You know how you have those moments when you think, “Wow, is this seriously a problem we’re having in 2016?” Most of us think about the future as a time for advancement, flying cars, and a cure for cancer. If the past few months have taught us anything, it’s that our sights might be a little too high at the moment. We’ve got a bigot running for president, mass shootings on a near daily basis, and entire states that won’t allow transgender people to use the bathroom of their gender preference. You might be aware of the ongoing controversy that has surrounded North Carolina, a state that recently passed a law known as the “Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act.” This act prohibits protection against discrimination claims based on sexual orientation and gender identity and requires that people only use bathrooms of their assigned sex at birth. That means that a transgender woman would have to use the men’s bathroom, and a transgender man would have to use the women’s bathroom.
If this sounds like a civil rights violation to you, you’re not wrong. In fact, the Obama administration condemned the North Carolina law and contacted every school district in the state and told them that they have to allow trans students to use their bathroom of choice. In response, the state…well, didn’t do anything to stop this discriminatory BS. North Carolina isn’t alone, however: Mississippi just passed similar legislation as well. What’s so frustrating about all of this is the wide range of support this BS has. In fact, one of the most insulting defenses of these bills is that it prevents cis-gender women from cis-gender men…who are posing as women…who want to attack us. Um, what? If anybody in your life is offering a ton of excuses for this nonsense, let them know about these six reasons why there’s absolutely nothing wrong with sharing a bathroom with transgender people.
We Already Share Bathrooms With Trans People And Nothing Bad Has HappenedI know that this is hard for some of you to wrap your minds around, but you've probably shared the bathroom with trans people countless times. Yes, there could have very well been somebody trans in the stall right next to you, and you didn’t even know it, not that it's any of your business anyway. So…why is this suddenly a problem? Oh, right, it’s a made up one. Cool. Got it. iStock.com
Trans People Aren't BoogiemenAs I mentioned in the intro, I’m really not sure who this law is trying to protect. There’s this idea that this law is necessary to protect women from cis-gender men who disguise themselves as women, and then proceed to attack people in the public restroom as soon as the coast is clear. Women have been attacked in public restrooms by cis-men without those men having to dress up in drag first, so that’s just ridiculous. This isn't about protecting women, or children, or anything. It's about bigots saying, "EW! TRANS PEOPLE? IN MY BATHROOM?" Don't get it twisted. iStock.com
This Is A Health IssueHow are we supposed to tell people to hold in their piss all day, just so they won’t have to experience any drama or encounters with law enforcement for going to the bathroom? There was a report in the LA Times about trans people living in North Carolina under this law, and one trans college student said that he avoids using the bathroom in public in general now. He had to, "literally had to walk two buildings down to legally use the restroom." Who are we becoming as people to just shrug this off? iStock.com
This Puts Trans People At RiskTrans people are already at risk for violence, especially trans women of color. If a bathroom of their gender identity puts them more at ease and allows for a safer space, that’s a good thing. Forcing a trans woman to potentially put herself in danger by entering a men's bathroom is absolutely horrifying. iStock.com
Trans People Aren't The Ones We Should FearI know I’m not just speaking for myself here as a cis-woman, but if there’s anyone I’m afraid of when I'm by myself in the bathroom, it’s not a transgender man or woman. It’s a cis-gender man. After all, it’s cis-gender men who perpetuate the large majority of crimes, so... iStock.com
This Destroys Basic Human RightsTrans people are people to, and they have the right to pee where they feel comfortable peeing, just like the rest of us. Imagine if you were forced to use the bathroom of the gender you don't identify as, just because of what your private parts look like. Maybe if people took a minute to put themselves in the shoes of trans people, none of this would be happening. But, for that, one must see trans people as fellow human beings, not subhumans, not second-class citizens. This is exactly what these laws do, and it's absolutely shameful. iStock.com
Have you gotten into a debate with anybody about the trans bathroom bill recently? Do you think that there should be gender neutral bathrooms in every public facility? Tell us in the comments!