I Don't Exist to Make You Comfortable

Republicans like Pat McCrory keep uttering the words "expectation of privacy," as code words to support their bills designed to marginalize transgender people. When Ted Cruz recently expressed the opinion that transgender people should only use bathrooms inside their own homes, he was finally being honest about something. He was also finally decoding what McCrory's words mean.

Transgender people disgust conservatives. They find our existence repulsive, and are actively trying to legislate us out of public life or to intimidate us back into the closet with threats of violence. Ted Cruz was just more honest about his views than most, as he sneers and mocks a segment of the population already imploding one by one under the assault.

I am not here to make you comfortable. That is not my purpose in life, nor is it anyone else's who is somehow different from you. I will not disappear in order for you feel safely insulated from a world you refuse to tolerate, much less accept.

You've done the same to lesbians and gays for decades; demanding that they hide pictures and any acknowledgement of their loved ones and families from public view so you can safely pretend they don't exist. Or at least not exist anywhere near you.

Because the idea of gay people disgusted you too.

Now, you have found a new set of "those people" you don't want to share space with. America has a long and inglorious past with not wanting to share public space with "those people." Each time, it was the same people leading the charge to make sure "those people" didn't start getting the idea that they were anything but second class citizens.

Who "those people," are has changed over time, or at least your ability to publicly hate whoever "those people," might be at the moment. You never seem to manage to keep "those people" down forever, so you move from weaker group to weaker group as your prey escapes you every time.

If you expect us to meekly accept legally becoming a caste of untouchables, you're wrong. Just like every other group of "those people" rose up and refused to be treated as too loathsome to share space with due to your prejudice. Your confusion, anxiety, and religious beliefs do not give you a moral right to discriminate.

Those are your problems. You don't get to make them mine.

I use bathrooms for the same reason everyone else does. I use them in exactly the same way everyone else does; inside a little metal box so no one sees anything. Yet somehow, someone else's obsession over the history of my genitalia, and what goes on when I am locked inside this little metal privacy box, is my fault and not the person doing the obsessing.

I will not disappear for your convenience and comfort. I will not stop speaking and writing because you don't like what I have to say. Nor will threats of death and violence silence the rest of us. Every one of us who is willing to speak out and be visible encourages more to come out. There is strength in numbers, and in solidarity.

While people with a religiously-based pathological hatred of transgender people resort to bullying, lies, intimidation, harassment, and threats of extreme violence to make their point, it isn't the one they think they are making. They are simply confirming to the rest of America what we knew all along. This country has seen this before, and bigots willing to die on a hill keep finding new ones.

It was never about safety. It was never about privacy. It was always about hatred and disgust where transgender people were concerned, and a desire to drive them from public life. In time, people's reactions to your hyperbole, vitriol, and transphobia will make you more uncomfortable than the idea that a transgender person might somewhere be using a bathroom.