Anti-Trans Bathroom Bills Have Nothing to Do With Privacy and Everything To Do With Fear and Hatred

This piece originally appeared at The Huffington Post
 
If social conservatives in Tennessee get their way, the state will soon become the second in the nation to use the coercive power of the government to force people into bathrooms that violate their very sense of self or risk punishment. Legislation targeting trans students pending in both houses in the state’s legislature would require public school and university students to use a bathroom or locker room that matches the sex recorded on their birth certificate. Limited-government it’s not.
 
Tennessee legislators, though, aren’t original in their bigotry. North Carolina controversially passed an even broader law in March, and at least 30 similar bills have been introduced in a total of 16 states this year alone. Proponents of these discriminatory anti-trans bathroom bills have advanced many arguments for why they are necessary. Most are absurd “urban legends.” Some argue these bills are necessary to stop predatory men from dressing up as women, entering the female restroom, and then attacking unsuspecting women. The more restrained say it will stop men from just trying to sneak a peek. Not surprisingly, these are solutions in search of a problem. There is neither evidence that anyone has used the fictional “transgender defense” for illegal conduct nor reports of any increase in public safety incidents in any of the hundreds of jurisdictions that have extended legal protections to transgender people.
 

But let’s get real, these bills aren’t motivated by privacy concerns — they’re motivated by ignorance, misinformation, and fear.

 
The argument getting the most traction, however, is the idea that compelling trans people to use the bathroom that corresponds to their assigned sex at birth protects the privacy of non-transgender boys and girls and men and women. “Letting boys into girls’ restrooms and changing areas, for example, is an invasion of privacy,” said Matt Sharp, a lawyer with the conservative Alliance Defending Freedom, in defense of Tennessee’s bill. One of the stated purposes of Florida’s defeated bill last year was “to secure privacy … for all individuals using single-sex public facilities.” North Carolina legislators this year went so far as to name their anti-trans bathroom bill, the “Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act.”
 
As a threshold matter, no one is proposing letting boys into girls’ bathrooms. Preying on misinformation about transgender people and calling trans girls boys, advocates for these harmful measures decry the fictitious end of sex-segregated spaces altogether.
 
But even beyond the absurd distortions peddled in state legislatures across the country, these purported privacy justifications for unconstitutional government discrimination aren’t remotely persuasive. It does not infringe anyone else’s rights to share public space with those who are different. People just don’t get naked in the restroom, and we should all just keep our eyes to ourselves, anyway.  Like previous efforts to expel people of color, people with disabilities, and others from communal space, these arguments for privacy just mask a fear of difference. And as courts have repeatedly recognized, those who are uncomfortable with sharing such spaces can seek out private spaces for themselves rather than force transgender people to be forever stigmatized and isolated.
 
The privacy argument for these anti-trans bathroom bills falls completely apart when it comes to enforcement. Who exactly will have the authority to verify who is “male” or who is “female”? Will there be pee police? What will happen to androgynous men and women who don’t conform to the police officer or bureaucrat’s notion of what “real” maleness or femaleness is? For legislators trying to protect privacy, the unintended or ill-considered consequences of these bills seem to undermine their purpose.
 
But let’s get real, these bills aren’t motivated by privacy concerns — they’re motivated by ignorance, misinformation, and fear. Many people, particularly social conservatives, find transgender people, at best, curiosities, and, at worst, less than human, even if the more political hide their disgust with carefully crafted language. The bill’s sponsor in Tennessee, Republican Rep. Susan Lynn, called her measure “very friendly.” Trans students may mistake her kindness for cruelty because forcing transgender people to use the wrong restroom will have terrible consequences for their very real privacy interests as well as their safety.
 
Transgender people, whether people know it or not, are already using the bathrooms they have a right to, and doing so without incident. In fact, hundreds of localities and school districts across the country have created more welcoming environments for all, including transgender people, and mayors and law enforcement leaders and others have said nondiscrimination protections actually make their cities safer. Laws like North Carolina’s and bills like Tennessee’s, if enacted, mean transgender people will have to make the impossible decision of breaking the law or revealing their private medical information. Not to mention the obvious risk of harassment and violence that comes with forcing transgender women into men’s restrooms and transgender men into women’s restrooms.  The fear of violence is already a daily reality for transgender people, and bills like these could very well make it unsafe for trans people to go out in public if they become law.
 
