Missoula’s Silly Bathroom Scare Tactics to Deny Transgender Residents Some Decency

The Missoula, Montana, effort to stop a city ordinance that would ban sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination has three Twitter followers and one hundred forty-five Facebook fans. It also has a website, called, promoting the same fear tactics we saw in Kalazmaoo, Michigan.

It claims to be “an alliance of 17 organizations with members within the City Limits of Missoula as well as dozens of concerned citizens,” though spokesman Dallas Erickson, of something called Help Our Moral Environment, won’t name any besides Concerned Women For America, which is on the record as being a hate group. Among the reasons wants to keep the ordinance from passing? Because, of course, it would “force ministers to perform homosexual marriages.”

(Thanks, Mike!)

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  • Eminent Victorian

    Missoula is actually one of, if not the, most liberal cities in Montana. Most people there support LBGT freedoms.

  • Jessie

    These folks are haters and I oppose them. But it is also undeniable that gay people hurt themselves and their prospects for obtaining rights when they attach themselves to more problematic demands made by transgendereds. Banning discrimination based on sexual orientation doesn’t raise any issue regarding bathrooms. The only reason the opposition is able to use this as an issue is because our leaders have agreed to link gay rights to “transgender” rights.

    But transgender demands raise a host of issues that need to be resolved separately and which should not be the priority for gay organizations. Bathroom access is one such issue.

    Personally, I oppose discrimination against trans people and couldn’t care less what bathroom they use. But I don’t think that the rights of millions of gay people should be held hostage to these novel problems. This is the problem with the dishonest “LGBT” concept. It doesn’t exist in reality. It was only created in order to force gay groups to put “trans” issues at the top of their agenda. And gay people are suffering as a result. Hopefully, they won’t suffer in Missoula.

  • Mike

    @Jessie: Regardless of whether you feel that transgender issues should be combined with gay rights issues, the fact remains that they are all equality issues. And it would be hypocritical of the gay community to demand equality, but then throw transgendered people under the bus. Remember, no one is equal until we’re all equal, and I personally want to make sure that we all achieve equality at the same time.

  • Pam Walzer

    First – I want to point out that some of the “fans” of the notinmybathroom Facebook group are in support of the anti-discrimination ordinance and are “fans” so that they can comment on the claims being made. In addition, there are true “fans” who do not live in Missoula, but rather are a part of the nationwide movement to stop these anti-discrimination efforts.

    Second – as a member of the Missoula City Council who will be voting on this issue soon – I have been following the bathroom arguements with some interest and promised to search for valid information, rather than just fear mongering, as to increases in sexual predation in women’s/girls’ bathrooms as a result of passage of similar laws in other jurisdictions, that somehow, sexual preditors can suddenly take advantage of this and that women and girls will no longer be safe in bathrooms and locker rooms. At this point, I have found none, only angry people certain that all sorts of mayhem will result with passage.

  • Jessie


    I appreciate your view, but I disagree. There is absolutely no moral or historical basis for arguing that no advances in equality should be made unless it covers every group and every characteristic. It wouldn’t have been moral for gays to demand that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 be voted down b/c it didn’t cover gays. If we had taken that selfish position in 1964 and if African Americans had been foolish enough to abide by it, they would have experienced 46 years of legal racial discrimination and would still be waiting for federal protection. It wouldn’t have been any more moral to deny women legal protections just b/c it didn’t cover disability, etc.

    Each of these claims is different and each should be evaluated on its own merits. Only the selfish contingent of trans activists and their gay enablers accepts the view that everything and everyone must be held hostage to trans priorities.
    Trans people are allies on some issues, but they aren’t our task masters. We should help them, but that help doesn’t include shooting ourselves in the foot.

  • Jessie

    @Pam Walzer:

    It would be better if you would search for information in a good faith effort to draw valid conclusions, rather than search for information to match your pre-determined beliefs.

