Even though I’m a progressive, I’ll fully admit that dealing with the issue of transgender Americans is somewhat complicated. While I’m all for people being who they want to be and accepting them for who they are, I’m not naive enough to say that there aren’t legitimate concerns that some still have about how to properly accommodate transgender people in our society. Especially when we’re dealing with school-aged children. On some levels, I’m not entirely sure if there is one perfect “right solution” that fully addresses concerns from both sides.
For example, I fully understand why someone who’s 15-years-old and transgender would be more comfortable using the school showers or bathrooms of the gender with which they identify. At the same time, I don’t fault some parents for being concerned that their teenage daughters could potentially end up showering with classmates who are anatomically male even though they identify as female. And I’m not entirely sure creating a completely separate facility for transgender people is the right solution, either. By doing so, you’re treating them as “outsiders” or “different” simply because of who they are.
Like I said, I see points from both sides and I’m not entirely sure what the best solution is for some of these concerns. Thankfully we’re moving toward finding solutions to some of these issues so transgender people no longer have to hide who they are.
The argument (aside from the absurd sexual predator fear-mongering) seems to center around people feeling “awkward” if, say, a woman who was born a male uses a female public restroom.
Really? That’s an issue?
You know what, fine. If that’s the argument some of these bigots want to use, then let’s make things really “awkward,” shall we?
How about in all these cities and places that refuse to allow transgender people to use the restroom of the sex with which they identify, we get a whole lot of transgender folks (and non-transgender people, too) to dress up as the opposite sex (if you’re male dress up as a female and visa versa) and start going out to use public restrooms of the sex they were all born as.
After all, what’s more awkward:
- A transgender female walking into a women’s restroom? – or –
- A transgender female decked out in heels, a dress and makeup walking into a male restroom?
And the same goes for transgender males. Would females be more “comfortable” with a group of transgender males walking into the women’s restroom – looking just like men – simply because they were born female?
But we don’t have to let transgender people endure this alone – we could all participate. There’s nothing that says a straight male who supports transgender rights can’t go full-on “drag” to use public restrooms. I would love nothing more than to see how “comfortable” these anti-LGBT bigots felt watching my 6’2″ 320lb friend Gary walk into a public men’s restroom in a wig, heels, some makeup and a nice skirt and blouse.
Same thing with the ladies. There’s nothing that says you can’t dress up like a “stereotypical guy,” then stroll on into the world to use a public female restroom. I’m sure all the women inside would feel just fine with someone who looks just like a man walking into the ladies restroom.
Because, again, to these bigots it’s supposedly all about what you were born as, right? (Though we all know this is about anti-LGBT discrimination more than anything else.)
So I say if these bigots want to talk about how “uncomfortable” they might feel with a transgender male or female using the restroom of the gender with which they identify, then let’s test that by seeing how they feel using the restroom with people dressed as the opposite sex going in and out of these facilities.
Or we can just do it the easy way by treating transgender people with the respect and dignity they deserve – by letting them be who they are.
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