Awooga! Awooga! My fellow Americans, this is not a drill!
Transgender people occasionally need to relieve themselves and they occasionally need to do it in public restrooms!
Actually, no. Not at all. But by the way politicians, religious righters, and regular ol' citizens are reacting, you'd think that they are storming Target restrooms en masse and maniacally laughing while they piss and shit radioactive nuclear waste or killer bees or "Fuller House" episodes.
Sadly, many people's fear about what might truly happen if trans people get to use public restrooms is -- if you can even believe it -- even more ludicrous. They're worried that a trans person might molest, rape, kidnap, murder or choose-your-own-violent-action-verb any innocent, helpless woman or child in the vicinity. Even more ridiculous, they're worried that an attacker might transition just so that they can more easily gain access to the restroom that's used by the victims they find most enticing.
Of course sane, rational, decent human beings know none of this is true. Not only has there never been a reported case of a transgender person attacking anyone in a restroom, the very idea that someone would go through all of the emotionally and often physically exhausting steps to identify as transgender just so they could gain access to a restroom to carry out their nefarious plans is just plain bonkers.
Trans people and their allies have spent countless hours thoroughly outlining why these fears are unfounded but there's one simple response to all of this madness that I haven't heard anyone publicly articulating:
Aside from the fact that being trans has nothing to do with being a predator, we don't need laws outlawing trans people from using public restrooms to protect us from molestation, rape, kidnapping, murder and chose-your-own-violent-action-nouns because -- are you ready for this? -- all of those things are already illegal!
That's right! Believe it or not, over the last two hundred and forty years, lawmakers have taken it upon themselves to write and pass laws that outlaw all of the things that so many claim they are worried trans people will do if they manage to make it into the restroom that doesn't correspond with the gender they were assigned at birth. And these laws apply to all of us -- trans or not -- and they apply no matter where we are -- public restroom or private bathroom. It's not as if there's some magical rule that states "Trans people are not allowed to attack other people unless they manage to make it into a public restroom. In that case, all laws and bets are off and trans people can do whatever they want, so we'd better keep them out or else :: boogeyman emoji ::"
If someone is a rapist or a kidnapper or identifies as any other illegal or immoral character, they aren't waiting at home twiddling their thumbs hoping that a law will be passed so they can finally get into a restroom and do their evil bidding. And the argument that someone who isn't trans might don clothing of another gender, claim that they're trans and then gain access to the restroom of their choice in order to indulge in any of these illegal activities is just as insane. That's not how it works. That's not how any of this works.
Finally, while we're at it, let's note that it's not non-trans people who are being harassed in restrooms, it's -- you guessed it! -- trans people or anyone who doesn't fit into society's understanding of what a man or a woman is. Based on a poll of 93 trans people conducted in 2008 and 2009, 70 percent "reported experiencing being denied access to restrooms, being harassed while using restrooms and even experiencing some forms of physical assault."
So if you're one of the people who is calling for laws to prohibit trans people from gaining access to the public restroom that corresponds with their gender identity in order to stop the (totally non-existent) raping and murdering and pillaging that you deludedly think is or will take place, take a breath and relax. You're already protected. Now how about we take all of that time and energy and money and figure out how to protect trans people, yeah?