No (Bath)Room for Debate

KATIE PICKRELL

Recently, Mississippi (the state with the highest rate of unemployment that was rated 2015’s worst state to live in) and North Carolina enacted legislation that would ban individuals from using public restrooms that don’t “correspond to their biological sex” according to CNN. The laws would also ban local legislatures from passing any anti-discriminatory LGBT legislation.

North Carolina’s governor, Pat McCrory, denies that the state’s bill is a result of discrimination or hatefulness.

“We have not taken away any rights that have currently existed in any city in North Carolina,” McCrory said.

This claim, however, is false as North Carolina is now the only state to have restricted bathroom access to the gender stated on an individual’s birth certificate.

McCrory and other conservative supporters of the legislation (such as former presidential candidate Ted Cruz) claim that the bill is put in place for the protection of children.

This claim makes it sound as if conservatives have only good motives in discriminating against someone based upon their gender.

In actuality, it just doesn’t make any sense.

Transgender individuals, especially children, face higher rates of sexual abuse when opposed to cis-gendered people.

To force a 12-year-old transgender girl to use the men’s restroom isn’t only messed up, it’s potentially dangerous.

The odds of this, though higher than for that of cis-gendered kids, are still minimal.

The chances that someone is going to go into a bathroom (in public and in broad daylight) and commit a sexual offense are slim to none. Besides that, most sexual offenders know their victims, making it easier for them to commit their crimes.

Transgender children aside, to insinuate that a transgender adult would immediately be a sexual harasser based solely upon their gender identity is downright stupid and, obviously, hateful.

There’s only one thing that can cause sexual offense: a sexual offender. Not gender identity, not sexuality and not what bathroom conservative politicians force people who they see as different to use.

On that note, it does makes sense to have a man use a man’s bathroom and a woman to use a woman’s bathroom. But there seems a fundamental misunderstanding of what being transgender means.

As an avid supporter of Mississippi’s new initiative, Representative Philip Gunn claimed the legislation as a “protection” of three “sincerely held religious beliefs”: Marriage is between a man and a woman, sexual relations should only occur within a heterosexual marriage and biological sex cannot be changed.

The bigotry of all three “religious beliefs” aside, Gunn seems to be confused regarding what exactly biological sex is and how it operates.

It is totally and completely possible for a person who was born as a man to actually become a woman. As hard of a thought as it may be to comprehend for those who’re completely fearful of anything different, that is a fact.

With that in mind, the bill is actually scientifically inaccurate as it entirely mislabels what gender is.

To set the record straight: A transgender man (who identifies as a man) is a man. A transgender woman (who identifies as a woman) is a woman. The biological sex of any individual can be different than the gender printed on their birth certificate and there are existing procedures to change an individual’s gender.

The only reason to pass a law disregarding transgender people’s right to identify with a certain sex is because of hatefulness.

Why else would a conservative lawmaker think it’s necessary to tell anyone what bathroom they can and can’t use?

They get their panties in a wad when the government tries to come in to pass legislation to benefit society, but they’re alright with putting legislation right across one of the most private actions of society.

The law can’t even be enacted properly as there’s no way to identify every individual who walks in and out of a public restroom. It was written and passed for one reason and one reason only: Conservative lawmakers want to make it clear that there is still a lack of acceptance for anything that doesn’t fall in line with their “Christian values.”

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