Trans persons and bathroom laws: untangling our undies

I’m writing this from a place of care and concern. I’ve seen the vitriolic posts and Internet rants on the subject, and, this kind of reaction isn’t comfortable for anyone, on either side. 

No matter what you personally think or feel about transgender persons, they are still persons. If and when we lose sight of the inherent value of personhood, and the God-given freedom of expression that rightly goes along with it, we all lose.

I’m going to let you in on a little secret: you and yours already come into contact with Trans persons often. You just don’t notice, because they tend to go to great lengths to get their outside to match what exists inside. 

Likely, you have already shared a public restroom with someone born as the opposite sex!

Public schools are under Federal control. If the Federal Government mandates that kids should be allowed to use the restroom that best represents how they identify gender-wise, how does that harm you and yours? I mean, personally? 

Are Transgender persons somehow more dangerous than Cisgender persons?

Read that last line again. 

Now answer truthfully.

If you replied “no”, then, mission accomplished!  There is nothing here to fear and you can now go about your day knowing that how Trans persons use public facilities isn’t about you. It’s really about the continued inclusion of Trans persons in our shared social contexts. It’s about protecting  human dignity, and it does not change how you go about your day.

If you answered “yes”, I’m going to ask you a second question:

Why do you believe that a struggle with gender identity necessarily results in an increased risk of harming  other innocent bathroom users?

Really! I’m curious!

What has led you to come to such a conclusion?

Because, I don’t understand. My personal experience reflects that Trans persons have been, and are, the most self-aware and empathic individuals in my circle of friends and acquaintances. They know what it’s like to struggle as a human being–To know what it feels like to be misunderstood, misrepresented, and even ostracized. 

I’m going to say something to my “yes” readers, if you are brave enough to keep reading…. 

I understand the automatic, generalized fear of those we believe to be different than us. It’s a human reaction, refined over countless generations of surviving by instincts alone. 

But, you don’t have to legitimize that type of fear. Especially when it does not correspond to reality. Trans persons aren’t all that different from us Cis folk.

Don’t believe me? That’s fine. Ask God to address your fear then. Because, if this fear can’t be righted with logic, then it needs to be righted by the Spirit. 

“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love.”

1 John 4:18 (NRSV)

Do you fear what will become of you if you choose to accept and honor Trans persons out of Love? 

Hon, I fear what will happen to you and your ‘witness’ if you continue to choose fear instead of Love. They can’t co-exist.  Unaddressed fears lead us to feelings of powerlessness, and eventually persuades us to seek power and control over what is not ours to control. 

For God so loved the world…”

John 3:16a (NRSV)

You don’t have to like the world. But as a follower of Christ, you are commanded to love others as He loves them. 

Love can untangle even the most violently bunched up undies;)

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10 thoughts on “Trans persons and bathroom laws: untangling our undies

  1. It’s really not about the transgenders. If they are already using the bathrooms, why do we need a law? It’s seriously the stupidest. I don’t fear transgenders. What bothers me is the liberals that push their stuff on everyone. Transgenders make up less than a percent of our population. Like you said, they already are using the bathroom. What bothers me is that anyone could legally go into a woman’s bathroom and do whatever and as a woman, I can’t say a thing. I find it ridiculous that feminists cry out when anyone speaks about abortion and they say “it’s a woman’s right” but then as a female, I have no say about laws that affect me or my daughters. I think you are missing the point with the transgenders because it’s really not about them at all. It’s about society defining rules for a few people and not caring how it affects the rest of us.

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      1. It doesn’t affect me as I can protect myself. I don’t worry about transgenders. I worry a lot about those who would see this as a way to abuse women and girls. Like I said, it’s not about transgenders. I don’t care to have a woman with a penis expose her/his parts to my children if they were in public school. Changing areas or locker rooms are places where this would happen. But I guess my opinion doesn’t matter. I am just a boring female and I have no rights. Unless I want to kill my unborn child. It’s a tad backwards. Morally I can love others but I don’t have to love sin, applaud it or coddle it. But maybe we will have to agree to disagree because I feel very strongly about the depravity of the world in which we live. Yes we are all fallen sinners that need grace. Yes we should love. Yes we should be empathetic. I think a lot of Christians can’t separate loving others with speaking truth. I just don’t agree with it and I never will. I see your point but I respectfully don’t agree this issue is just a simple case of fear mongering.

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      2. Whoa whoa whoa — how did we go to talking about the rights of transgender persons to acts of indecent exposure?
        Do you equate trans persons with sexual deviants? Because I can tell you, they are not one in the same. Stats on occurrences of indecent exposure reveal that Cisgender people are the ones with that particular issue. It’s not a Trans thing. So that’s an irrational fear!

        There is a big difference between sinners and predators! It is mind boggling to me to watch so many Christians justify their disgust and discrimination of others under the guise of ‘abhorring sin’. We are ALL sinners. We ALL commit sins. We ALL transgress others, ourselves and God. That’s why we are poor judges of what is righteous character– we too are flawed!
        If we focus only on the depravity in the world, we completely miss the beauty in it and are blind to the beauty in others.
        You think you can somehow banish sin by rejecting it in other people? As a Christian, you have to know on some level that that doesn’t work. Or we wouldn’t need a Savior. It’s like, the whole point of calling Christ the Savior– we all are effected deeply by our fallen world. Some people more than others. But I have had about enough of other people calling broken people the same as willfully predatory ones. I will not allow that to continue here.

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  2. There are already laws in place that prevent the use of public restrooms for anything other than relieving one’s self. So I have to disagree with you here. Do people transgress these laws? Absolutely! A change in law isn’t going to prevent the lawless from doing their thing. What they can do is prevent the denial of the right of trans persons to choose the restroom they feel most comfortable using. Because people can be assholes, especially to people identifying LGBTQ. And that’s exactly what would happen…

    Did you know that in Europe, it is a crime to ‘out’ a trans person as being transgender? That might give you some perspective on the current legislation… If we have laws defending the rights of trans persons, we won’t have to enact laws in order to protect them.

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