I could start this by giving some facts about trans people and the misinformation that is flying around the media-sphere fueling this whole mess, but the Restroom Wars have nothing to do with facts.
The recent battles over trans people using public restrooms and other facilities have taught us a great deal about our society and our willingness to let ignorance and fear rather than knowledge and compassion shape our beliefs and sociopolitical leanings. People are allowing these fears to obscure their sense of logic and reason. What's more, the Internet and social media have introduced massive platforms through which people can vent these fears and hatreds alongside the like-minded, and ignore or berate the people and ideas that differ from their own. This creates an information vacuum where our thoughts and beliefs are limited to the narrow stream of data we're receiving. In this regard, the Internet, the so-called Information Superhighway, is essentially keeping people dumb.
And opportunistic politicians are taking full advantage. They, in an attempt to win elections and do the bidding of their wealthy and corporate contributors, are playing on people's fears and ignorance, feeding them lies so frightening as to challenge their very sense of reality and morality, compelling them to vote based upon those ideals rather than real issues such as the economy, immigration, climate change, etc. When facts or a candidates's record won't win votes, emotions are brought in. Plenty of hot-button social issues have been recruited over the years to manipulate voters in this way.
Conservatives who think they are participating in some noble effort to protect their women and children from dangerous trans people in the bathroom are gravely mistaken. In reality, they're just helping the rich get richer by electing conservative politicians who will promote, support and enact legislation that only benefits themselves and their contributors, not their constituents. These people are not the religious freedom fighters they think they are. They're puppets.
Personally, I don't worry that much about it. Like so many such issues historically, where lies were meant to scare people into voting a certain way, this too shall pass - and I think it will do so pretty quickly. The economic, social and political backlash against recent anti-trans legislation in North Carolina and Mississippi are forcing other conservative strongholds to reconsider the possibility of such laws in their states. This is a fight that facts, compassion and reason are already winning. The Restroom Wars will be short-lived.
Since the Summer of 2015, I've been using women's restrooms exclusively and I haven't ogled, fondled, raped or otherwise harassed anyone. Not a single person. Nobody has ever questioned me or even given me a second look. I go in, find a stall, conduct my business, wash my hands, check my hair and makeup, and leave - just like any other woman in the ladies' room. To suggest that I have any malicious intent in there, for no reason other than I was born without a vagina, is ridiculous and incredibly insulting. And to criminalize such a basic human need and right based on such nonsense is absolutely deplorable.
I expected many strange, new experiences to accompany my transition from male to female, but I didn't expect people to become fixated on my genitals and whether or not I should be peeing in the ladies' room. (FYI, I'll squat behind a bush, in the parking lot or wherever before I'll even consider going into a men's room.)
Being Trans is a Trip!
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