I am going a little off course today, because I want to address a topic that has been getting a lot of press: The Bathroom. Everyone is up in arms over who is using which bathroom, and frankly, it’s getting a little ridiculous.
It’s Nothing New
In spite of all the press since North Carolina passed HB 2, the fact is transgender people have been using the bathroom with you all along, you just never noticed. And why should you? Can you really tell who is transgender and who isn’t? I know you think you can, but really without doing a genital check, can you? Some women look more masculine, some men look more feminine. That doesn’t automatically make them transgender, so how are you going to determine if that lady who walked in behind you is or is not? Are you going to demand she drop her pants and let you see? How would you respond if a stranger did that to you? Remember that Golden Rule where we are supposed to treat others the way we want to be treated? Click To Tweet Yeah, that one. Let’s use it.
The biggest argument I am hearing is that it is not safe for children to use the same bathroom as a transgender person. Why? Are they more prone to being pedophiles than a cisgender person? Not according to an article in USA Today, which states
“But the National Center for Transgender Equality, the Human Rights Campaign and the American Civil Liberties Union say there is no statistical evidence of violence to justify the laws”
Do you hear that? There is NO statistical evidence to back up your fear. You are afraid because they are different and unknown, but those aren’t bad things. They are just scary things.
As for the fear that pedophiles will come into the rest room dressed as a female, well, they’ve always been able to do that. It is nothing new. Banning transgendered people from the bathroom that matches their identity is not going to do a thing to stop a pedophile. Yes, we have been hearing of increased instances of this since HB 2 became law. If we had left well enough alone, would we be seeing this? Doubtful. The media wouldn’t be searching out stories that would normally be buried somewhere on page 3, for one thing. And without all the actions and reactions to HB 2, would as many pedophiles have thought of it to begin with? We created this storm, but it is the transgender people among us who are taking the brunt of it.
Try Love Instead
What would loving our transgender neighbors instead look like? Click To Tweet It would allow them to use the bathroom they identify with, without asking rude questions or making blanket accusations. It would understand the fear a transgender woman would feel at being forced to use the men’s room. It would say “Here is a safe space, you are welcome here.”
But the Children…
What is more traumatizing to a child? Seeing a person who is a little different come into a bathroom or watching their parents act out of fear and anger in ugly, mean ways?” Nine times out of ten, the child isn’t going to notice unless you point it out. They aren’t being traumatized. You are. And you don’t have to be. Stop thinking of them as “trans” and start treating them as the full and lovely human beings they are.