Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Transgender Bathrooms: Part 2

So apparently there's all this uproar about the possibility that a guy might be allowed to use a women's bathroom.  On the one side there are what I like to call the fearful righteous, and on the other side are the loving illogical.  Once again I find myself smack dab in the middle.  Having seen the plethora of arguments from both sides of the issue plastered unnecessarily all over my social media page, I've finally decided to weigh in on the issue, and all I have to say is,  "What is the big deal?!?!"

For those on the fearful Christian side, who know me as your sister in Christ, this might shock you. It might cause you to doubt my spirituality.  It might cause you to question our relationship built on mutual belief in the same Bible and the same God.  I assure you my fruit has never spoken louder, nor has my friendship wavered.  I've read the same book and I understand your points perfectly.  I just choose to disagree with your response to the current cultural pendulum swing.

For those on the lovingly illogical side, who know me as a free thinker and a loving human being, you might be upset. Because you know I love people no matter what their religion, sexual orientation, or way of life, you might wonder why I'm not more offended by the law in North Carolina, or more actively arguing for love and acceptance.

Take a step back with me and let's look at this situation objectively.

To the fearful religious:  Why are you so afraid?  Does the God of the universe not care about your child?  If you truly believe that God is powerful, you will not worry about your child.  In light of history, this is really not that difficult a situation.  Imagine the fear Jewish parents in Poland dealt with as Hitler assumed control of their country.  Now that's a tricky situation, and yet God used over 500,000 Poles to help smuggle Jews out of the country.

You may argue that we still have the responsibility to try to protect our children as much as possible.  To that I say, are you teaching your children how to defend themselves?  Are they taking martial arts? Basic self defense classes? Carrying pepper spray and aware of how to actually use it?  If you truly think their greatest threat is a man pretending to be transgender raping them in a bathroom, then you better be giving them the tools to defend themselves against attack.  Consider this, what if they are just as likely to be raped by an insane lesbian?

To be clear, I'm not advocating stupidity.  I typically don't allow my 7 year old to use a public toilet by herself.  I prefer even my 13 year old to be accompanied by someone trustworthy when using a public restroom, but sometimes that's just not feasible. My girls also take martial arts and have been taught how to handle dangerous situations. Even so, I must trust that beyond my reasonable control, God can take care of them.  I'm really not worried about my girls.

Perhaps you argue that it's the Christian's duty to make sure that laws are put in place to keep the LGBT community in check.  I would argue that the best way to deal with the LGBT community is to be the light of love in their community.  Perhaps instead of wearing a WWJD lanyard to your next political rally you should read the book "In His Steps" and actively try to change the world by actually acting like Christ, not the pharisees who crucified him. To be honest, most of the laws like the one in North Carolina are the result of hateful bigotry, not true Christianity.

To the lovingly illogical: Have you really thought about this issue, or have you just been emotionally reactive to all the hype?  The only real issue here is if transgender children should be allowed to use the bathroom of their choice in schools.  That's the only area of society where any real enforcement is an issue.  Allow me to illustrate:

Last month I was happy to work at the Florida Renaissance Festival.  I finished a particularly hot tiring day and went to Taco Bell with some of my renny friends.  When I got there the place was almost empty.  I just wanted to change out of my costume and into my street clothes, but there were only single use bathrooms.  I knew my friend wanted to change as well, so I asked one of the employees if they minded if I used the men's room while my friend used the women's room.  She smiled and said that would be fine.

When I was a teenager my youth pastor's wife took a bunch of us girls to Panama City Beach.  It was took several hours to get there, and during that time we had to make several potty breaks.  I remember several times the large group of girls took over both the men's and women's bathrooms to make our stops go faster.  No one batted an eye.

I realize both of these stories center on girls using a boys bathroom, but honestly it goes both ways.  the only reason men don't typically use a women's restroom is because there aren't any urinals.  Well, that, and fear of other men questioning their masculinity.

If this is truly an important issue, the free market should correct itself quickly.  I foresee a future where most public bathrooms will be single rooms with locking doors available for male or female use at any time, with the security of not being intruded on.  Transgenders aside, I would love to see this improvement in our society.

Perhaps you argue that it's not fair that these folks are being segregated by narrow minded bigots.  Newsflash, life isn't fair, and there will ALWAYS be prejudice, segregation, and bigotry.  Making a law isn't going to stop people from abusing their fellow humans.  Even the law in North Carolina was an exercise in futility.  The only thing it does is make it a little easier for folks to justify their hatred.  What business owner is honestly going to ask people for their birth certificates?  Are they actually going to post police officers at every restroom door and ask to see every single ID before letting anyone in?  Besides, anyone who has finished transition is going to fly under the radar anyway.

The best course of action is to just let this be for now, and the angst will die off quickly.  Then we can get back to our normal lives where lesbians who looks like men can use whatever toilet they want in peace, and transgender women can walk into the bathroom unnoticed like they've always been able to do (whether or not they've realized they can).

Now schools, that's different.  I've already stated my opinion about the negative consequences of exposure to abuse via locker rooms, here.  Quite honestly the entire education system needs to be overhauled, but no one is willing to do it. Instead each year parents get angry and try to change the things they didn't like when they were there, and they keep tacking on things and taking away other things and you end up with a vomitous mass of indecision propping up a failing model.

The real problem then, isn't "should transgenders be allowed to use the bathroom of their choice," but "how can we fix the education system so children are protected not only from their peers, but from parents who aren't protecting them and adults who aren't paid enough to really care for them.

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