Sometimes legislators have fantasized about committing such acts of violence. In 2012, Tennessee State Representative Richard Floyd, who introduced his very own anti-trans bathroom bill that year, described just what he’d do if he discovered a transgender woman in the same bathroom or dressing room as his wife or one of his daughters. “I’d just try to stomp a mudhole in him and then stomp him dry,” he told The Chattanooga Times Free Press. “Don’t ask me to adjust to their perverted way of thinking and put my family at risk.”
 
That state lawmakers feel so emboldened to threaten trans people with physical violence is a testament to the hostile and scary world in which trans people live. These proposed laws and the conversations about them contribute to the climate in which almost 50 percent of transgender people attempt suicide in their lives and transgender women of color are increasingly the target of deadly violence at the hands of partners and strangers.
 
It is quite clear whose privacy and very lives are really at risk if state legislatures continue to succumb to anti-trans fear and hatred and give it state sanction.

 

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Anonymous

There is something wrong with a man thinking he is a woman or a woman thinking she is a man. It is mutilation with dangerous hormones. Most transexuals were sexually abused in childhood which messed up their minds and transexuals sexually abuse children. Transexuals are mutilated gays and lesbians. I don’t care what others say but mutilating a man or woman to make them fake members of opposite sex is gay/lesbian. And gay/lesbian groups are apologists for Transexuals which is why the word T is there. They must abolish this surgical mutilation.

All transexuals are homosexual/lesbian as the act of mutilating to become false opposite sex is itself an act of homosexuality/lesbianism-sad maiming and make this illegal. Finally, sex change maimings which is mutilating some1 to make them fake members of opposite sex is comparable to trying to make a man a fake animal because he thinks he is an animal trapped in a human body. Most feminists are not speaking against this. 1 would hope that feminists would oppose the mutilation that happened to Chastity Sun Bono as feminists have spoken against Female Genital Mutilation which happens in some nations. Transexuals are mutilations which no Dr. should take part in, yet most feminists are not condemning this female genital and breast mutilation as what happened to Chastity S. Bono where her healthy breasts were mutilated, dangerous hormone shots and her genitals mutilated.

Anonymous

if Hitler had died in 1938 instead of 1945 (after millions were killed), he would have gone down as a great leader in German history. Germany and later Austria (after 1938) anschluss were advanced in many ways during Hitler’s time be it automotive science (V.W. Beetle came out in 1938), veterinary science and other things. Nazi propaganda would show films of Hitler with children & dogs. Nazis did pass animal welfare laws which were advanced for it’s time such as Hitler signed law to protect the eagle (Eagle on Swastika is Nazi symbol) and Hitler signed laws which created rules on hunting and Hitler signed laws on fastest way to kill crustaceans. In the end Hitler, his mistress Eva Braun and their dog Blondi all committed suicide.

About me-I'm not religious, though I did go to Christian schools when as a boy (1970s)as we had immigrated to in 1972 & my parents believed Christian schools would give better education. Turns out 1 of the priests @ our school was a gay pedofile, which was in earlier post. I am not religious because among other things, if there's a God, then why do bad things happen in world I don't care about the gay/lesbian marriage topic which law allows and admit information war by my side was lost on homosexuality, when topic mainly became about the boring gay marriage topic and only once in a while about homosexuality's risks. Truth about homosexuality's dangers don't change and truth must be told though information war is lost. Homosexual/lesbian conduct is bad for health like tobacco & needs to be treated like tobacco use by adults. If willing & knowing adults want to use tobacco or do gay/lesbian conduct, then that's their life, but it must be treated as harmful like tobacco is. I know what APA, mainstream psychologists & psychiatrists say about gay/lesbian conduct, but they are ideologues. I think that they must make it a crime to do sex changes.

I have thought about this & don't think any1 can rebut conclusion that childhood sex abuse victims of gay/lesbian pedophiles have more risk of turning out gay/lesbian by copying the conduct they learned because think you know that conduct incl. sexual conduct can be learned. Think you know it is possible for people who are victims of same sex molestation (such as victims of gay pedophile priests) to copy this sexual conduct and do gay conduct in adulthood incl. turn out to be gay pedophiles.

