As humans we share the need to relieve ourselves and must resort to seeking out public facilities when away from home. What is a normal function has become controversial. One state, North Carolina, has passed HB2 requiring people to use the restroom (in certain public entities)that corresponds with the sex on their birth certificate. Conservative Republicans and activists in Texas are urging the Texas legislature to pass something similar in the next session nine months from now. Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick agrees and has declared that it will be a priority; Republican Gov. Greg Abbott has promised his support. It seems some cisgenders are afraid to share these bio breaks with transgenders. Why?
One argument is that men should not be allowed in a women’s restroom because they might attack/rape women and girls. There is no evidence of dangerous predators pretending to be transgender in American bathrooms What about their safety? Dressed as a female, are they expected to enter a men’s restroom and feel safe? Are the cisgender males who are pushing the issue the ones who are afraid but cover up by claiming they are only protecting women and girls? Women can and do stand up for themselves.
Things have been working fine so far without government restroom rules, and transgenders have been using the facility of their choice without any fuss. Transgenders are ordinary people with careers in business, government, broadcasting, fashion and movies; they are students and volunteers; for those in the military, policies are changing too. Some transition young and some later in life. Passing unnecessary legislation simply stigmatizes them, makes them feel that they do not belong and harms the entire LGBT community.
While I don’t fully understand gender dysphoria, it is real and important to those who experience it. I also believe that ignorance, fear, bigotry and even hatred drives some of these attitudes against transgenders. Perhaps some are pushing this for their own political and personal ambitions while fueling prejudice, fear and suspicion.
Chuck Smith, executive director of Equality in Texas expressed his feelings this way, “These proposed gender-police laws are a solution in search of a problem, and actually it’s pandering and it’s dangerous.” I AGREE!