I've ignored the transgender bathroom legislation conversation for too long. I've seen too many Facebook posts/comics perpetuating ignorance (and encouraging violence) about the issue and I just can't stay silent any longer. I'm not proficient on transgender rights by any means, but I'll do my best with what I've researched. It's time to address this ridiculousness.
Firstly, the bills that some state legislatures are trying to pass are discriminatory and fear-mongering by nature. Remember when people were banned from bathrooms and water fountains because of their skin color? Well, this is essentially the same issue. Sex (i.e. male/female) is separate and completely different from gender (i.e. man/woman). Sex is the label assigned at birth based on your sex organs. Gender is a social construct; meaning, gender is a system of arbitrary standards society created based on genitalia. Just because someone is born with certain genitals doesn't mean that they identify with the arbitrary standards that come with them.
And the fear that transgender women are just perverted men in dresses looking for an easy way to assault women and children in bathrooms? Give me one example where that has actually happened. I understand the fear, but let's just step back and take a moment to remember: assault is a crime whether you're transgendered or not. It would take quite the criminal to go through all of the hardships- the bullying, the assault upon one's own body, lack of acceptance from family and friends, etc- to just use it as an excuse to commit a crime. So essentially, the fear that transgender women will assault women and children in the ladies restroom is exaggerated by politicians to the point of hysterics.
I'm including this article from the Huffington Post about how sexual assault survivors feel about politicians using sexual assault as an excuse to further their discrimination:
Secondly, there are more reports of transgendered people themselves being assaulted rather than the other way around. Why is that? It's precisely because of the fear-mongering politicians who spread ignorance instead of facts in order to gain favor with their ignorant constituents. When people feel that their discriminatory ideals are being validated by those in power, that discrimination continues and sometimes turns into a nasty, violent cycle. As illustrated in the graphic above, this violent cycle leads to a high rate of suicide amongst transgender youth. There is also a startling trend of bullying against transgender youth.
And if you're against trans people because of your religion? Take a good look at yourself and that religion and think, "Is it really worth believing in something that tells me to hate my fellow man?"
I'm going to include a clip from Last Week Tonight with John Oliver about transgender rights that is quite persuasive. If you're against transgender rights for some reason, please give it a watch and see what you think.