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
Date Written: 2008
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: Suggested Citation