    Anyway, to help you in your quest, I direct you to the NYC “guidelines” to employers and businesses following the passage of a gender identity bill some years ago. You can find it via google. It was largely written by trans activists. It is a nightmare for any New Yorker thinking of starting or running a business.

    It defines “gender identity” in such a way that it can include almost any statement or act and in a way that can change subjectively on a day-to-day basis based on the self-image of the employee. No employer could ever know whether he was violating the law b/c it all depends upon the subjective self-image of the “victim”.

    Even though the bill supposedly exempts bathrooms, the guidelines have a full page of “advice” on bathroom issues, as if businesses have nothing better to do than worry about whether they will suffer a gender identity lawsuit from trans employees vs. a sexual harassment lawsuit from women who don’t want to piss in front of biological males.

    Whatever the solution to this issue, it has nothing whatsoever to do with gay people and it is outrageous that gay people are allowing their rights to be endangered over it.

  • Ben

    @Jessie: For you, transgender bathroom use is a novel issue. For we trans folk, it can be a matter of deadly seriousness. “Holding it” ’til we are safely home is not just inconvenient and uncomfortable, but using public bathrooms at all while appearing gender ambiguous can bring the risk of harassment, threats, and violence.

    I am a trans man, and during the period in my transition when I looked neither convincingly male or female, and used men’s restrooms, there were times when I legitimately feared for my life.

    What most transgender people want is to see the rise of private, lockable, gender neutral public restrooms, a la family and handicap accessible restrooms. We are not a novel “fringe” minority in this regard. Providing such restrooms would benefit not only gender ambiguous transgender people but a whole myriad of groups… parents with infants, handicapped people, people who need care providers to help them use the restroom, parents with opposite-gender children, people with bathroom anxiety or trauma related to the very sorts of experiences that groups like NotMyBathroom use to exploit in order to marginalize gender ambiguous people.

    There are several bottom lines here:

    1. Transgender people have much more to fear from cisgender people in a public bathroom than women or girls have to fear from pedophiles or other sexual predators.

    2. The kind of solutions that would most benefit transgender people also provide enhanced services for a myriad of other people, as I’ve mentioned above.

    3. The sign on the bathroom door is not some kind of magical protection from predators. Designating bathrooms as reserved for one gender or another is not going to stop someone who is truly committed from assaulting someone. Only private, lockable restroom facilities, the kind I described above, will genuinely protect women, girls, and transgender people, as well as everyone else, from harassment or assault in the bathroom.

    4. Trans issues are NOT fringe issues within the LGBT community. Transphobia and homophobia stem from the same basic assumptions about gender roles that benefit the privileged heterosexual, cisgender male majority. We cannot effectively fight either transphobic or homophobic attitudes and policies without addressing both issues.

  • Adam

    @Ben: “Trans issues are NOT fringe issues within the LGBT community. Transphobia and homophobia stem from the same basic assumptions about gender roles that benefit the privileged heterosexual, cisgender male majority. We cannot effectively fight either transphobic or homophobic attitudes and policies without addressing both issues.”

    It is for this reason that I wish there were more outreach between the LGBT community and the feminist community; a widening of the umbrella, so to speak. At the end of the day, these issues are obviously not identical, but they are sufficiently related to justify the “rainbow coalition” approach that we have taken so far.

  • Jessie


    3 of your 4 points go to the merits of the trans position on the “bathroom issue”. I don’t necessarily disagree with any of them. Personally, I think trans people should be able to use whatever bathroom they want. I couldn’t care less who is in there with me when I go. But that isn’t the point. The point is that there are arguments and sentiments on the other side. Because a woman does not feel comfortable going to the bathroom next to a biological and/or anatomical male does not make her the equivalent of a klansman.

    Maybe such a person needs to be educated or maybe you are missing something from her perspective. I don’t know. What I do know is that none of this has anything to do with gay people. And I think it is madness to make gay people risk ongoing discrimination b/c we can’t resolve these issues in the same legislation. And they are novel issues to the vast majority of voters and legislators. That is precisely why the opponents focus on them. That they are not novel to you doesn’t change the political reality.

