You well see this more and more. It is disappointing on so many levels. Especially with the ridiculous “bathroom bills” popping up. As if, we as a society were not already completely hung-up (read Obsessed) with labels, now we have people policing them like an arm chair coach on Sunday afternoon. Please keep your phobias and ridiculous self proclaimed fears to yourself. You will offend less and appear more intelligent.
I love to hear the success stories!!
What the two finally found there was acceptance. Charlie has courage I could have only dreamed of at that age.
So I found myself in a debate on Twitter. I made a comment about Gov. Pat McCrory
@PatMcCroryNC and the RNC spokesperson in NC Kami Mueller @kamimueller and their stance on HB2. I got a reply tweet form Kaeley Triller Haver @KaeleyT defending that law and sharing a very heartbreaking video about every criminal or deviant action in the USA committed by a cross-dresser or trans person. I have to admit it made me question things. Although, not comprehensive it was compelling.
But then I reflected on my life and the others in the cross-dressing and transgender community that I have met and shared their stories. First, I am not a researcher or statistician, so my responses are based on experience. Second, I don’t defend or condone any criminal or anti-social behavior outside of our laws.
As a young person in school I was bullied, harassed and picked on because I was considered a sissy. I was assaulted both in private and in the locker rooms and bathrooms in my junior high and forced to use communal showers everyday in Physical Education class. Back then I had never heard words like transgender. Although back then “transvestite” was used in a derogatory form, I still hadn’t heard it. So I am very clear what goes on in a boy’s/men’s bathroom or locker room when you don’t fit the macho mold. The problem is these boy’s don’t magically change into understanding men. Imagine trans-women like me having to walk into the male restroom with those same boy-men now all grown up!
As I mentioned in my last post, I simply have never done it. I follow that with my thousands of experiences using a women’s room. I have never, not once, had a confrontation in a women’s restroom. Never, ever! I chat with women about clothes, make-up the weather, we do our business and we move on. No issues at all. This is not just my story either. Many of the trans-girls I discuss this with have very similar experiences. Trans-men too.
So now we look at the reality of forcing transgender persons to use the opposite bathroom. First, I would have pepper spray and a stun-gun in my purse. Seriously! I currently use those items when forced to walk in dark parking lots or alleys at night because they are inherently unsafe places that no person, especially a woman should go alone if they can help it. These types of laws turn going to the restroom into that kind of place. Where the likelihood of assault is high and you are simply tempting fate by ignoring that. Women understand that fear all to well I’m afraid.
On the other hand, Imagine a trans-man having to enter in to the ladies restroom. Although most outside of our community don’t know it, trans-men typically appear much more masculine. They often wear nicely trimmed beards and have very muscular physiques. Sometimes they present blue-collar with ball caps and sleeveless shirts and sometimes very professional, as men do. Although likely not dangerous, they would most certainly cause disruption and make the ladies room very uncomfortable for women, trans-women and girls using that restroom.
So I don’t believe that the politico’s pushing this agenda are really thinking this through. They appear to be using fear to simply push an agenda of discrimination. It is a great tactic, and has been by far the most effective tactic used in history to get an otherwise weak agenda through to the people.
The problem is they seem to be drawing a straight line from trans-person to deviant or criminal. That simply does not track. Are there trans persons that commit crimes, yes. Are there cis-persons that commit the same crimes, yes. Are the percentages much different, no. As it is not a direct parallel and some are offended by the reference, you have to consider how historically our African-American citizens were criminalized and demonized simply by how they look. Most of us learned that simply being a different race (substitute gender, orientation, religion etc. here) has no bearing over all on criminal or deviant intent. We are humans, some humans do bad things. Those humans should suffer the consequences for doing those bad things. But criminalizing or demonizing one particular segment of our population is wrong and very dangerous for our country and our freedoms.
As I mentioned to KaelyT, we already have laws on the books for peeping, assault, kidnapping, rape and murder. Those laws apply to anyone or everyone who enters women’s restroom (or any other place) and commits any criminal act, regardless of gender. Being trans is not a defense to any crime. So adding a law that is simply “trans, in a no-trans zone” is ridiculous on the surface and down right demeaning overall.
