About a day after Katrina, I sat in the Astrodome typing without thinking. I was in the midst of getting things off of my chest when I mentioned something that I now feel was offensive. I don't use profanity, But I regret the use of specific terminology.
During the first week of my stay in the Astrodome, I received an email from a Journalist covering personal survival accounts. She found my blog and was interested in my story. In response, I mindlessly wrote whatever what on my mind. Even worse, I didn't get to see the report. Reading the emails I sent makes me cringe.
In 2015 I found myself in some news publications again. This time for my contribution to a book called Please Forward. The Journalist gave me a shout out via her personal page. I replied thanking her, while also apologizing for my statements from the interview. She replied back saying, there was no reason to apologize for it. Sometimes we get that way while expressing ourselves.
You're probably wondering what it was I said, Right?
I made a direct reference that folks were uncomfortable with showering among gay people. Then I wrote: "We Call Them Bird Watchers." To make It worse, before making the statement I said; "Not to be rude." Even with the accounts being facts. I shouldn't have mentioned gays as the target demographic responsible for the actions.
Bird Watcher is a slang term for Peeping Tom. The word Bird is slang for penis. When Mentioning it, I wasn't thinking about the perception of my character, I was only stating what I had been hearing. Today I'm disgusted that I wrote it. I don't want to come across as a homophobic person.
This caused many of us to bring family with us just in case anything goes wrong. Of course, showering and dressing among other people are uncomfortable to those who normally do so in private Therefore to fear being watched or inappropriately touched just makes sense.
With the dome open to the general public, we didn't have a clue who was in the building. Adults monitored their children due to the reports of Peeping Toms and sexual misconduct in the showers and restrooms.
I recall a man being arrested for peeping in the ladies room. He was not a Katrina victim. The man was arrested while in the women's restroom.
There were also accounts of LGBT harassment in the restrooms.
As mentioned in This article. A transgender woman was arrested for while attempting. According to the article,, She was informed to not enter because police were in there and would arrest her, It happened. Less than 20 years later and This subject became a major concern all over America.
Personally, I don't think it's fair to screen someone before they enter a restroom. If that person is a child or transgendered, they should be given the same privacy space as anyone else. That would prevent them from being harassed as well.
My personal experience using the astrodome's showers. Almost every time I went to the shower, I went with my cousin, or my Brother-N-Law's little brother because they were afraid to take showers by themselves.
The first time I took a shower in the dome, I walked into the locker room area, there were women and men among each other awaiting an open shower. There were attendants in place to assist everyone. While preparing to enter the shower, a guy walks out making loud outbursts about how he's a real man and can shower without shame.
The weirdest thing I experienced happened while I was leaving the dressing area. A naked man began talking to me. There's nothing worse than holding a one on one conversation with a naked man. Otherwise, I showered while both male in the same shower room. No Curtains, just open showers.
With that said, we had just survived the biggest national disaster in the United States history. Showering should have been the least of our concerns, Right?