We’ve all heard about the Mississippi Religious Freedom Bill and other laws that, in effect, limit or oppress equal rights for LGBTs.
Along with the anti-LGBT controversy, another area of debate has risen regarding transgenders and their use of public bathrooms. