What is it about the trans community that scares elected officials so much that they have to make laws against us?
A bill introduced by Arizona state Sen. John Kavanagh, if passed, would have serious consequences for transgender people and their families. Arizona Senate Bill 1045, dubbed “no loo for you” by local residents, would permit business owners to restrict access to gender-specific facilities based on a person’s gender identity or gender expression.
(Just how do they propose to enforce this silly law?)
Does that sound eerily similar to the (un)equal rights ordinance passed by the Plano City Council last December? Well, it is.
On Feb. 9, the Arkansas Senate passed legislation that would stop cities and towns from enacting local ordinances that would protect LGBT communities from discrimination. Senate Bill 202 prevents good faith efforts by local cities seeking to protect some of the most vulnerable members of their communities. (Similar bills have been filed in other states, including Texas.)
Meanwhile, an effort is afoot to cement Kentucky’s place as a backwards and bigoted hillbilly heaven: state Sen. C.B. Embry Jr. introduced the “Kentucky
Student Privacy Act,” which would allow students to sue the school for $2,500 if they encounter a person of the opposite biological sex in a bathroom or locker room, and if staff have allowed for it to happen or failed to prohibit it.
According to Senate Bill 76, “Biological sex means the physical condition of being male or female, which is determined by a person’s chromosomes, and is identified at birth by a person’s anatomy.” (Yeah? Who checks?)
What these legislators are saying is that they want to use the same restroom as transgender women.
What on earth for? Do they want to peek at us? Molest us? What possible fascination could they possibly have with us? Can’t they just let us use the ladies room as we have been doing for years without incident?
I think being forced to pee next to fear-mongering bigots is offensive and dangerous. They are clearly irrational and not of sound mind.
Governments throughout history have justified violence against minorities by demonizing them. Making them the enemy. Ginning up fear among the masses in order to justify violence and oppression. That’s what’s happening now.
Maybe I can settle down some of the panic and put some fears to rest. As a trans woman, I’ve been using ladies rooms all over the country for the last few years and never once have I felt the need to attack someone in the restroom. Matter of fact, I’ve never had a hint of a problem. I go in; I close the stall door, I pee (or
No. 2), I clean up, and I go wash up, maybe run a brush through my hair or fix my make-up and I leave.
Not much drama there. I can’t imagine what these legislators think is going on there.
While it’s easy to find stories spreading fear about transpeople, it’s near impossible to find one about us misbehaving in the bathroom. It just doesn’t happen. If anyone is in danger in a restroom, it is us!
Let me explain:
Most trans men I know are smaller of frame than most cisgender men. Yet due to testosterone, they do a really good job of passing as the guys that they are.
Forcing them to use the ladies room is ridiculous. It would likely cause fear and confusion there.
Same with forcing trans women to use the men’s room; it’s a recipe for disaster. It is a very real physical danger for many in our community.
Lastly, none of this is even necessary. These bigots are attempting to solve a problem that just doesn’t exist.
Try and find examples of women being attacked in a women’s room by trans women. Good luck with that. It just doesn’t happen.
The Los Angeles Unified School District — the second-largest school district in terms of number of students in the country — has had a policy in place for many years permitting students to use the restroom that matches their gender identity, and they report no problems arising from this. There may be other problems in Los Angeles, but this isn’t one of them.
Let’s face it, the battle for marriage equality is essentially over. (My guess is that the court will vote 7-2 in favor with Scalia and Thomas dissenting.) And that leaves the fright wing in need of an enemy. The trans community is an easy target.
As the little “t” at the end of “LGBt” we are routinely abandoned by the LGB when expedient. We need look no further than the sell-out by Equality Texas and GALA over the LGB-friendly but trans-exclusionary ordinance in Plano.
More and more, we are on our own.
I don’t know what it is about the trans community that is so scary. But evidently, we are able to frighten some of the most powerful elected officials into enacting laws that keep us from peeing.
We seem to be alone in this fight. Let’s not allow them to keep us from giving a shit.
Leslie McMurray, a transgender woman, is a former radio DJ who lives and works in Dallas. Read more of her blogs at lesliemichelle44.wordpress.com.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition February 20, 2015.