I hear the argument all the time where I work that transgender women are nothing more than perverts trying to sneak into the women’s bathroom in order to molest little girls. I had a discussion about this with a coworker several months ago, but now with the repeal of the bathroom protection ordinance that President Obama had put in place, I see this becoming relevant again.
The discussion went something like this:
“I don’t like the idea of a man going in the women’s bathroom. I have a little girl.”
“They’re not men, and they’re just using the bathroom, like everyone else.”
“Yeah, but this will make it easy for child predators to go in under the guise of identifying as a woman.”
“They won’t use this as their excuse. If they’re going to prey on women and girls, they’re going to anyway. There are already laws against it.”
“Yeah….I guess…..but I have a little girl.”
The conversation just went in a big circle like that a few times, always going back to his fear for what this would mean for his young girl, who is about four years old, if I recall correctly. I think this fear is what everyone wants to base their opinions on. And as soon as the politicians tap into that fear, they’re able to sway their voting pool in regards to the legislation they’re hoping to pass so that they can discriminate against those that they don’t understand and don’t care to make the effort to even try to.
Now, this has really hit home, as my good friend and co-host of the Doubting Dogma podcast, Ris, is a transwoman. The past few days have shown that the bigots have not gone away, and with this they must feel empowered because they’ve been attacking her at restaurants, on social media, and on her column on Lords of Pain.
I see comments from others within that demographic that are scared now of using the bathroom for fear of what people will do to them. I don’t care what your religious views or fears are. The fact the people are worried about their own safety so they don’t even feel safe going into the bathroom to pee while out at public places is not okay.
Now it has been heartwarming to see the allies coming together, offering to be the “battle buddy” (if I can borrow an army term) to accompany them into the restroom in order to have a safety with numbers, because no one should have that fear.
And for those who don’t understand and find they can’t relate at all, I recommend the series Hit & Miss on Netflix. It’s only six episodes, so it’s not something that will take forever to watch. In it, the main character is a pre-op transsexual (mtf), and it was through this short series that I really got a look at what this meant and what kind of challenges and threats those in this situation face. (DISCLAIMER: This series is rated TV: MA for a good reason, and includes sexuality, violence, and nudity.)
I still don’t understand how anyone can look at this current administration and claim that it’s harmless and not coming after the marginalized in society, because this action proves that our concerns during the election weren’t hyperbolic. They were completely justified.