I’m 18 years old. I’ve just finished my first year of college (like 6 hours ago) and my brain feels like it is packed FULL of so much valuable knowledge. The classes I have take have stretched the way I think and view the world way beyond what I ever thought possible. I am truly grateful for this experience and the chance to continue learning.
Now, with that being said, I am also painfully aware that there are still so many things I do not know or understand…and probably never will. For example: I don’t understand political science (this may be due to my lack of interest, but even after an information packed semester I’m still clueless); I also don’t know how time manages to pass so fast and how so many amazing memories can fit into such a short span; I don’t know how many hairs are on my head despite really wanting to because I’m sure it’s a lot; I don’t understand how Beth Marie’s – the most amazing ice cream shop around – manages to make their entire store smell like pure bliss (I have a hunch that another name for “bliss” is just sugar but one can never be sure!!!); I don’t know which way I’m going to vote in this upcoming election because let’s be honest…the options suck; and finally…I don’t understand the ever-present hate that seems to surround us.
I know this last one is very broad but I have a very specific direction I’m going with it. That direction, this time around, is regarding transgender bathrooms. There is evident and extreme controversy surrounding this issue. I have read articles regarding both sides of the argument and I can honestly understand and relate to each side; they both bring up good points and some arguments hit very close to home. However, I am approaching this with a viewpoint based on how I see public facilities and establishments.
When Angel asked me to write this blog I was a little nervous to view an opinion on such a touchy topic, but in the end I realized that in life you will voice opinions that won’t always align with others. Views differ from person to person and while that can obviously cause strife, it can also be an opportunity for understanding and a chance to see a side not previously entertained by our busy little brains. So, to get to the point, this is my view on transgender/gender neutral bathrooms…
Those little placards you see on the outside of bathrooms at Target, Walmart, Kroger, the mall, a local coffee shop, etc. that say ‘Male’ and ‘Female’ are a courtesy, not a binding contract. Public restrooms are public places. As a child I remember that if a single occupancy ‘Male’ restroom was being used but the ‘Female’ one wasn’t, my dad had no problem using the ‘Female’ one. I remember my brothers (when they were much, much younger) using ‘Female’ restrooms all the time when they had to use the bathroom while shopping with my mom. These are normal things. They are not out of the norm.
Why is it such a big deal for a transgender person to use the stall next to us? It’s a bathroom! Do your business and go. Odds are in favor that you and I have used a bathroom next to a transgender person and not even known it and we were unaffected. Because it’s something that doesn’t affect us. A bathroom is a toilet and a sink…not a site for social interaction.
If having a transgender/gender neutral bathroom is so devastatingly bad…why can’t we have both? We’ve got ‘Male’ and ‘Female’ bathrooms. We’ve got ‘Family’ bathrooms. Why can’t we have options if reaching an agreement is too difficult?
I understand there is a fear of danger for parents and their children, but there is also danger right inside our own homes, at schools, walking down the aisles of stores and driving in our car. To be quite frank, there is not a single place on this earth we can go that the threat of danger is completely eliminated. Necessary precautions should be taken but not at the expense of discriminating against another group of people.
There are too many places that have been turned into platform for discrimination. I don’t believe bathrooms should be added to the list.
Gay rights are human rights.
Transgender rights are human rights.
Rights for blacks, whites, Hispanics, Asians, Native Americans are human rights.
Christian rights are human rights.
Muslim rights are human rights.
HUMANS DESERVE HUMAN RIGHTS.