Added follow up note from m1sty—m0rning:
Follow up to previous question… I’m asking for both sides of the coin. A trans child doesn’t need to be “outed”, and a non trans child does not need to see opposite genitalia too early. The more I think about this. The more idiotic my question sounds… They just would eliminate the shower factor. Duh!
Perfectly good question!
First off, I think our society puts way too much weird emphasis on genitals. Everybody has something down there, so it really should not be that weird. If we made less of a big deal around genitals and put more emphasis on respectful, appropriate, consensual behaviors - regardless of sex/gender - this stuff would probably be much less of an issue. But hey, this is the world we live in. And since we (collectively) seem to have issues with seeing bodies in their natural state that might be a strong argument (even outside of the trans piece) to advocate for more partitioned/private changing/showering/etc. facilities.
When it comes to actual current facilities usage I think the answer is a pretty strong, context based, it depends on the person involved. Some trans kids are going to have no problems being in a public shared locker room space, or even a shared shower, while some may find both (or some piece of it) especially difficult. I would hope schools would do their best to make reasonable accommodations for either case and let the child have their say in what they were most comfortable with. Some trans individuals are going to have no problem with outing themselves and being a part of a communal locker space, while others may very much want to keep things more private. Both are totally reasonable.
Personally I have no issue with a trans girl who still has a penis using a communal women’s shower in a locker room, nor do I have any issues with a trans boy with a vagina using a male shower/locker. It could be surprising to some kids at first, but I think/hope(?) that (most) everyone can get over those things pretty quickly when they realize that person is just there to shower, change, and chat about the game or whatever like everyone else. Like with any other bathroom related issue there are plenty of (non-gender related) rules in place that cover harassment/inappropriate conduct issues so those arguments are totally moot to me. If anything, I would be much more concerned about the trans student involved, but again, I think giving them the agency and choice is just the right thing to do.
Reblogging for the awesome response which touches on an underlying issue-that the naked human body (cis or trans) is considered indecent. In the locker room of my gym they posted a sign saying, “Children will be using facilities this summer. Adults, please be mindful of this.” Apparently, children have never/will never see genitals and genitals can only be viewed sexually. What are we teaching children if we repeatedly demonstrate that bodies are shameful?