Anonymous

It’s no surprise that most journalists will give news which agrees with NLGJA & it’s news (as we see how most media is apologist for William Bruce Jenner) which omits facts which offend gays.

William Bruce Jenner could be called a homosexual lesbian (as all transexuals are homosexuals/lesbian) & William Bruce Jenner (Bruce Jenner) is a man & hormones + surgical maiming is not going to change his sex. Megyn M. Kelly & Meredith Vieira are full of shit for thinking that it’s ‘courageous’ to be mutilated & my guess is that both Megyn M. Kelly & Meredith Vieira want to fart & shit in the same toilet with William Bruce Jenner & compare their farts & turds to William Bruce Jenner’s (Bruce Jenner’s). All the women who are apologists for William Bruce Jenner all eat Wheaties and the women want to compare their turds to W. Bruce Jenner’s turds after they’ve eaten Wheaties. Perhaps want to take a dump in the same toilet with Bruce Jenner (William Bruce Jenner) in the women’s bathroom and compare turds to his. Let’s hope that William Bruce Jenner dies before he gets surgically mutilated. Transexuals molest children as those who think they’re fake opposite sex members see nothing wrong with child molestation.

Most media is either pro-gay & lesbian & or they will write the news to favor homosexuals & transexuals (as most media has done with William Bruce Jenner) because if a reporter writes somethings which offends gay groups, then gay groups complain to a media’s advertisers & if media loses advertisers, then it is bad business. Homosexual groups have targeted Mission America’s Linda P. Harvey such as trying to censor her book ‘Maybe he is not gay’ (homosexuals have even threatened Linda P. Harvey with violence) because Mission America’s Linda P. Harvey is right about the dangers of homosexuality & Mission America’s Linda P. Harvey is right that they must abolish sex change mutilations. Homosexual groups target any journalist who gives views which offend them & they target Mission America radio hostess Linda P. Harvey because Mrs. Linda P. Harvey tells truth which offends gays.

Homosexual groups targetted gay journalists Stephen Jimenez for his Book of Matt which offended homosexual groups & have been trying to keep Stephen Jimenez’s Book of Matt from being sold. Honest discussion is discussing & rebutting-not censoring because 1 finds something offensive.

Anonymous

Should the statement be 'mistake her cruelty for kindness'?

A. Nonymous

I hope the law gets repealed. Unlike all these other commenters. Excluding 4/20/2016 1:21.

JRS

As a liberal woman ......who has traveled abroad and is well above the age of consent, I have no personal objection to sharing restrooms - gender nneutral facilities ....it is done in other countries. ....stall doors still exist BUT
I have two questions.
Who is protecting the privacy rights of those who do object?
Who is protecting the rights of those below the age of consent?

Vicki

JRS asks:
Who is protecting the privacy rights of those who do object?
Who is protecting the rights of those below the age of consent?

Societal norms protect the appearance of such rights (which don't, actually, exist), just as they always have.

In hundreds of years of recorded bathroom history, who has ever protected the "privacy rights" of people in a public space?
Go in, enter a stall, close and lock the door.

I would be happy with the kind of restrooms where the doors and walls go from floor to ceiling. But until we get those, we have the same "privacy" expectations we've always had.

Trans people aren't new; they're just "in the news". As the article above says, they've been in your bathrooms and changing rooms for decades now. The only thing that has changed is the level of hysteria.

Anonymous

All the women who are apologists for William Bruce Jenner all eat Wheaties and the women want to compare their turds to W. Bruce Jenner’s turds after they’ve eaten Wheaties. Perhaps want to take a dump in the same toilet with Bruce Jenner (William Bruce Jenner) in the women’s bathroom and compare turds to his.

Nemo

@JRS Which privacy rights are being threatened?

Anonymous

To the lawyers at ACLU...
What about the"civil liberties" of the other people in the bathroom? Everyone seems to forget there are always two sides... You always seem to ignore the other people, as if their feelings don't exist.
The boy who, in his mind believes he is a girl(today),
it is still only in HIS mind. The the other girls, who KNOW they are girls, don't
understand why a boy is in their bathroom. They have always been taught that that kind of behavior is wrong. Now you are trying to change what every child has been taught, because one boy THINKS he is a girl.
I think it is the lawyers that don't have much to do decided these children should feel discriminated against, and they should demand to use whatever bathroom they want.
Ask the other children in the bathroom what they want.

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