You May Not Understand Trans People, but We Too Deserve Privacy, Fairness, and Liberty

For those of us in prison, the fight for trans justice at the ballot, in state legislatures, and in our public discourse can feel far away. As trans prisoners, sometimes we have to focus on just getting through the day. But these important fights to recognize and affirm the dignity of trans people impact us too.

Despite the recent successes for gay and lesbian rights 2016 promises to be one of the most difficult years that the LGBT community as a whole has ever faced.

Groups opposing equality are mobilizing. Exploiting the deep-seated confusion about who trans people are and the animosity towards us, these opponents have developed a simple, scalable, and easily replicated strategy.

They wish to capitalize on the anger of opponents of LGBT rights who feel defeated following last year's Supreme Court ruling making marriage equality the law across the country. The model from which to push their agenda could be seen in full display in the effort that defeated a nondiscrimination ordinance in Houston, Texas.

A simple but distorted message of “no men in women’s bathrooms” led to the repeal at the ballot of a progressive ordinance that would have protected Houston residents from discrimination based on gender identity and 14 other protected classes.

Their new target: your local and state government. We are seeing bills targeting trans people — particularly trans young people — creep up in state legislatures across the country. Many of these bills attempt to regulate bathroom access based on a person’s genitals or “anatomical sex.”

Regardless of the fear-mongering rhetoric and images of predators exploiting nondiscrimination laws to access women's bathrooms to hurt non-transgender women and girls, the reality is that prohibiting discrimination does nothing to undermine public safety. Obviously, such predatory behavior is not legalized or promoted by laws and ordinances protecting trans people.

The laws being proposed to stop trans people from using the bathroom raise several serious questions over privacy, fairness, and liberty. One Virginia bill tries to make students who use the “wrong” bathroom pay a fine. But how would that work? Would these students have to physically “prove” their sex as male or female? The fact is you can’t know someone’s anatomical sex by simply looking at them. Certainly, nobody wants police officers who stand guard in public bathrooms, interrogating or physically inspecting everyone who enters. Nor do I believe anyone wants to install body scanners or other draconian technology measures to verify the gender of everyone who enters.

We need to consider ways to stay one step ahead of such shameful strategies. Most importantly, we need to remind people that very real, very human trans folks are the targets of this campaign. Trans folks who are more likely to commit suicide and who are being murdered at a historic high in the United States.

The country needs to see us — the trans community — as human. Let’s start by standing up against these laws that hurt us all. 

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Bill in California

I've found some of the school-related propaganda to be really frustrating. It's not like some voyeuristic high-school boy can just announce "I'm feeling trans today so I'm going to use the girls' locker room"; if they want to be treated as trans, they'd have to let the administration know (and presumably their parents), and tell the other students they were trans, and be treated as trans full-time, and the average high school is way too homophobic even today for just about any kid to do that if they're not really serious.

Anonymous

Why should we let the desires of a very few traumatize the rest of the population. Even if the individual goes through all the hoops you describe, it still doesn't do anything for the overwhelming majority of the rest of a student population.

Anonymous

Gender neutral restrooms. Standing left sitting right. Shared sinks. Done

Anonymous

Thank you. As the mother of a trans woman, these discriminatory proposals terrify me.

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

"Anonymous", you seem to have some real personal issues and some strange, weird obsessions. Perhaps it's best you not go public with who you are.

Anonymous

What the actual fuck????

LynnAnnRoseMiles

May Divine Mother have mercy on your soul. Please find a therapist to help you deal with your fear of others.

Daniel Duller

If what another person's crotch looks like is so important, perhaps it would be best to mandate EVERYONE wear an I.D. badge clearly showing a photograph of their genitalia. Rules are for all, not just those with misguided beliefs.

Anonymous

Pedophiles rights too!!!

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