Restrooms: a road to acceptance
Gender: a hotbed topic that seems to constantly appear in the media especially in America. Many accept the gender that they were born as and live through that identity. On the other hand, there are folks born as a certain sex, but identify as the opposite, or transgender. And in America, this idea has been accepted, for the most part. There are still groups of people who cannot and refuse to accept transgender due to perhaps religious reasons or generally narrow-minded and ignorant bigotry.
So, where do these “bathroom bills” stem from? The premise behind the bill is that whichever gender you were born as physically, you will use that restroom. For instance, if you were born male but identify as female, you will be expected to use the male bathrooms. Primarily, it seems the introduction of these bills is out of fear of sexual predators or bathroom predators. Certain politicians and senate member’s beliefs appear to stem from this mindset and scenario.
Hypothetically, say someone would want to enter a women’s room, but were born a man. They fear that said person could be sexually assaulting the person by pretending to be transgender in order to gain access to the bathroom. This is the scenario that plays in many a politician’s and citizen’s minds. But does this scenario actually happen? Sexual assault is a very real and serious matter. But, the instances of people claiming to be transgender only to take advantage are virtually slim to non-existent. While sexual assault exists and is undeniable, pointing a finger at transgender people is aggressive and unnecessary.
These bills were tried in a handful of states but universally vetoed. In the minute number, the bill was shot down by most states, except for North Carolina. The bathroom bill became part of the already existing Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act that becomes applicable to school children in North Carolina.
I ask this question: would creating one bathroom be the ideal solution to this issue? Or is our current situation with two separate bathrooms ideal? I cannot come to one definitive answer or conclusion. I personally think that what we have is fine. Hear me out on this. While discrimination still exists towards the LGBTQ+ community, I feel like if you create one bathroom for both genders or create transgender bathrooms, there could be some issues. This could result in further discrimination towards the transgender community by excluding certain folk from using something as necessary as a bathroom. If a specific transgender bathroom is created, it will create further stigma towards the transgender community. If you believe yourself to be a man or woman but born as the opposite gender, that is fine with me.
All things considered, I feel like the best solution is this: accept a person for who they are. It does not matter whether or not someone is born one gender but identifies with the other. The world will not end because of it. We will still be here. This might not be an easy stance to grasp for some, but it is where I stand currently. Transgender people are just like everyone else. People should stop being ignorant about the matter and look beyond certain institutions and treat people as people.