    Which brings us to you point number 4: “Trans issues are NOT fringe issues within the LGBT community.” This is what is known as assuming the conclusion. If LGBs really were in the same “community” as trans people, it would necessarily follow that bathroom issues were all of our concern. But there is no such thing as LGBT. It was made up in order to force trans issues onto the gay rights agenda. I don’t recognize it and I believe that more and more people are waking up to this fraud.

    Now, it may be that some homophobia is based on gender issues, but so what? Some homophobia is religious and is based on specific scriptural verses. Some straight guys have no problem with a trans woman as long as she can pass, but would kill a gay guy who kisses another guy. So what? We don’t define ourselves or our movement or our political priorities by what homophobes think.

    Finally, it is rude and offensive to use the term “cis”. Non-trans people did not create that term and you trans people are pretty arrogant in making up words to define other groups. You would never accept it if it were done to you.

    Read more:

  • missanthrope

    “3 of your 4 points go to the merits of the trans position on the “bathroom issue”. I don’t necessarily disagree with any of them. Personally, I think trans people should be able to use whatever bathroom they want. I couldn’t care less who is in there with me when I go. But that isn’t the point. The point is that there are arguments and sentiments on the other side. Because a woman does not feel comfortable going to the bathroom next to a biological and/or anatomical male does not make her the equivalent of a klansman.”

    If you’re a woman gone to the bathroom with a trans woman or “biological/anotomical male” as you call them in the next stall without even knowing it unless you’re taking secret peaks. There are lots of cisgender women who’ve probably had this happen to them today across America. But as far as I know the world hasn’t erupted in a ball of flames yet because of it.

    And cisgender isn’t an offensive term, cisgender people have been creating language to control the identities of trans people for millenia. But as soon as trans people start create a language to describe their oppression, some cis people can’t take this challenge to their cis privilege. So like you, they start freaking out and derailing conversations with shutting people own over the use of cis. So yeah, cis isn’t offensive and it’s not rude.

    What would be rude is for to tell you to fuck off for derailing this conversation about trans rights to center the conversation about how a couple extra ounces of insignificant flesh in the bathroom make you freak out and it’s all about gay people and their needs. But no, I’m gonna bite my tongue and I’m not going to do that.

    So take you cis-supremest shit and hit the door please.

  • Tina

    Bathroom debates are not about my own, as a trans woman’s, safety or my “issue” period.

    Bathroom debates are entirely because cispeople have problems with trans people in general – or me specifically. I have no problems using the bathrooms, no one would ever know unless I sat there and shouted it.

    Bathroom debates are NOT trans issues – theyre transphobia issues. I dont have the problem. Society has a problem.

    I think I actually agree with Ben on this…he’s pretty accurate. Pam, good luck, from a Billings, Montana trans girl :)

  • Jessie


    Of course women would know b/c they would see you before and after entering the stall and unless you can pass, it will be obvious to them that they are peeing next to biological or anatomical male. But look, even assuming everything you say is right, it still doesn’t make any of this a gay problem.

    As I say, if it were all up to me, anyone could go to the bathroom anywhere they wanted. But it isn’t up to me. And labeling everyone who disagrees with you or who doesn’t want to pee next to you as a “transphobe” doesn’t help your cause. The hypothetical woman who doesn’t want to pee next to you also doesn’t want to pee next to a non-trans man. That doesn’t make her a man-hater or a male-phobe. It just means that she draws the line when it comes to her personal privacy in the bathroom.

    @ Dissonance:

    Very sad to see such profanity and mindlessness. You seem to be a very angry, nasty person – the very kind of person that the gay rights movement should stay 1000 miles away from. Anyway, I specifically said that going to the same bathroom as trans people does not bother me in the slightest, so I don’t know why you think it “freaks me out”. It does freak out a lot of other people in the US and that is why it is exceptionally dumb to link anti-discrimination protections for gays to something that is wildly unpopular and which has nothing to do with gay people.

