The Republicans are back at their oldest past time – hypocrisy. The party that promotes freedom and getting “the government out of our lives” are back at legislating the most intimate parts of people’s lives. They’ve seemed to temporarily moved on from restricting women’s choice to choose and now are attacking transgender people and restricting them to which bathrooms they can use, which, according to laws in some states, must be the gender at birth, not the gender they transitioned to.
The transgender community are the smallest in population in the whole LGBT community. It’s estimated that transgender adults account for 0.3% of the whole US population or about 700,000 adults, even if that’s a conservative figure, let’s say transgender and non-binary transgender people top out at 1,000,000 adults (very unlikely but for the sake of argument let’s assume so), the chances of a cisgender person running into a transgender person in a public restroom in America is near nil. Unless you are in San Francisco during Gay Pride week, the chances of transgender people running into each other in any random public bathroom is rare as well.
The Republicans have once again, decided to marginalize an already marginized group further. They’ve decided on the grounds of safety for the cisgender people that transgender people shouldn’t be allowed to use the bathroom of their transition. This extends to all public spaces, schools, parks or any other public restrooms. North Carolina just passed a ‘bathroom bill’ which requires people to use the bathroom of their assigned gender at birth. Alabama has a similar law but they decided to go one step further and criminalize and arrest people who use the wrong bathroom, with the suggestion that police officers will ask for identification to ascertain that the suspect is using the correct bathroom.
All of these laws are based on the false premise of ‘safety’ for the majority of gender conforming people, that a transgender person who was born of the opposite sex at birth is sharing a bathroom (or locker room) with cisgender people is inherently unsafe. It’s implying that transgender people are natural predators and cisgender people need to be afraid of them, especially in small confined places like bathrooms and locker rooms. This is total hogwash.
The most dangerous place for child who is bullied at school are bathrooms and locker rooms where they are ‘jumped’ by other cisgender people, usually people of their own sex, not the shy and socially awkward transgender teen if there is even one at the school. Just one week ago, sixteen year old high school girl Amy Joyner was ‘jumped’ in the bathroom by other girls, she hit her head on the sink and later died. The dispute was apparently over a boy. There was not a single transgender girl in the room.
Former Speaker of the House, the third most powerful man in the country, after the President and Vice President, Dennis Hastert was convicted of child molestation and has just been handed a 15 month jail sentence. He is more of a danger in the men’s room than any transgender male (who would most likely be jumped by other cisgender men). Michelle Duggar of 19 Kids and Counting, instead of making robocalls to Arkansas voters to vote against an anti-transgender bathroom bill, her efforts would have better been served into teaching her eldest son Josh Duggar proper sexual boundaries between boys and girls instead of using her whispery hysterical voice of allowing “boys to use the girls’ bathrooms”. Josh Duggar would have benefited from some educational talks from his parents about sex.
The transgender community is a community that is gaining more acceptance and recognition but it’s still a community that is suffering deeply. Transgender teens are twice as likely to attempt sucide and be depressed. They face rejection from their families, their church, school, communities. They are more likely than their other LGBT peers to to be unemployed and suffer from depression and anxiety. They struggle to get through their daily lives without harrasement. They face a daunting choice between living their true selves or the identity that soceity ascribes to them based on gender at birth. To then pass these pointless bathroom bill making the lives of transgender people even harder, is an abuse of human rights.
Republican lawmakers need to stop watching ‘Orange is the New Black’ and look at the realities of the real world with respect to transgender people. They are no threat to soceity. Society is a threat to them.