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Five Years

Donald Trump has rescinded President Obama’s education directive regarding bathroom use for transgender students. Transgender youth are particularly vulnerable to bullying and harassment, leading to a staggering number who attempt suicide. Of the overall U.S. population, 4.6 have self-reported a suicide attempt. By comparison, 41% of transgender people attempt suicide.

Proponents of the current anti-transgender bathroom laws cite men who dress as women in order to gain access to women using public facilities. They also suggest having gender neutral bathrooms.

The fallacy behind the rational of protecting women from predators is preposterous. First and foremost, only a handful of predators have actually dressed as women to gain access to restrooms with the intent of attacking women. Furthermore, most of those attacks happened before President Obama issued the directive. The protections offered by Obama do nothing to protect predators, whether they are truly transgender or simply cross-dressing with the sole intent of doing harm. Their argument has no basis in fact and are meant to stoke fear and label transgender people as deviant freaks who wish to do people harm in the bathroom. Interestingly, I’ve yet to find a single case of someone who is truly transgender committing any violent acts in restrooms.

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An unintended consequence to their bigoted and hateful stance is to have guys like me go back to using the women’s restrooms. Did they not have the critical thinking skills necessary to see that someone like me walking into a public women’s restroom might scare the shit out of everyone in the bathroom? Did they consider that transboys walking into the girl’s bathroom at school would be upsetting to the little girls using the facilities, not to mention the boys who are forced to use the girls restroom?

Additionally, what about the trans women who must use the men’s restrooms? Simply walking into the men’s room would be an act of extreme danger for any woman forced to use the men’s facilities. Haven’t they noticed that women will stand in line forever to use the restroom while the men’s room have no lines? Some brave women have ventured into the men’s room, but it’s typically one where there’s only one toilet and they are guaranteed full privacy behind a locked door.

Some have opined that gender neutral bathrooms are an answer that pacifies everyone. Of course, we’ve learned through our storied history that separate but equal offers no equality and further puts transpeople in harms way. There are a lot of bigots out there just waiting to pounce on our community and they will simply assume that anyone using a gender neurtral bathroom is transgender. Plus, why should we be relegated to a special bathroom when all we want to do is go in and empty out, just like everyone else!

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