The West’s cartoonist makes transgender bathroom joke

The West Australian has printed a political cartoon poking fun at the transgender community and bathroom use.

The image, created by long-serving cartoonist Alston, depicts a man telling a woman she is politically incorrect for using a urinal. The woman responds that “it’s LGBTI sanctioned and culturally inclusive… besides, I’m a man!”

This is not the first time Alston and The West have taken aim at the transgender community and bathrooms. One previous lampoon envisioned The Court Hotel owner Bree Maddox in front of a row of cubicles labelled with “blokes becoming sheilas”, “sheilas becoming blokes”, “handicapped gay” and more in an attempt to skewer the range of identities within the LGBTIQ community.

The cartoon appears alongside a short article about an Albany bar that removed urinals in the shape of women’s lips after social media backlash and accusations of misogyny. TransFolk of WA spokesperson Nick Lawrence says he does not understand how the two are connected.

“How this comic has anything to do with the derogatory practice of urinating into a bowl shaped like a woman’s mouth is beyond me,” Lawrence said.

“Vilifying LGBTI people in their quest against political correctness is simply nasty humour. It’s as if common sense, respect, and consideration for others is just too difficult of a concept.”

Local trans advocate and student Kai Schweizer says today’s cartoon comes back to a misguided belief that if trans people are allowed to access the bathroom they’re comfortable with, then cisgender people will start claiming to identify as such to access other spaces.

“It’s reinforcing the idea that laws are impeding on someone’s beliefs. If there are laws protecting LGBTI people, then those with bigoted views are no longer able to express them openly without repercussions,” Schweizer told OUTinPerth.

Schweizer says this dismissal of trans rights as unnecessary political correctness is a knee-jerk reaction.

“For an artist, they know that anything they create that relates to trans issues will go viral because it’s such a controversial topic at the moment.”

“A lot of media creators are exploiting that right now, which is frustrating because my identity and rights are not up for debate.”

Leigh Andrew Hill

The West Australian have been contacted for comment.

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