Opinion: Take your transphobia out of our bathrooms
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On February 22nd, President Trump’s administration initiated a rollback of federal protections for transgender students, which also coincided with the Supreme Court deciding to hear the case of Gavin Grimm, a transgender male from Virginia seeking to use the bathroom that coincided with his gender identity. The “issue” of transgender people and their rights had seemed to take center stage.
Last year, there was plenty of controversy over North Carolina’s infamous House Bill 2, the law that decreed people were to use the public bathrooms that matched their biological sex. This bill, however, was repealed under the recently elected governor of the state Roy Cooper, and replaced by House Bill 142.
With the controversial bill, came backlash from corporations and people alike. Organized boycotts and protests swept the state, as athletic associations pulled events from the state and protests erupted over the bill. A passionate dialogue over whether or not transgender people should be allowed to use the public bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity was fostered as well.
However, there seems to be one key aspect of this topic that many anti-transgender rights activists seem to be forgetting, and that is passing laws restricting the rights and protections of transgender students will not stop transgender people from using public bathrooms. And those transgender people who had undergone physical transitions would be forced to use the bathroom that matched their biological sex, while presenting themselves and appearing as their gender identity.
The irony of transphobic conservatives who cite sexual assault and the protection of women as why human beings should have their rights stripped, while simultaneously ignoring rape culture and the fact that their President brags about molestation, is rich. Putting aside the fact that over 200 foundations created to work with survivors of sexual assault support equal bathroom access for the trans community, it is important to note that transgender people are actually disproportionately victims of sex crime, rather than perpetrators.
Stripping the transgender community of their rights and protections in the name of shielding women and youth is wrong. Instead of masking transphobia, Donald Trump and other uber-conservative politicians should air it out in the open without shame, and should not act as if protecting women and children has ever been on their agenda.