Well since we don’t have any important issues to resolve like 20 trillion in national debt, crumbling infrastructure, climate change, widening income equality, growing trade deficits, ISIS, North Korea, Syria or rising tensions with Russia… lets spend money, time and resources on where we are going to allow 0.03% of the population to take a shit. This is the latest political controversy sweeping the nation regarding a North Carolina bill forcing transgender people to use the bathroom of the gender indicated on their birth certificate. If you havent followed this story, you can read a decent summary here.
At first glance, this law doesn’t sound that unreasonable (at least to someone ignorant on transgender issues such as myself), but when you look underneath the surface, this law essentially solves a problem that does not exist. While it does not solve any systemic or even minor problems in North Carolina, it does a great job marginalizing one of the more vulnerable minority groups in our country.
It is a tough issue for our society because it’s very difficult to put ourselves in the shoes of a transgender person, which in turn makes it even harder to empathize with their situation. In reality, they are people just like us. Despite consistent character attacks by the right, transgender people are not sexual predators who are changing their sex so that they can have 5 minutes in the bathroom with your daughter. I am pretty sure there are easier ways to prey on young children if you really wanted to. If you have ever seen To Catch A Predator, sexual predators tend to look more like Curt Schilling, not Ru Paul.
For arguments sake, lets assume ALL transgender people are sexual predators. Since most transgender people are attracted to their same biological sex, wouldn’t forcing transgender people to use the bathroom of the biological sex cause more transgender attacks on children, not less? Some lawmakers are also suggesting that if we don’t pass this law, anti-discrimination ordinances like the one passed in Charlotte will allow any sexual predator to access a women’s restroom. This of course has been debunked through analysis of many other cities where these ordinances already exist. As indicated by politifact.com, this is a non-existent problem.
So we’re not solving a problem and even in the hypothetical, this law is likely to cause more problems, not less… so what is it about transgender people that Republican lawmakers feel the need to expend so much political capital and risk losing billions of dollars in their state? Hmmm… maybe it is because conservatives see them as different and different is scary. A particular vein in the Republican Party has deep insecurities and fear of the abnormal. Just like the fear that all Hispanics are rapists and all Muslims are terrorists, they need to keep out all transgender people because they are all predators. Obviously none of this is true, but this is just the latest episode in the continuing saga of Republican bigotry.
Despite his streak of xenophobia, I couldn’t agree with The Donald more on this one.
(Well, until some political adviser told him that it was a bad idea)
It truly does boil down to the simple fact that transgender bathroom attacks OR predators taking advantage of non-discrimination ordinances is a non-existent problem. So why pass legislation that alienates this small group of our society that has enough problems to deal with considering almost half will try to commit suicide in their lifetime.
Listen, if there is an epidemic of transgender rapes in public bathrooms, I am happy to pass HB2. But until then, if this transgender dude wants to take a squat in the mens bathroom, who honestly gives a shit? #punintended