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;)