44 AM · Report this
Telsa Grills 41
I love how no one ever really attests to why gendered relief spaces came to be in the first place, or why public stalls in North America have 30cm gaps underneath partitions.

Because of this collective blind spot of historical social knowledge, people like Dan, Barney Frank, and the lot of others who are privileged with being heard stay fixed on a shiny, inconsequential distraction of polity which pulls attention and resources from more substantive policy (and, well, practical) matters.

But hey, if someone genuinely does know the history of gendered relief spaces, then by all means do speak up here so we can gently set this aside and start deal with some substance whenever something comes up on SLOG when relating between people with transsexual and cissexual bodies. I know the history. Does anyone else?

I have a transsexual body, and none of this media-yummy buzz speaks to it or to my more immediate concerns. Like finding a doctor in Seattle who doesn't exclude or differentially treat non-cissexual women on any basis they don't with every other patient (i.e., basic access to clinical services, sliding scale services afforded to other classes of similar income/insurance, dodgy claims of professional self-disqualification to skip out on providing general care for trans women, and so on). For most of you, I'll translate that: "Blah blah, blah, nothing. Blaaaaaaah."

Sincere empathy for the beating victim aside — that was some truly scary shit — Dan's washroom post is pretty pasty, boring, and sounds like we're still stuck in the later 1990s. That was back when Dan took the opportunity to lead the entertaining public razzing and dehumanizing of anyone outed with a transsexual body, namely with the Savage Love column. Those messages stuck with people, and a decade later, we see acts like McDonalds which increasingly sound absurd, savage (pun, who knows?), and not so normative anymore, but the seed for those attitudes have a direct ancestry to the crap we used to hear.

I know people who already went to the supreme court for this kind of stuff, like, a decade ago. They lost, of course, because their basic humanity was brought into question. It didn't help her case that people like Dan had been using conventional media to undermine her claim to humanity as a socially normative thing. Her having a trans body was, in Dan's take, socially deviant.

The tl;dr: very few know their washroom history; people with transsexual bodies get screwed (and that's still OK); nothing ever changes, and Dan's still #winning like a wife-beater (of the fisted — not ribbed-cotton — kind).

And no, Dan, I still won't oblige you. To everyone else: hi! :)
Posted by Telsa Grills on April 28, 2011 at 11:28 AM · Report this
John Horstman 42
@10: Ditto.
Posted by John Horstman on April 28, 2011 at 2:33 PM · Report this
In my high school (in France), the bathrooms were shared by males and females, students and teachers. And nobody gave a damn. I still don't get the separate bathroom thing, seriously. Sure you can get assaulted in a bathroom, but you can get assaulted in a paring lot, too. Are we supposed to segregate these too?
Posted by Avistew on May 3, 2011 at 1:51 PM · Report this
@24 -- I generally like what you have to say, so I'm pretty fucking appalled with a side of disappointed right now. Go look up Balian Buschbaum (hottie!!), Jennifer Finney Boylan, Buck Angel, and Lynn Conway, and then come back and tell me with a straight face that you could have read them if you'd met them on the street.

Here's a shocking idea for everyone to ponder: you have almost certainly encountered trans people in your coffee shops, your sidewalks, your office holiday parties, and even your bathrooms. AND YOU WILL NEVER KNOW.

Also, fuck you.
Posted by silver wombat on May 6, 2011 at 12:11 PM · Report this
Fifty-Two-Eighty 45
Pictures on the Internet mean nothing. However, I have met many, many trans people on the street, going all the way back to Christine Jorgensen in the early 70s, and I stand by my original statement.
Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty on May 6, 2011 at 12:23 PM · Report this

Posted by Velvetbabe on March 28, 2013 at 3:11 PM · Report this

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