Transphobia of Wilkes

20 Mar

A year ago the Wilkes County Commissioners passed a resolution opposing the Charlotte ordinance that gave protections to transgender citizens and the Obama administration’s work to support these Americans. The resolution was pointless, and should be filed under “Look Busy.” It defies logic and common sense and continues an arch-conservative tradition of scaring voters and fearmongering against a vulnerable class of Americans.

Transgendered people feel like their body (sex) doesn’t match their self-identified gender. Because they make up a small portion of our society, the odds you’ve shared a bathroom with them are pretty remote—but the odds of them having to use a public bathroom are 100%. Those are pretty good odds to remind everyone we’re a country of majority rule and minority rights. We should not make other people feel guilty simply for being different than those in the majority. They already know what it’s like to be different.

People who are transgender do not make the decision quickly or flippantly. They self-identify as the gender and sex opposite the one assigned at birth. They have determined over years of frustration, pain, and dysphoria that their body does not match the gender they see themselves. They make a transition, hormonally and/or cosmetically, after talking to their family, faith leaders, friends, therapists, and other medical professionals. The transition takes years and has to have specific portions approved by medical professionals for insurers to pay. It’s a regular, defined process and procedure acknowledged by healthcare agencies and professionals worldwide.

These people can be in many stages of their transition, and those who have completed it can pass as their intended gender without suspicion. And do you know what they’re doing in the bathroom? Using the bathroom. I’m sure some may be hiding from their in-laws or managing a panic attack, but mostly using the plumbing as intended. It’s really none of my business. It’s none of your business.

The resolution the Wilkes County Commissioners passed was not in the spirit of America, freedom or liberty. The resolution does nothing to help marginalized groups, although it mentions protecting women and young girls. The ordinance does a great deal of work to point out that kind of predation and falls short of striking any balance that young boys can be victims, also. Supposedly, the same people who the commissioners are afraid of preying on females have been in the bathroom all this time with our boys.

We already have laws against indecent exposure and peeping in North Carolina. The notion people of opposite sexes should not and cannot enter a specifically assigned bathroom fall apart once you dose the argument with pragmatism: Parents (especially mothers) often have to take their children of the opposite sex into bathrooms. Who would get arrested in this situation? The minor or the parent? Also, cleaning staff in a lot of offices are typically female. Who’s going to clean the men’s bathroom? Should we have a resolution that men must be hired to fulfill this role? Of course not.

This resolution is a malignancy on our society and culture. Transgender people deserve protections against bias. Elected officials should not manufacture unnecessary law casting them as pariahs when they’re not. They’re people, and this resolution should be rescinded.

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