Transsexuals in Public Restrooms: Law, Cultural Geography and Etsitty v. Utah Transit Authority

Temple Political & Civil Rights Law Review, Vol. 18, p. 673, 2008-2009

26 Pages Posted: 18 Feb 2010  

Terry S. Kogan

University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law

Date Written: 2008

Abstract

Utilizing the lens of cultural geography, this article explores the law’s reaction to the presence of transsexuals in public restrooms. The article examines the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeal’s decision in Etsitty v. Utah Transit Authority, in which the court upheld the firing of a male-to-female transsexual bus driver based on that individual’s desire to use women’s restrooms while on route. The article explores how courts utilize the space of the public restroom to construct transsexual identity and bodies. I argue that by, ignoring their psychosocial identity, the law constructs transsexuals as gender outlaws who pose a threat to other restrooms patrons and therefore are deserving of being banished from those public spaces that are traditionally understood as dedicated to the exclusive use of persons with male or female bodies.

Keywords: transsexual, restroom, law and geography, cultural geography, Etsitty, law and gender, embodiment

JEL Classification: J70

Suggested Citation

Kogan, Terry S., Transsexuals in Public Restrooms: Law, Cultural Geography and Etsitty v. Utah Transit Authority (2008). Temple Political & Civil Rights Law Review, Vol. 18, p. 673, 2008-2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1554593

Terry S. Kogan (Contact Author)

University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law ( email )

383 S. University Street
Salt Lake City, UT 84112-0730
United States
801-581-6833 (Phone)
801-581-6897 (Fax)

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