To the people complaining about transgender folks using public restrooms,
Let me start off by saying something most of us can agree upon: public restrooms are the WORST. If you’ve used a men’s room you’ve most likely had to stand in a puddle of someone else’s urine once (or fifteen times) while doing your business, and if you’ve used a women’s room you’ve definitely worried about contracting Hepatitis A from your toilet seat. As a whole, public restrooms are dirty, smelly places we only frequent when the need to go is unshakeable. In a perfect world there would be nothing but single stall bathrooms with luxury soap, free Wi-Fi, and complimentary mints. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world, and as long as coffee, fast food franchises, and questionable off-the-highway steak places exist, public restrooms are necessary evils we must all put up with.
I’m not writing this letter to argue over whether or not transgender people are deserving of dignity and equality. I’m writing under the assumption that you are against transgender protections out of misplaced fear rather than deliberate bigotry. If you’re somehow who willfully ignores preferred pronouns, or refers to people who have different life experiences as “crazy” or “perverted” then this letter is not for you. I’ll be sure to write a future letter dedicated solely to the bigoted, “holier than thou” assholes who would rather take away rights from others than actually try to do something worthwhile or productive
Now let’s jump into the whole “transgender people using OUR bathrooms” argument:
Some critics are under the impression that allowing transgender people to use the bathroom of their choosing would result in a spike of sex crimes and assault cases. Empirically, there’s no evidence that suggests transgender people have or would commit crimes in bathrooms. There have been no real public safety issues in cities with transgender protections, and any allegations have remained wholly unproven-basically your fear is completely unfounded.
People believe that passing protection laws will result in literal Hell breaking loose. They think that male predators will dress up in female attire, pretend to be transgender to gain bathroom access, and then rape every women and child they possible can. What people fail to realize is that MOST bathrooms have little to no protection in place to begin with. Will rapists really want to go out of their way to drive to the nearest Ann Taylor and spend $80 dollars on a sundress just to gain access to a room they could really just walk into if they wanted? And if that’s something they’re truly willing to do, then shouldn’t we be asking a different question instead-like: Why are cisgender men willing to go to such extreme lengths to commit sex crimes? Approximately 4/5 rapes are committed by someone the victim knows, and sex-offenders are statistically more likely to be white males- this is the reality. The fact of the matter is that transgender people are not the criminals here- and by shouting so much about public safety you’re really just admitting that we live in a society that is both terrified of and enables true offenders. The only reason people are really against transgender people using restrooms is because they’re afraid not of how transgender people would take advantage of the situation, but rather how cisgender people would. Transgender people are just the scapegoats in a bigger, uglier picture.
Now if you’re anti-trans and still seeking to post a vitriolic Facebook status about the issue, here are some important things you should know:
1.) The term is “transgender” people- not TRANSGENDERED! They’re living people therefore they exist in the present tense. Furthermore, trans is who you are, and not what you’ve done. Also, a person isn’t a “transgender”- the word is an ADJECTIVE!
2.) A transgender person doesn’t not need to get surgery in order to qualify as a trans person. They especially do not need to show their anatomy off to have their identity validated. If you’re that concerned with everyone’s genitalia perhaps YOU should be the one we should be keeping outside of the public restroom.
3.) Saying trans people should use their own bathroom is LITERALLY just a newer version of “Separate, but equal”.…you know, that really bad racist practice we allowed to happen because we historically treat minority groups like shit.
4.) Gender and sexuality are different things! Let’s not have a bathroom repeat of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, people.
5.) If you’re a parent of a young child you should be accompanying your child to the restroom REGARDLESS OF WHO IS INSIDE! This one has nothing to do with transgender people, but rather shitty parents. Also, please DO NOT try to use the “how am I supposed to explain transgender people to my kids?” It’s your job to educate your shit kid. That’s what YOU signed up for as a parent.
You may think your intentions are good when standing against bathroom equality, but the road to Hell is paved with good intentions. The reality is that your decision to stand against equality is based in fear- not fact, and if you reflect upon your actions in 10 years you will realize you were on the wrong side of history. It doesn’t matter that transgender people make up a small sample of the population; equality is not an “all or nothing” game. Everyone can use the bathroom in a dignified way without it being an infringement on the comfort or security of others. You don’t have the right to say “90% of the population is not transgender, so why should we let them inconvenience us?” because they aren’t inconveniencing you- they’re simply bringing out the bigotry in you that you fail to recognize. Just because you don’t understand someone’s life, or what their needs are, doesn’t mean you can’t be empathetic and generous. Because at the end of the day no one really wants to use a public restroom, and that shitty right should be extended to all people.
Your post is great, until you get to the very end and undermine your whole point by using trans men as your “scary men in the women’s bathroom” scapegoat. We aren’t predators either.
Hi Danny, good to know that it’s coming off a different way than intended. I was in no way implying that but rather trying to hit home the fact that your genitalia shouldn’t dictate or determine your gender identity.
I certainly don’t want to further perpetuate the line of thinking you bring up, however, so I’m removing the end bit! Thanks for calling it to my attention.
Because we don’t want PENISES in the women’s bathroom. We don’t want people with PENISES using the ladies room. We don’t want the opposite GENITALS in our bathrooms. That’s it. We don’t think dresses and makeup define women and/or are relevant to the bathroom issue.
Sarah, do you inspect the genitalia of every single person who goes in the bathroom? Do you think people should be treated as fundamentally different because of something between their legs? Your opinion reeks of bigotry and ignorance.