Most of the transgender community are heartbroken to hear of the recent Trump news that has been hitting the headlines recently. For a lot of people that’s all it is – a headline. A news story that will eventually drift away and hardly thought of again. But for trans people this is their lives, their safety. When Barack Obama was president he rightfully so made it law that transgender students, in US public schools, could use the toilets that matched their gender identity. Because where the hell else should people pee?
People who have criticised Obama’s decision have said that by allowing transgender students to use the correct toilets it is a direct threat to other student’s safety and privacy. Not surprisingly, it’s actually cisgender people who are the true threat here. Absolutely no trans person is ever going to be using the toilet for any other reason than to pee. When one group of people are assaulting and murdering those who don’t meet their expectations and the other group are merely fighting for the right to pee in peace, it isn’t hard to know who we should be fighting with and protecting.
For many people within the trans community using a public toilet is already a scary place and this law will only make it worse. Trans people are often physically assaulted, harassed or even killed by simply using the toilet that matches their gender. I have personally known trans people who have been dragged out of toilets (from the cubicle!) by members of the public and security, be threatened, questioned, felt unsafe/fearful and had hurtful or damaging comments made to them. Events like this are easily shrugged off by cis people but for trans people this is soul destroying. Making toilets accessible and safe is essential for everyone, it is the minimum expected level of decency. It is a need and a matter of personal safety.
Cisgender people often think that it’s their right to know what people’s genitals look like and that it’s perfectly reasonable to force trans people to disclose their trans status. If trans students won’t be assured safety at school, then they cannot go to school and learn. If you’re scared of sharing a toilet with a trans person, then you should know that you probably already have dozens of times. Did anything bad happen? No, of course not. Because all trans people want to do is pee, crazy, right?
While cisgender people are terrified of trans students sharing toilets with them or their children because they fear they may rape, murder or assault people, cisgender people are doing exactly that. We need to think about where the real threat is coming from. This isn’t just about toilets and it never was.
Just let people goddamn pee.