Saturday, May 7, 2016

It's Never Been About Bathrooms

Yep. I’m going to talk about it. Run for the hills while you have the chance, darlings. I wouldn’t want you to get caught in the crossfire.

Or grab some popcorn. I keep it next to the wine. Riesling, specifically, because it pairs so nicely.

If you are in any internet circles with any connection to the United States, you’ve heard about the “Transgender Bathroom Laws,” I’m sure. Maybe you’re one of the unfortunate people living in North Carolina. Or maybe you actually agree with the law. If that’s the case, I’m going to warn you now: this probably isn’t the blog you want to frequent. Flee now while you still have the chance.

All right. Ready to go? Have your snacks? Then let’s begin.

This isn’t about bathrooms. Like, okay, most people have hopefully figured that out. The pretense of this issue being about bathrooms/changing rooms/etc. is completely inane. It’s always been a big no-no for people to use a bathroom designated for the opposite gender. Like, always. Well before this law. We can discuss the gendered v. gender-neutral bathroom issue another day. For the time being, the majority of US locations have gendered bathrooms and the like. Male and female. So we’ll look at the problem through that lens.

And through that lens, just like it’s been strongly frowned upon to use the bathroom designated to another gender… trans people have been using the bathrooms aligned with their gender for a long-ass time. But it’s suddenly an issue because…

There’s the issue. There was no catalyst. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage. People whined and bitched and pissed and moaned about that, and surprisingly enough, they didn’t change their decision back. And eventually people realized they weren’t going to. The trans community seemed like a good target.

Because in reality, that’s what it’s about. It’s not about the bathroom. It’s about targeting trans people. As though there aren’t enough issues facing them. There are still numbers states in the USA where trans people have no protections against discrimination. Whether that be from employers, landlords, whoever. No protections. And in the states where they do have something legal on their side, they experience higher rates of police harassment. That’s when they do, in fact, go to the police. Almost 50% of trans people in this country don’t even feel comfortable turning to the police.

And let’s not even touch on the end result we see from all this (and much, much more) unpleasantness. Actually, I lied. Let’s touch on it right here: suicide rates among trans people are about 2500% higher than the national average. Not 250%. Not 25 times higher. Try 250 times higher than the average. And that’s totally just a coincidence, right?

Okay. Okay. I know this is way outside what I would normally post. No sexy young men or naughty stories or anything of the sort. But I feel like this is too important to ignore. And I know I’m getting very upset about it… but I’m pretty sure I should be. I’m pretty sure everyone should be, in point of fact.

But back to the point at hand: this isn’t about bathrooms. The whole bathroom/pervert/molester argument getting brandied about? That’s a ruse. A sham. It’s the thing that would get the most immediate reaction. Oh, your children. Are your children safe? Scary scary. But it’s not about that. It’s never about what the laws are supposedly about, is it? It wasn’t about two people getting married. It wasn’t about women voting. It wasn’t about the decreased economy from lack of slave labor. It wasn’t about the dangerous Native Americans.

It’s about fear and confusion and, I think more than anything else, power. There are people out there who like to have power over someone else. Now, I mean, if both parties are willing and agreed, and there’s a mutual respect, then it’s none of my business. Unfortunately, that’s not the case here. It wasn’t with same-sex marriage, women’s suffrage, emancipation, or the Trail of Tears. It’s power, and there’s pretty much no better natural resource to have power over than another human being. Except maybe a large group of human beings. Yeah… that sounds really creepy. But looking at it objectively? It’s true. Sorry.

Why are people so concerned about this? Well, it’s what they view as change. I suppose it is change. Society as a whole is growing more and more accepting of different things, and the people who liked things the way they were aren’t having it. It doesn’t make them not assholes, as far as I’m concerned.

Evolve or perish.

But it’s not about bathrooms. I want people to remember. Take other things away from this post. That would be awesome. But I want you to take that home: it’s about power and hatred and fear and confusion. Not bathrooms.


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