I don’t normally deal with political issues on this blog. But really this isn’t a political issue and it never should have been. It’s an issue of compassion, human decency and equality. Period.
I’ve been pretty much buried in grieving Prince for the last few days so I don’t know how unisex bathrooms got to be a hot button issue all of a sudden, but all I can say is: get over it.
First of all, do I really need to point out the total wrong-headedness of equating transgender folks and gays with pedophiles? Because I sure as hell hope I don’t have to. I hope that we’ve come far enough that we’re able to realize the distinction between homosexuality, pedophilia and being transgender. Look here – when someone is a heterosexual, they aren’t attracted to every single individual of the opposite sex on the planet. That’s not how it works. Homosexual people are not attracted to every single individual of their sex, either. So get over yourself. All heterosexuals are not pedophiles, so why the hell would anyone equate homosexuality or being transgender with being a pedophile?
Let me tell you something. someone very near and dear to me is transgender and I love him like a brother. I know the struggles he’s gone through in his life. I know his heartaches and I know his suffering and I was blessed to be around to see the absolutely amazing transformation he underwent when he was finally able to start living his life as a man. HE IS A MAN. Period. I’ve known him since birth and he has always been a man. So yeah, this is a sensitive issue for me because I can’t stand to see him living in more torment and fear because of people with narrow minds.
And stop bringing up the sexual assault angle. Just stop it. If someone is bent on sexually assaulting someone in a bathroom, a swinging door and a sign with a stick person in a skirt isn’t going to stop them. And your children are safe, trust me. Stranger danger is a tired old myth. Child abductions by strangers or slight acquaintances make up one one-hundredth of one percent of all missing children. And up to 90% of sexually abused children are abused not by strangers, but by family members and other people they know. Your children are more in danger of meeting a sexual predator online or in their own home than they are in a public bathroom.
And once transgender people get into the bathroom that they actually belong in, what are they going to see? Well, if they’re identifying as a male and have a penis, then they’ll use a urinal just like every other guy. If they identify as a man and don’t have a penis, they’ll use a stall. Problem solved. If they identify as a woman and do or don’t have a penis it won’t make a damn bit of difference because there are no urinals in women’s restrooms. Seriously – when was the last time you saw anyone’s genitals in a restroom except your own? Everything private you need to do is done behind a stall door or else you’re doing it wrong.
Be honest – it’s uncomfortable. It’s new and it’s weird and it’s not the way things have been done before. I get it. Change is uncomfortable. Every time I get a new cell phone it takes me six months to figure out how to use the damn thing. But it’s not okay to discriminate against a group of people because you think something is icky. Look at the way things are headed and realize that change is inevitable. Gay people are going to keep being gay and they’re going to keep falling in love and getting married. That’s a fact of life. And transgender people have been using the bathrooms all along – you just didn’t know it because nobody was making a big issue out of it and making you feel all scared about it. So instead of digging in your heels and resisting equality, why not examine exactly what your real fears are about and think about whether they’re rooted in reality or if they’re just knee-jerk reactions because “the way things have always been done” is changing? I can assure you – they just want to pee just like you do!
I know this might piss off some of my readers, and if it does, well…I’m not going to say I’m sorry because I’m not. This is something I’m passionate about and I’m going to fight it until the day I die because it’s what’s right. But before you disregard what I’m saying, I want you to read these statistics:
- Transgender people are four times more likely than the general population to be living in extreme poverty (making less than $10,000 a year). Many are forced into the sex trade just to be able to survive.
- Almost 80% of transgender people reported having experienced harassment in school as children.
- 72% of anti-LGBT murders were committed against transgender women.
- Transgender people are 7 times more likely to experience violence at the hands of law enforcement than non-transgender people.
- 90% of transgender people report having experienced discrimination or harassment on the job.
- Nearly 20% of transgender people report having been homeless at some point in their lives.
- 41% of transgender people have attempted suicide at least once. The rate among the general population is under 5%.
Not all transgender people are as lucky as Caitlyn Jenner. Most live in constant anxiety, terrified they’re going to be “found out” and someone’s going to react violently. And they’ve struggled harder than just about any other group of people just to be accepted and treated equally with other human beings. So let’s stop making issues where there are none, okay? And here’s something I really hope catches on:
I hope that this catches on. If you’re in Ohio and you want to use the bathroom you belong in, ladies – I’ll go with you. You’re safe, love.
Much love. – Mama Bear