By Ky Kuplent
More and more in the media we have heard about Transgender people. The debates surrounding such individuals are vast. From the ability to get the gender on a birth certificate changed to pronouns to restroom usage to even the rights that a Trans* person receives. This can be seen on just about any media used. Everyone has their own opinion of the situation. Human beings are not born with hate in our hearts. Hate spawns from what we are not aware of, it is the offspring of our own lack of knowledge. To inform, Transgender means, denoting or relating to a person whose sense of personal identity and gender does not correspond with their birth sex. Other terms that are important to be aware of are: Trans-man, someone who was assigned female at birth (afab) who identifies as male (often referred to as female to male or ftm). A Trans-woman is someone who was assigned male at birth, but identifies as female (male to female or mtf). People who are Transgender go through many hardships, one of the most basic cases being the ability to use a public restroom. In most instances there are two options, male or female. Both come with their own set of problems. For most people, it is best and most comfortable to use the bathroom that matches their gender identity, regardless of whether they are Transgender or not. Though for some, that can be an issue. Every human being is deserving of a sense of safety especially while doing something so simple as using the bathroom.
In an article published by The New York Times It was stated that “The government has sent a deeply disturbing message to Transgender students that they are worth less than other students and unworthy of protection” this is all because of the decision to have the bathroom law in place. It is one that prevents Transgender people from using the bathroom aligned with their gender identity. “It is especially troubling here, given that Transgender students already are subject to more violence and harassment – both by other children and by adults – than their peers.” (The New York Times) The fact that it forces them into a space that can cause harassment both verbally and violently is truly appalling. These assaults can have a very negative result on the psyche. That along with the rejection often received from friends and family, discrimination, and abuse (both physically and mentally) has resulted in 40% of Transgender people attempting suicide. “These obstacles help explain why many transgender students drop out of school, why nearly half of transgender children have considered suicide and why at least a quarter of them have attempted it. What’s more, discrimination in schools has far-reaching and lifelong consequences for transgender people — psychologically and financially.” (The New York Times) The inability to simply be allowed to use the correct restroom increases these upsetting statistics.
“Proponents of anti-trans bills, which are sweeping the country, purport a twofold argument about safety: 1. A man is a man no matter how he dresses, so letting him into the women’s bathroom is absurd. 2. Male perverts and pedophiles disguised as women (faux transgender people) will troll women’s bathrooms and sexually assault our wives and daughters.” (USA Today) “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. They argue the bills are irrational, conflict with federal law and veritably endanger trans people.” (USA Today) They preach that it is for safety when in all reality it does not keep anyone safer, all it does is endanger human beings, just not the ones they are worried about. Having these absurd laws make Transgender people even larger targets than they already are.
Safety, is the last thing on the minds of those supporting these laws. “Conversations about safety are paramount. But trans advocates and civil liberty groups say these kinds of bills don’t protect anyone, and, in fact, they put trans people in danger. A study published in the Journal of Homosexuality found that when people are denied access to a school bathroom for being trans, they are more likely to attempt suicide. A paper by the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law found that in Washington, D.C., 70% of trans survey respondents reported being denied access, verbally harassed, or physically assaulted in public restrooms.” (USA Today) Half of Americans are in favor of these cruel laws. The fact that the citizens of this so called ‘great country’ are promoting this kind of torturous treatment is disappointing. We claim to be a ‘land of the free’ when time and time again we have done nothing but oppress human beings. People of color and people of sexual orientation and gender identity beyond what has been deemed ‘normal’ have been subject to our hate. This outrageous law has done nothing of any positive significance. “The FBI and local law enforcement do not keep consistent stats on the number of crimes committed in public restrooms, so there is no way to track every claim … But there is not yet any anecdotal evidence that trans-friendly rules have been abused by predators, or that incidents of violence or sexual assault have increased.” (Time).
Even science has not supplied any positive outcomes of this. If anything, science points more towards not even having two different bathrooms. “There is no evolutionary, genetic or primordial drive for a gender binary as we do it and absolutely no primordial drive for two bathrooms, one labeled male and one labeled female,” says anthropologist Elijah Edelman of Rhode Island College. “We have thousands of cultures that do not, and have not, had the gender binary we have right here.” (Time).
All of the “reasons” behind forbidding Trans* people to use the correct restroom, stand without any background information to support them. They are unproven and the mere thought has become ludicrous. There is no “scary Tranny”, we aren’t a monster hiding a closet. We are human beings, yearning for the same respect delivered to every other human being. So let us not repeat our own history and have bathrooms with “Transgender” and “Cis”. There is no need for that. Transgender people aren’t trying to assault anyone, and no one is using being Trans* as a way to attack. We are just looking for a place to do our business in safety like anyone else.