Recent transgender mandate sparks states rights debate: Trans people deserve to choose their own bathroom

By: Sierra Steen

“We’re not born with pride – we take pride. Pride in celebrating who we were born to be.” This is a quote directly taken from Target’s website regarding their policy of LGBT inclusion in their store, the store itself being attacked for their stance on recent issues regarding transgender people and bathrooms.

If you haven’t looked at any sort of social media, news network, newspaper or overheard anything regarding it in conversation in the past few weeks, North Carolina was the first state to pass a statewide policy that bans individuals from using bathrooms that do not correspond to their biological sex.

Most people take access to bathrooms for granted. It’s a simple walk in, go, wash your hands and walk out. However, transgender people often face the obstacle of being confronted, questioned or even violently acted upon regarding their bathroom choice. Not only for customers, but for employees, not having bathroom access is a tremendous disgrace to any employer.

Employers are legally required to provide workers bathroom facilities that are at least in decent working order. There are also laws in place that say an employer cannot impose any kind of restriction of employee use of these facilities.

The Obama Administration essentially told every school in the country that if they receive federal funding, they must allow transgender students to use whichever bathroom they associate with in hopes of coaxing equality and support more.

Of course, people who are in support of North Carolina’s bill, also known as the HB2, aren’t worried about the comfort, safety and accessibility that transgender people need when in regard to bathrooms. Rather, it’s a continuation of taunting and bullying that many LGBT students faced while growing up- those supportive of the bill are not actually afraid of transgender people, but instead desire to “put them in their place”.

The people who support the bill without educating themselves about its effects, staying silent and not doing anything are the crowd that surrounds the child being bullied, not acting or saying a word because jumping on a bandwagon is much easier than speaking out against the public opinion or challenging the bullies.

But the question that prevails over all is simple – who, exactly, is in need of protection?

There are many people who are under some crazy impression that it is transgender people who we need to live in fear of. I mean, they are all just sexual predators dressed in the opposite sex’s clothes in order to gain access to victims, right? Wrong.

This is a dangerous way of thinking. Not only does it dehumanize transgender people as some sort of monsters, but it also pokes insult at actual victims of sexual assault and their assaulters, because rather than focusing on their issues that are actually happening, people are just trying to find excuses to hate transgender people.

Here’s a fun fact for you: eight out of ten bathroom assault cases are done by people that the victim already knows, whether it be a family member, caretaker or friend. These facts are taken right from the Justice Department.

I know you’re begging for another fun fact regarding this, and do I have one for you. Sixty-four percent of all transgender people experience sexual assault at some point in their lives, according to the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and National Center for Transgender Equality.

Plus, predators planning on sexually assaulting someone are going to go into a bathroom regardless of if it corresponds to their gender. While transgender people are simply trying to go to the bathroom, there are legitimate sexual predators who hide out in bathrooms that they knowingly don’t correspond to their gender, exploiting that position in order to harm others.

The law also doesn’t take into account that men can be victims of sexual assault, with people instead screaming that “our women and children are all at stake”. Transgender men who have had to use women’s bathrooms due to such laws and norms have experienced debilitating amounts of violence and being told that they don’t belong there, not only erasing their identity but taking away their simple right to go to the bathroom. What I want to know is, when did it become a crime to use a toilet?

By making transgender people use a bathroom that doesn’t correspond with their gender identity, it can out them as transgender if they aren’t ready to come out yet, leading to harassment and violence within their schools, workplaces and etcetera. Also, by accusing someone of not being “feminine” or “masculine” enough for a certain bathroom, you’re harming everyone by policing anyone dressed in a way that doesn’t correspond to your close-minded gender standards.

The reality is that most people at some point have shared a bathroom with a transgender person without knowing and without anything happening. There isn’t even any evidence that proves that gender-segregated bathrooms are safer for cisgender people than unisex bathrooms. Creating public bathrooms would only result in more safety for transgender people, letting them be free to pee.


See the opposite view here:

Recent transgender mandate sparks states rights debate: States should determine limits of bathroom privacy



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