This is just plain embarrassing.
It’s amazing to me that transgender issues are making major headlines across the world. A decade ago we were wondering if same-sex marriage would become legal in our lifetimes, and now here we’re talking about Caitlyn Jenner, Laverne Cox, Laura Jane Grace, Chaz Bono and their relationships with bathrooms.
Though the issue has been a long-suffering one, the political bomb started ticking in Houston, Texas, where Proposition 1 came to exist on the 2015 ballot. Proponents of the bill stated it was necessary to lessen discrimination transgender people faced when it came to something as simple as using the bathroom they belonged in. Neither US federal law nor Texas state law cover sexual orientation or gender identity when it comes to employment and housing discrimination in the state, so with Proposition 1 the city of Houston was looking to pass a broader law that would eliminate both of these things.
Opponents of the bill latched on to the idea that ‘men’ would be allowed to use women’s restrooms and would use this as an opportunity to target ‘real’ women.
Embarrassingly, Proposition 1 was voted down, and this was largely due to propaganda about how trans women were male sexual deviants trying to use women’s restrooms. Several other cities and states caught wind of this controversy and immediately started to try to pass similar bills in their areas, with North Carolina most famously winning the questionable right to deny access to a person entering a restroom who did not visibly match their gender, while also overturning the state’s LGBT protection laws, stating that gender is now to be defined as “the physical condition of being male or female, which is stated on a person’s birth certificate”.
So let’s break this down.
To start with, we’re wasting a lot of political capital making an issue out of who’s using what restrooms. Newsflash: if you’ve used public restrooms during your life, the odds are very good that you’ve already shared one with a trans person. They’re there for the same reason you are: to do their business and then get the heck out of the filthy contraption.
When it comes to the issue of bathroom molestations, the fake concern for the wellbeing of women in restrooms everywhere would be laughable if it weren’t so terrifyingly disgusting. If the naysayers are accusing trans women as being men dressing as women for the purpose of molesting girls in restrooms, are they not concerned with the idea that these men would instead be molesting boys in male restrooms? If the concern is really about child molestation – a real issue that deserves proper attention – shouldn’t they focus on that as a whole rather than specifying which gender needs to be protected more? And if the concern is rape, they really haven’t thought this through. Even blatant cases of rape with DNA evidence, eye witnesses, video recordings and immediate reporting rarely end in convictions – so shouldn’t this conservative concern instead focus on making it easier for rape victims to report their crimes? Add to that the fact that there has never been a single case of a trans woman sexually assaulting a woman or girl in a restroom and you have an argument that’s been completely fabricated for one purpose: to allow bigots to make their fear legal without having to outright own said bigotry.
These laws are also completely unenforceable. We’ve already seen cases where cisgendered women (women who identify with the sex they were born into) have been pulled out of women’s restrooms because police officers or security guards didn’t think they looked female enough. Just in case the blatant discrimination against trans people wasn’t enough for you, this also opens the door for randoms with badges to decide whether you look enough like your gender to use the restroom.
What’s in that stranger’s pants is nobody else’s business. And, frankly, the overall concern of conservatives about everyone’s genitalia raises more questions about their sexual intentions than it does of the trans folks who really just want to use the restroom in peace.
Comment: Where do you stand on this issue?