The Real Reason For The Trans Bathroom Panic
About 87 years ago, when Barack Obama was president and every day wasn't Ulcer Day, a directive was laid out. It permitted students at public schools to use whatever bathroom corresponded to their gender identity, for when the cafeteria's Tuesday Tacos came back to haunt them around third period. This order has now been rescinded by Donald Trump, which means schools can again force transgender students to use the bathroom that aligns with whatever's on their birth certificate. But why? These are some of the arguments that have been made for policing trans people in bathrooms, and they're more easily debunked than the myth that there are sewer gators who can bite your ass off mid-poop.
"What about privacy?"
The now-former governor of North Carolina once said that people need protection in bathrooms and locker rooms, and that there's an expectation of privacy that must be upheld. This presupposes that being in a locker room with people who share the same chromosomes as you upholds privacy concerns in a way that allowing others in would not. And if you've ever been in the locker room at the YMCA while a man in his 70s puts his foot on a bench and hikes up his sock garters while a solid three feet of rubbery, wire-haired old ballsack hangs to the ground like the jowls of an old bloodhound, you know that no locker room really saves your privacy or dignity in any way, regardless of who they let in.
The scrotums of the elderly getting caught in these bench slats is a more pressing danger to all.
There's also the hypocritical nature of this argument, which is that trans people using the bathroom is somehow more of an invasion of privacy than people policing which bathroom they belong in. In fact, this will inevitably lead to (in fact, it has already has led to) non-trans people being harassed in bathrooms for looking like they might be trans. There's no floating neon "T" that identifies transgender people. This means that to prevent trans people from using the "wrong" bathroom, you'll have to scrutinize everyone to see if they "look enough" like a male or a female. That or inspect everyone's genitals before they enter, which sounds a tad like an invasion of privacy. Also, in this case, we're talking about schools. Kids are already Sith Lords at being cruel; they don't need more ammunition to bully other children based on how they look.
"What about safety?"
One of the biggest issues people seem to have with the idea of a transgender person in the women's bathroom (because for some reason, they almost never talk about the reverse) is the idea that someone will be attacked or raped or murdered or upper-deckered. And who would want that while they're on the can? But on the other hand, isn't this fear suggesting that up until now, the only thing stopping a raging psychopath from storming into the toilet and trying to wear you like a hat is the sign on the door? As if that sign has some magical anti-pervert force field that takes effect if someone enters while not wearing that "woman" triangle dress. And the fact that there's no evidence of transgender people attacking anyone in bathrooms kind of makes this sound like a lot of bluster for no reason.
Dangerous people absolutely do exist, but by and large, they tend to ignore rules, which is why they're dangerous. No one ever committed a murder because they didn't see a NO MURDERS sign posted. If someone wants to attack you in the bathroom, they're not going to let something like a sign or "social conventions" or "decency" stop them.
Gandalf hasn't been popping out to "YOU SHALL NOT PASS!" criminally determined perverts.
According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, people who are going to assault someone in a bathroom aren't exactly deterred by the sign not matching their gender. They're just going to wait until no one is looking and sneak in. What they're not going to do is decide at an early age that they don't feel normal with the expectations that have been put on them, and start trying to live in a way that makes them feel more comfortable, which may include dressing in clothes traditionally worn by a different gender than the one they were identified with at birth. They're not going to endure years of bullying and abuse, sometimes including physical abuse, to further this agenda so that one day they can wear a nice sundress and pop into the Walmart bathroom so they can sit in the toilet stall next to your Aunt Ruth while she takes a shit, just so they can beat off to the tune of her grunts. It's some desperately thirsty Wile E. Coyote shit to think anyone would do that. A trans person is more likely to be attacked in a bathroom for being trans rather than the other way around.
"Think of the children!"
Another issue here is that we're talking about schools. So the idea of that strange man coming after you isn't even a concern in this instance. This is about students -- children. If there is a trans student at your school open enough to actually be identifying as trans, it's likely that everyone knows it as well. That kid is not using the shitter to cause trouble. They're using it to shit. Aside from George Michael, not a lot of people are using toilets to get off. It's a terrible place to hook up, and most of us have evolved to not really be aroused by the scent of urine and hand soap. No teen boy is going to pull off the insanely Machiavellian scheme of identifying as trans and risking being bullied and ostracized just to use the girls' room in the hopes of catching a look at the prom queen's panties.
This is the real world, not some shitty '80s teen sex comedy.
"Trans people will be sexually attracted to me, so they can't share my bathroom."
I have some shocking news: Gay people produce waste, in the form of urine and feces. They use bathrooms like everyone else, meaning that it's entirely possible that, on any given day, while you're dropping the Browns at the stadium, the person in the next stall could have a boner or lady boner just for you (or not, because shockingly, not all gay people are into you). And that's OK, because the odds of that person creeping under the stall to take photos of your butthole are about as slim as slim gets -- same as they would be if a transgender person were in the bathroom.
Also, being transgender isn't the same as being gay. Trans only refers to someone's gender identity, not their sexual identity. This means that trans women can be attracted to men, gay, bi, or exclusively turned on by Jeff Goldblum. Same goes for trans men.
Or anyone alive for the Goldblum thing ...
The idea of people being out there who are transgender is difficult for some to deal with. It's a relatively new idea for some folks. But those people also need to appreciate an important point, and that's who gives a shit? Who gives a shit if you're not comfortable with gender identity and trans rights? If it's not about you, why does it matter to you? Why do you care where another person shits? Do you find strange comfort in thinking the person pooping next to you has genitals that closely resemble your own? Why do you care how another person lives in a way that literally has no bearing on your own life and will never have any effect on you whatsoever? To be so adamantly against allowing a trans person in the same bathroom you use when no evidence suggests anything will happen other than making you feel bad sounds awfully snowflakey.
If you still feel uncomfortable, you need to ask yourself what's more awkward -- not knowing if everyone in the bathroom has a pee-nozzle similar to yours, or forcing people to use a bathroom that doesn't match their outward gender. If it's the former, have you considered investing in a catheter?
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