Mar. 12th, 2017

dalthauser: (Dorie Roo)
In spite of the fact that I've been about as ignorant as most regarding what it means to be transgender, I've never had a negative image of those who identify with a gender they are not born with.

Lately their challenges have come into the news enough for me to take notice.  I've been learning a lot, and I will be posting a journal entry soon on what I've discovered.  Right now though - I wanted to write about this bathroom issue.

When North Carolina's bathroom bill first came into the news I honestly had never given the issue of which bathroom a transgendered person should use much thought.  I was puzzled by the level of alarm some folks showed.  When I read the opinions of these people they mostly seemed to be concerned about their child being molested in some way.  Now with our own state of Texas legislature’s SB6 bill – it’s become something I think about regularly.

My opinion is that people who have a problem with transgender people using the restroom of the gender they identify with is based on distrust/fear of the transgendered population or a simple religious objection. I can think of no other reasons. 

The issue, in my mind, isn’t really with the trans person (they don’t have a choice in their gender identity) but with the person doing the judging (they do have a choice).

So what we have is one population of people judging the other based on their fears or religious bias. If only one of them can prevail, who should it be?

Obviously, when it comes to legislation - religious bias is out (but wait - - Senator Eddie Lucio invokes his Catholic beliefs as his reason to be the only Democrat to support the bill)

It might be easy to say the transgendered person should prevail, but what about the concerns of the other person?  Shouldn’t we take their feelings into consideration even if we don’t share them?

Are there other examples in real life (past/present) that can make this clearer to me?
Segregated drinking fountains/bathrooms for Blacks and Whites (Whites considered Blacks “dirty” and it was believed they might get a disease if facilities were shared)
Discrimination against gay teachers due to fears the teachers would teach the kids to be gay, molest the kids, and/or make being gay “normal” (imagine that…)

I initially thought the answer would be to have unisex bathrooms as the norms.  In high volume places you can have completely enclosed stalls where people could do their business, zip up, and come out – fully clothed – to a common area where one could wash hands and finish tidying up.  Then I thought – NO! – that would be making excuses for ignorance and intolerance.

The transgender community and their allies need to stand up and speak out loudly, clearly, and often.  Not just when legislation is being considered either.  The issue should be addressed every day and at every opportunity.  Looking back in history it seems like this is how ignorance is overcome.


dalthauser: (Default)

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