Target Aquired: Transgender
I am a Christian, white privileged, heterosexual, cisgender male, which should disqualify me from having anything to say on any subject, but I'm going to talk about this anyway. So please hear me out. For whatever it's worth, I am trying to be as honest as I can, but all of those categories seem to be derogatory as of late.
I have been watching the transsexual debate for a while now. I have done a lot of reading on the validity of someone undergoing such a procedure and the outcomes of doing it. Thought I have researched gender fluidity, I do not have a fully developed thought process on the topic. The newest trend that I have seen lately is “Boycott Target” and I have to address it the best I can because I cannot stay quiet.
I saw on Facebook, “Men don't belong in the ladies room. Period” which is hilarious because once again people neglect to consider that the opposite should also be true, but no it's only wrong for “men” to be in the other bathroom. While we are on this subject, I have seen women use the men’s room because their line was too long, thanks for violating my “privacy” that is so important to you. This feeling of comfort that you wish to hold onto so tightly is the same comfort that this group of people wishes to have. I will say that I do understand that statistically there are more men to women transitions but still, marginalize the already marginalized? There are people in both groups. Since it doesn't seem like anyone cares about a physically female person using the male bathroom, most of my statements will be addressed towards a physically male person using the female bathroom.
When it comes to boycotts, I want to mention the last boycott that I can remember: Chick-Fil-A. People did not like their president’s stance on gay marriage so they were going to boycott the stores. Last I checked, I get my amazing chicken sandwiches from there, which means the boycott didn't do anything. I really doubt a boycott of Target will accomplish anything either. All in all, Target bathrooms are usually rather nice and if there is a boycott going on, maybe I'll start paying a little extra for a nicer store atmosphere (that is if I actually ever go shopping).
I understand that people are afraid of the unknown. People who they do not understand using their public bathroom is a big unknown. Personally, it has taken a lot for me to get over some shyness of using public bathrooms so I can only imagine how people feel when it comes to opening up a bathroom to someone who has all of the “equipment” of someone of the opposite sex. I understand parents and women want to keep people safe.
The Argument About Safety
Most abuse happens from someone the abused knows. In 2012, 80% of the reported cases were from parents. In the same year 53.5% were perpetrated by a female. That kind of blows our stereotypes out of the water but I'm sure we could from something that happened in a bathroom that people would cite all the time to go against transgendered people's bathroom use. If we are truly worried about safety then we need to find a way to help kids from the people who are suppose to keep them safe. The problem is that there is a small number of people who would potentially exploit any allowance of openly transgender people for nefarious purposes ruining it for those who truly are living this life. No one is quite sure how to reconcile the situation and now fear-mongering has started to take hold.
Here I am using a women's restroom in North Carolina that I'm technically barred from being in. They say I'm a pervert. They say I'm a man dressed as a woman. They say I'm a threat to their children. They say I'm confused. They say I'm dangerous. And they say accepting me as the person I have fought my life to be seen as reflects the downfall of a once great nation. I'm just a person. We are all just people. Trying to pee in peace. Trying to live our lives as fully and authentically as possible. Barring me from this restroom doesn't help anyone. And allowing me to continue to use this bathroom - just without fear of discrimination and harassment - doesn't hurt anyone. Stop this. We are good people. #repealhb2
If we are truly worried about keeping people safe and not about making people we don't understand fit into our box, we need to make sure we keep them as safe as we want to be. Someone who actually is living as the opposite gender needs to be protected as much as someone who was born that gender. When people’s first response is to boycott something, it makes me think that they are only being selfish and any justifications they give have not been truly considered but are merely an excuse. Stop it! Stop pretending that you want to keep people safe and keep them safe!
I don’t care if you agree with people transitioning or if you even believe in the condition, the fact is these people exist. That’s right. These PEOPLE. They are people, too and deserve the same protections that other people need and want.
Let’s protect each other from those who wish to prey on the vulnerable, weak, or hurting. Until you convince me that that is your goal, you have no right to speak about protection because you only want what you think is best for you and not what is best for everyone.
A special thanks to stores that utilize family restrooms that give the parent with a child too young to go in the bathroom alone but is the opposite gender a chance to keep their child safe and those people who do not feel comfortable using a specific gender bathroom for whatever reason they might have (some people just want more privacy than a public bathroom).
Reminder: Not everyone is a threat, don't forget that some people just want to pee.
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