Now, the status quo was working pretty well regarding the bathroom situation until it was pulled into the political arena. So some ask, why was it brought in to that arena? It was because we were asking for protection from discrimination regarding housing, employment and healthcare. Those who oppose things they don’t understand will fight it. Those who have not taken the time to educate themselves about our community, oppose us, based on principle and their own understanding. I get that, but that doesn’t make them right, just uninformed. There are many things I don’t understand and might even fear, but it is because I have not taken the time or made the effort to understand them. So the easiest, some might say laziest, approach to fighting equality for us is to demonize us and spread fear in to the unsuspecting population.
We, the transgender community, are not asking for special treatment. We are simply asking to be allowed the freedoms this country stands for and not to be discriminated against simply because we look different.
The transgender discussion is raging on. I only wish it had started 40 years ago so I would have understood more about why I felt so different from everyone else. I consider myself open minded and I have an open heart to other humans of all distinctions. I believe to my core that what makes us unique, is what makes us human. So I champion our differences rather than try to put everyone in a comfortable box (or label). Our differences are what make us interesting, they are what challenges each other, they are the reason we have progress in every area of our existence.
The Bathroom Bills, specifically HB2 in North Carolina, are an example of fear driving, or completely replacing rational thought. The problem is this debate is based on emotions from both sides and not reality. And it is aimed at one of the smallest and most victimized segments of our population there has ever been.
I have an on going debate with @KaelyT on Twitter. She is a very intelligent and very passionate woman who believes that banning transgender persons from using the public bathroom of which they identify will keep women and girls safer. On the surface, any argument for keeping women and girls safe seems like a good one, right?
The problem is the laws are completely ineffective for keeping anyone safe and actually make using a multi person bathroom unsafe for a particular segment of our population. First, let’s recognize that transgender persons have been using the bathroom for which they identify for years. For me its been about 15 years, but I suggest that its been many more than that. So, that in itself has caused no identifiable problem. Next, let’s address the criminal and deviant activity that has involved cross-dressing males or females and transgender persons. What ever their offenses were, they were clearly already covered by existing laws against peeping, assault etc. Does adding another charge (this is referred to as “stacking” charges) such as “trans in a no trans zone” really effect or impact this situation at all? I don’t believe so. Oh, and direct enforcement of such a law is utterly impossible and ridiculous. You just thought the lines were long at large events. Imagine someone checking ID at the door. Finally, the result of embracing this law. Two serious issues arise. One, sending a transwoman into a male designated bathroom is like sending a rabbit into a wolf den. It is daring some macho guy to either assault her because she is different, or rape her because “clearly she wants it, dressed like that.” Two, sending a transmale into a female designated bathroom. Do you really want a law that requires a guy that looks like a trucker or lumberjack sharing your daughters restroom? That is the reality.
The only real benefit of presenting and passing this type of law is political. Publicly making a statement in your discriminatory stance against a small segment of our population. That is really it.
I am wholeheartedly behind anything that will protect our citizens, especially the more vulnerable ones. But taking a political “pot-shot” at our community and shrouding it as a safety issue is, well, just mean spirited.
It really is the simple things in life that make the biggest difference in the long term. This one faculty member recognized an issue and made a change. That will impact students positively for years.
I am posting this, not because it is really trans related, but because it appears that there are intelligent adults in N.C. (and elsewhere I expect) that understand that HB2 and other fear based laws are damaging to our society over all.
I guess I am still in awe that seemingly intelligent adults still cling to this fear-mongering and hate speech as if it was gospel. All of the actual evidence reveals that the real fear should be for white male politicians, coaches and clergy! It’s like saying that birds should fear worms if they land on the ground!!
Our fight to be recognized as genuine human beings deserving of the basic respect that every human being should enjoy is a war, not a battle. We will endure many losses before we see a final victory. The sad thing is, victory makes a more beautiful world for everyone including those we currently find ourselves battling today.
This is a wonderful heartfelt letter to Governor Pat McCrory by one of his constituents. Reading it I felt very proud of her, her family, especially her gender non-conforming son.