The trans bathroom thing is at the foreground now. I don’t follow the news or political stuff very frequently, I rely on my wife to let me know what’s going on in the world. But this is one that is going to be a losing battle for conservatives, just like gay marriage. And it should be a losing battle.
But, I don’t want to write about this debate in the political forum or my current puzzlement over how trans people wound up in the LGBT letter soup to start with, since it’s not the same thing as the others.
What I want to write about is the conservative Christian (specifically the Evangelical) voice that comes up on blogs or social media. Both my wife and I come from places that have strong streams of fundamentalism running through the social circles, so I get to see a lot of this sort of stuff.
Despite my confusion over the inclusion of trans folks under the LGBT flag, I’ll draw a recent comparison: fundamentalist Christians used some Bible verses that are definitely in that book to shore up their argument that gay people shouldn’t have rights. I disagreed with them and so did a lot of Christians and fortunately most of America. They’re closer than ever to living the freedom and enjoying the liberties that Americans should. On the fight against trans people in bathrooms, they don’t have this flimsy shield to hide behind. There isn’t a passage in the Scripture that addresses people who have chromosomal issues. As of such, I get to watch them do a dance comprised of carefully worded concerns about “safety” in bathrooms.
I think I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again:
If you are old enough to know better, it doesn’t matter your gender or sexual orientation, if you’re harassing people in a public bathroom— you are a criminal.
The fundamentalist Christians that are anti gender neutral bathrooms or allowing people to use the bathroom of their choice are coming from a place of xenophobia, and nothing more.
Before you think that I’m just coming straight down on some people for being narrow minded or something to that effect, let me slow you down. If you’re unfamiliar with trans issues, trans issues are weird. And I’m not putting myself in the “familiar with” category here. Not by a long shot. I feel I’m more ignorant of the whole thing than wise to it.
I have a former co-worker who has eschewed the gendered pronouns and has expressed suffering during the time period of figuring things out. And it’s weird for me. And that’s my problem. In the past couple years, I’ve spent time in the company of people who visually do not make binary gender sense in my head. And it’s weird. And that’s my problem.
This is America, life the life you want that doesn’t infringe on the freedom of others.
There is no sin in having some mixed up sex chromosomes, so Christians should stop harassing people who are already playing life on hard mode in our culture.
What isn’t my problem is fundamentalist Christians who think that transgendered people are sexual deviants who are drumming up some sort of fantastic excuse to play dress up and rape children in public restrooms. That’s our culture’s problem which we should take straight to the doors of the people who behave as if this is true.
For those of you who don’t have vocal fundamentalist Christians in your family, neighborhood, social groups, or social networks, there seems to be a belief that transgendered people have chosen the battleground of public restrooms to sexually harass others, and transgendered people are mentally or emotionally ill at best and sexual predators at worst. And furthermore, the belief seems to be that transgendered people are claiming rights to go into bathrooms to behave this way.
This. Is. Not. Happening.
The defense that having gender neutral bathrooms is somehow protecting women and children from transgendered people is a lie based on nothing.
The second argument is that this is some sort of slippery slope. Gender neutral bathrooms? What’s next? Gender neutral bathrooms in the locker room in high schools?
And to that, I say, yes. That is where it should be going. Perfect gender equality where no one is harassing anyone else. I don’t think that sort of thing is going to be happening this decade, and, frankly, not in my life, but that’s what I want.
Years back, I remember watching Starship Troopers, the so-so film adaption of Robert Heinlein’s much better book of the same name. I remember very clearly the first time that I saw the film and saw the scene late in the movie where there is co-ed showers. (kids get your parent’s permission before watching) and was amazed that in the film there are men and women naked and nobody was even mentioning that they were naked with people of the other gender and nothing sexual was happening at all. That’s a curse of the American culture where nudity equates sexuality.
If there is a second root, besides xenophobia, for this whole thing, it’s that. If genitals are exposed to the open air somewhere near someone else, sex is somehow involved.
To wrap things up, cut the bullshit, people.
Let every American live the way they see fit.
Let every Christian express the love that they signed up to express.
And let people pee in whichever bathroom they want in peace.