In the wake of an emboldened sense of righteous antagonism to transgender existence, we’re in dire need of allies. The support of our cisgender counterparts is essential to bolstering our voice. Any collaboration between members of a diverse societal sampling will only benefit the fight for equality.
Our most ardent detractors are the pious zealots wielding sanctified scripture to reinforce ingrained biases that justify discriminatory—often violent—actions against the trans-community. The presumptuous assumption that their particular deity or holy book requires blind adherence to their exclusive role as arbiter of sound moral guidance, ignores the secular framework of the United States Constitution. Theirs is a failure to comprehend that freedom of religion is not freedom to discriminate.
The support of transgender identities may not be obligatory at the personal level; when given, however, it must be undivided. Indulgently accepting someone’s individual expression of their gender, while actively backing subversive political actions and propaganda which adversely affects the lives of transgender people is dishonest, deplorable, and dangerous.
If you espouse trans ideology, offer your acceptance, and acknowledge my womanhood; yet, still vote “Yes” on a bill which forces me into male-only spaces. Or face criminal prosecution as a sex offender for using the women’s restroom, is hypocritical and nullifies whatever positive relation we may have had. It’s a paradox; you don’t get to be my cheerleader and finance the opposing team.
When proselytization meets indifference to its message, it evolves. Whereas the theologically minded attempt to illustrate the abominable nature of transgender identities through selective readings of sacred texts as hard evidence; the alternative method is to play on instinct, inciting fear by creating a hypothetical nightmare scenario. Simultaneously, as the spotlight deceptively highlights a new villain, the architects of this slippery-slope dilemma feign a newfound tolerance of trans people—an obvious misdirection to disguise hateful intent.
The argument that trans-inclusive policies open the door for wicked men to pretend or claim to be transgender, all to gain uninhibited access to female-only spaces, is a red herring. Yes—women and children are assaulted in these private areas; however, these abhorrent crimes take place with alarming frequency, regardless of the laws in place to deter predators.
In an area like California or Washington D.C., where trans-inclusive policies have been standard practice for nearly a decade or more, instances of men abusing existing transgender laws to gain access to women and children, have been almost unheard of or non-existent. (as is the case in Washington D.C.) Similar reports have come from the nearly 20 states which allow transgender people restroom access corresponding with their gender identity.
Restricting access to bathrooms and locker rooms for transgender people affects only one group—transgender people. (I include ENBY’s under the trans umbrella) It stigmatizes and endangers trans-identified individuals by placing them into situations where they are singled out for harassment and violence. It lends credibility to the heinous notion that trans people themselves are a danger to others; that they’re an affront to the natural order—that it’s okay to treat them as things. It becomes easier, more palatable, to erode away the validity of their humanity.
Lurking under the surface of these trans-exclusionary policies is a fear or distrust of the unknown. Most people have never knowingly met a transgender person. It’s something that happens elsewhere; not here, not to them. Because they are born into privilege, a congruent mind-body connection, the idea of it being any other way seems ludicrous, wrong. These policies are an attempt to eradicate something they see as unnatural, repulsive, a plague threatening to uproot their binary view of the world.
As human beings, the ways in which we manage to rationalize such detestable behavior, are used to make us feel better about the role we’ve played in dehumanizing another group. We become convinced of our reasoning as pure, logical, or coming from a higher power. It weakens or dissolves the lingering sense responsibility we have for the suffering of others caused by our action or inaction—it is an act of cowardice, devoid of any redeemable or admirable quality.
The discriminative rhetoric levied against the transgender community, whether manifested as hate speech and picket signs, or all gussied up as a noble cause to protect women and children—the result is the same. A child learns that they are unwanted, ugly, and broken. If we are going to say that we just want to protect the children, why then are the trans children not worth protecting? Why must we destroy their confidence, and in many cases, their will to live?
Again and again, our right to live peacefully has been disrupted. These so-called “Bathroom Bills” are nothing more than hate, masquerading as common sense. They are superfluous solutions for problems that do not exist. And they demonstrate to the rest of civilized society, how far gone our culture is.
At less than one percent of the entire human population, the rights of transgender people may not seem that important or urgent.
But right now, this very moment, a young transgender child is watching you all. They’re looking to see if the world is ready for them. Willing to embrace a beautiful being, who just so happens to have been brought into the world knowing that life is not black and white. But, that our entire universe is painted in colors that many cannot perceive. That child is counting on us all, to show that it is safe for them in our society; to let them know that they are accepted, no matter how they see themselves or feel.
They’re out there, right now, looking at us—to love them.