This serves as a follow-up to Marcy Cook’s earlier piece on #Occupotty.
The bathroom debate won’t go away. I’m scrolling though Twitter, tea in one hand, warm cat on my lap, and I read another piece describing awful transphobia toward a seven-year-old girl in Canada. Cisgender people somehow think that trans people are a danger to them in bathrooms; it’s an idea that drives past ignorance and into the desert of bigotry, but it’s an idea uninformed politicians don’t want to shake.
It is trans women that are often seen as the big danger in bathrooms because we’re in “a women-only space?” Thanks for pointing that out, buddy; you think we don’t know that? I panic every time I use the women’s bathroom. Every time. If I can, I just wait until I go home – but that’s not always an option.
“But men like you shouldn’t be in a women’s bathroom, you’re a-” Hey armchair pundits, trans women are women, all medical science acknowledges that; and while I appreciate your bigoted privileged point of view as a medically untrained non-expert on… oh no, wait, I don’t appreciate your point of view on this subject at all.
Let me quickly explain how wrong and how dangerous bathroom policing is from my perspective as a trans woman:
Trans people are massively outnumbered by cis people. We commit such a tiny amount of crime that it’s preposterous how attacked we are by lawmakers all over the world. It’s based in bigotry, not in fact. If we were to legislate based off fact, pure statistical data, the laws would be designed to control cisgender men.
Trans women go to the bathroom to pee. We’re not there to macramé, play with LEGO, or even to sexually assault other women. We just want to use the facilities and get out. Ideally without getting yelled at, spat at, or beaten.
Trans women on HRT (which is not all trans women, but the majority, from my understanding) do not have the sexual drive, or – for the most part – physical functionality to sexually assault anyone! Some prisons use testosterone blockers in their water supplies to keep prisoners calmer. Imagine that at a higher dose, with added estrogen, too. Trans women don’t think like men; and when on HRT, even if they have the right physical configuration for penetration, they can’t always function like men, either. It takes time and emotional connection to warm up the engine, if it turns over at all. There is a reason transgender porn stars usually come off hormone treatment a while before a shoot; it allows their engine to purr. So anyone thinking that a trans woman is a danger to other women is incorrectly prescribing male thoughts, male sexual drive, and male sexual abilities onto trans women.
The whole idea is a false syllogism. “Trans women were once men, therefore they will think like men, and as such they will act like men.” Nope, it doesn’t work that way; a trans woman has, from the moment of her creation, the brain of a woman. So no, we don’t think like men.
Trans men are in a whole other situation; if they don’t pass, using a male bathroom can be very dangerous, because they are surrounded by men who could physically or sexually assault them. Remember, the men making these bathroom laws don’t think men have any self-control. Don’t think it’s easier for trans guys, because it’s really not; but I’m talking from my experience and knowledge here.
Kids need to pee too, and this also includes trans kids. Young trans kids don’t get what the big deal is, they don’t understand the bigotry and unreasoned hatred of adults; all trans kids know is they are stuck in a world that singles them out and seems to distrust them. Read this story of a 7-year-old girl in Edmonton, Canada. Her classmates are happy, other parents are happy; the only conflict is with the school, which is refusing to allow her to use the girls’ restroom. I read this line and nearly dropped my cup of tea on my cat: “The student, confused by the debate surrounding her gender identity, has told her mom she wants to die.”
She’s in the second grade, and she doesn’t know why she can’t use the same bathroom as her friends. “Wait,” I hear the our armchair buddies saying, “they already created a bathroom for her, so what’s the big deal, you SJWs are never -” Sigh. Yes, the school re-assigned a single stall bathroom as gender neutral, but was that good enough? Is it right to force a single kid in an entire school to go and use a specific bathroom for them? What do you think separating out a kid like that does to them in a school? Well you have the answer to that: she wants to die. Trans kids are labelled as “other,” as untrustworthy and as dangerous. Welcome to the perpetuation of high unemployment, suicide, and murder. This is in Canada, too; aren’t we supposed to be the progressive country in North America?
Not only is the bathroom debate based on incorrect crime statistics, with no factual basis, on a false syllogism, it’s outright bigotry that is bad enough to literally make a seven-year-old want to die. When will we move past this?
Marcy (@marcyjcook) is an immigrant trans woman and writer. This includes Transcanuck.com, a website dedicated to informing and helping trans Canadians. She also has a nerd job, too many cats, is a part time volunteer sex educator and has an ongoing sordid love affair with Lego. Those last two are not related… probably.
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