Courtesy of www.chicagotribune.com
Lately there has been a lot of discussion about public bathrooms. There have been recent laws and policies that have been enacted that have resulted in a bit of an uproar. Mostly I have seen people being confused and jumping to conclusions. Allow me to clear up the controversy.
Not too long ago North Carolina passed a law saying that a person has to use the public restroom associated with the gender on their birth certificate. This law was a direct attack on members of the transgender community. Following this law there has been protests and some companies have taken it upon themselves to take measures to counteract this law. The Justice Department has condemned it and the White House as well as some schools have taken steps towards more inclusive bathrooms.
The general public have been reacting with outrage. Apparently, people just think that it is a free for all and people can now just go to whatever bathroom they choose. That is not the basis of this fight. The point is that transgender people go through a great deal to get to their identified gender. After that long fight, all that they are asking for is to be able to use the restroom associated with said gender. Some don’t understand why this is even a fight. There are those going out of their way to restrict bathroom access based on their perception of a person’s gender. That is discriminatory and oppressive. That is why policies must change.
There are those who still “don’t believe in” the transgender struggle. It’s really not that far fetched. The design of the body is genius, but it is not perfect. It’s along the lines of people being born with too many body parts, not enough, club feet, random growths, etc. The DNA, which is the blueprint for the layout of our bodies, can be misread in the process by the body during development. So it is completely plausible that gender, which is the first thing established and gets the ball rolling, can be misread assigning the wrong body parts to what was originally supposed to be the gender. That’s all that is being said. It’s not some outrageous claim. There is a big difference between transgender people and people who dress in non-traditional clothing. This isn’t androgony. Some people dress and behave in ways that are in line with the opposite gender, but still hold that they are the gender they were born as. That’s not transgender. Transgender people change their lives to live as what society has established as the opposing gender because they feel down to their soul that is the gender that they were always supposed to be. Good for people like us whose feelings are in line with their genetic makeup, but it is not okay to discount other people’s struggles and experiences based on the fact that you have never felt it.
In terms of those who think that men are just going to be donning dresses to enter the ladies bathroom, let me explain something to you. Newsflash, men have always been able to walk into the women’s bathroom, with or without a dress. All they have to do is push the door open and walk inside. That’s not some newfound thing being ushered in by these new policies. It is public domain and if a person is sick or crazy enough they can do whatever they want anyway. What is not okay is for people to equate transgender people with perverts because they don’t understand them. I have never in my life had to struggle to establish what bathroom to go in. I look for the women’s, ladies, girls or whatever it is called. Unfortunately, for some it is not that simple. Why should a transgender woman go into a man’s bathroom? It makes no sense. That’s not where they belong anymore. Because if a transgender man walks into the woman’s bathroom, people will look crazy. As far as the all gender bathrooms, those are only single bathrooms, not ones with multiple stalls.
Life is not black and white. With the progression of the times and people being more open to express their true identities, new rules must be established. The lines can get blurred, but that’s all the more reason to actually establish policies, otherwise it will be a free for all. If there are no policies set and people just have to take it upon themselves, that’s where the problems come in. Stop jumping to the most negative conclusions just because you are not comfortable or confused. I don’t know why people hear that transgender people are fighting for bathroom rights and automatically assume that some sicko is somewhere rubbing his hands together anticipating being granted entry into the woman’s bathroom. Learn to accept that gender is not a binary. It exists on a spectrum. Do not go around misgendering people who have to fight everyday of their lives just to be able to feel comfortable in their own body. If you are that thoroughly confused, go to Google and ask the questions you need answered. Information is merely a click away.