MILLER, NORTH CAROLINA — Mike Kent is a 35-year-old transgender man from North Carolina. Recently, Kent made local headlines when he petitioned his city council to draft regulations requiring that all parks, pools and restaurants in his town offer three bathroom options — men, women, and “nosy assholes.”
“I just want them to create a bathroom space for all the morons who are going in there to worry about my genitalia, and not their own,” Kent told us.
Biologically female, Mike underwent gender reassignment surgery six years ago and says he has never been more comfortable in his own skin, except when going to the bathroom in public places. After his state’s governor signed HB2 into law, he says that every time he goes into “certain bathrooms in certain establishments,” he’s always looked at suspiciously going into and out of the bathroom, and one “family establishment” even hired a “junk bouncer” to check all those going into a bathroom to make sure their parts matched the designation of the restroom they were going into.
To be fair, Mike says he knows he’s not the only person getting this scrutiny. In fact, he tells us, he’s seen “just about every human being going into or out of a toilet” getting suspicious looks. He said that his normally “mellow” and “low-key” townspeople have become unusually on edge. But, he says, he thinks it’s just a product of the side effects of HB2. He said “everyone feels like the penis or vagina patrol now.” He blamed the “two-way street of doubt” between bathroom stall neighbors as the root cause.
“I have to say,” Kent told us, “it’s a little off-putting peeing next to someone you can tell is thinking only about your junk instead of using their own to go pee.” He continued, “So what we have here now is hyper-sensitive groups of citizens who don’t know whether they should be worried about the person next to them’s happy parts, or whether the person next next to them is worried about theirs. It’s pee and poop pandemonium all over North Carolina now.”
Kent says his suggestion to create a third bathroom type for people who “just can’t get over it” has been met with some resistance, though surprisingly he’s also gotten calls and emails in support of his idea.
“I think a lot of people would just love to get back to the place where you just go into a bathroom, do your disgusting business, and get out with having as little thought of or interaction with someone else’s private parts as possible,” Kent said, “and if we just give the fundies their own bathroom, they can be as suspicious of each other as they want. The rest of us will piss and shit in privacy and comfort.”