I pee with LGBT

You have to pee.  You ask the maître d’, “Excuse me sir, where are your bathrooms?”  He glances over the top rim of his glasses at you and gestures to his left.  Off you go, and you see…

intl bathroom signs

oh shit! (pun intended)  Now what?  You’re wearing jeans, and this pullover-style top you found at Abercrombie & Fitch; you have a short, cropped military-style haircut; and, what’s more, you can’t remember the last time you threw on a dress that resembled the triangle that pictogram on the right is wearing.  Or is that a Scot in a kilt?

In spite of all that, you have a vagina and breasts, so you know to veer right.  The signage isn't literal, it’s cultural.  It reflects how we “perceive” gender — in the same way we irrationally associate blue with boys and pink with girls.  Hell, how many of you guys out there knew your bathroom was on the left as soon as you saw the blue?

Is the fictitious woman I described above less a woman because she’s wearing jeans?  Of course not.  Yet the symbol for her bathroom would have her dressed very differently, and based on the clothes she was wearing she should have used the bathroom on the left!  But given her vagina and her breasts I’m gonna go out on a limb here and suggest she identifies as a woman and would be more comfortable in the bathroom on the right, regardless of how we, who are external to her, perceive her appearance. 

The spate of transgender “bathroom bills” that have cropped up across the nation, under the guise of protecting women and children, are the latest attempt by far-Right culture warriors to demonize the LGBTQ community, and nothing more.  When the United States was considering allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military, it was going to be a disaster and spell the end of the US armed forces; it was neither.  When the question of laws prohibiting same-sex marriage went before the Supreme Court, failure to defend marriage as a union between one man and one woman would lead to the collapse of western civilization as we know it; it did not.

trans-flag

Now, allowing a transgender person to use the bathroom corresponding to the gender they identify with means women and girls are in danger of being raped by a man who identifies as a woman, because all he really wants to do is dress up in women’s clothes so he can get at them in a women’s bathroom.

But the facts are, thoughtful reader, there have been zero (0) documented cases of a transgender person raping a woman or molesting a child in a bathroom, though there was one case in 2015 of a young cisgender man dressing up in a pink wig to film women in the ladies room. 

In the not so distant past, as the gay and lesbian community became more visible and vocal in demanding equality and justice, it was said that all gays and lesbians are pedophiles as a way to discredit them and deny them rights, and this corresponded to an uptick in hate crimes and speech against the LGBTQ community.  Thanks to Janet Mock, Laverne Cox, and Caitlyn Jenner (among others) transgender people have entered the public consciousness, and a similar phenomenon is occurring — there have been attacks against women with short hair (regardless of their gender identity), or who simply weren’t perceived to be feminine looking enough in general, as determined by some arbitrary cultural standard.  There was even a physical assault against a father who took his 5 year-old cisgender daughter, along with his other children, into the mens room with him rather than leave them vulnerable and unattended amongst strangers outside.

Transgender people are more likely to be the victims of assault than the perpetrators of it.  In fact, 2016 saw the murder of 17 transgender women, for no other reason than that they were transgender.

The people raping women and children aren’t those in the transgender community — they’re rapists and pedophiles.  And the vast majority of them are cisgender heterosexuals.  Have a look at the National Sex Offender Public Website (NSOPW).

But it is always important to point out that rape is not something that only happens to women; 9% of rapes happen to men.  And the statistics for children are even worse — 1 out of every 4 girls, and 1 out of every 6 boys will be molested before the age of 18.

Let’s look at this rationally, shall we?  A study released last June from the Williams Institute estimates that there are approximately 1.4 million transgender people in the US; that’s 0.6% of the population.  Does it stand to reason 0.6% of the population is doing all this raping and molesting and (a) we’re just hearing about it?, and (b) we’re finally getting around to doing something about it? — passing laws that ban transgender Americans from using bathrooms that align with their gender identity.  It’s a good thing we caught this… if we can get enough of these bathroom bills on the books we should be able to wipe out rape and child molestation completely by 2020.  Oh frabjous day!  Callooh!  Callay!

Teaching children to respect one another’s differences, teaching them not to objectify anyone — woman or man — and empowering those who see someone in danger, or acting inappropriately, to step in and intervene would be a better use of our time than worrying about imaginary predators in bathrooms.  Sigh...By 2017, I really thought we’d have flying cars, colonies on Mars, and robot butlers — think where we'd be if we could stop obsessing about one another’s genitals.

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