    Also, I assume you don’t like it when non-trans people use language to define you over your objections. That is why it is wrong to use “cis” when non-trans people haven’t given you permission to describe them that way. If the golden rule doesn’t apply, then we should all start or resume referring to you as trannies, he-shes, shemales, etc.

  • jeffree

    Please note that on the link cited ( there’s no place to express your agreement or disagreement. Interesting huh?

    All states far as I know require there 2 be
    sufficient # of toilet rooms for people with disabilitys = handicapped accessible. People fought this, but many places I travel also have acommodated that with a separate bathroom. Or they offer “one holers” and u wait your turn @ mens or womens & take first available.

    Can we be honest? There’s a difference between mens bathrooms & womens. Womens have stalls. Mens’ have urinals & stalls. If my 4 yr old neice has to pee when I’m sitting her, I have a choice. Do I take her to the mens room & risk her seeing willies or do i take her 2 the ladies room?

    my sister has inflamatory bowel disease & when she has 2 go, she REALLY has TO GO. She will go 4 the closest stall available.

    Anyone afraid of going POTTY next to someone who may not look like they belong in that bathroom either:
    *1* has an axe 2 grind or a CROSS 2 bear
    *2* has a unkind view of people with kids or with diggestive disease
    *3* is associating bathrooms with sexual meetups
    *4* is tempted to peek behind the stall 2 see what other people r doing!

    my 3 weeks backpacking in Sicily saw me entering the same bathroom as a NUN. different stalls of Course!!
    We had simillar goals: Get in, get over with it, then get out!!

  • damon459

    As a Missoula resident I’m shocked by this story there has been no local news coverage that I have seen and I watch the news daily all we were told was that the city council was trying to pass and ordinance protecting the LGBT community from discrimination. As to the whole bathroom thing none of the trans people I know here in Missoula have ever had issues with using the bathroom of their choosing. I really hate seeing outsiders telling us what they think is going on here. Montana isn’t as backwards as some big city folk might think and Missoula is the progressive hotspot we’ve practically decriminalized pot and we had lots of out of state people telling us that was bad too. We are a state of live and let live I seriously doubt most of the locals are throwing a fit over bathrooms. BTW 145 facebook fans means nothing here since we have a population of 65,000+ that’s not even a drop in the bucket. I’d also add not one of my trans friends is even worried about this being a real issue the ordinance will pass our city is welcoming to all.

  • damon459

    I should also mention this not job doesn’t even live in Missoula and is part of some odd ORG that wants to outlaw porn in Montana he has a whopping 3000 members. The city has seen no businesses upset over this and even had local Ministers speak in favor of the bill. One more thing for Jessie this man states on his website he isn’t just against transgendered people he is against the entire “gay agenda” so your argument that we should keep trans issues separate doesn’t fly this man is only using the bathroom issue because he knows it’s the only way anyone in this town would even think of listening to him, by spreading fear though he only hurts his chances as stated above this is a very excepting town and so is Bozeman which is also considering such and ordinance.

  • jeffree

    @damon459: thanks! I hope you’re right. Montana is known for being independent, I believe. Big Sky Country!!

    At a time when our USA economy is tanking plus jobs r going over seas, & the US is fighting in Iraq & Afghanistan, plus Iran has scarey nukes, & oh yeah –we may ALL be facing global warming –there are more *IMPORTANT* things to worry about then where people gotta go POTTY!!

    Im sorry but I still think people who obbsess about where they pee or poo should worry way *more* about staying fed, housed, employed, safe, and disaster-free.

  • Jadis

    Queerty only posts these so that assholes like Jessie can have a go at us.

  • damon459

    I hate to say your probably right Jadis.

Comments are closed.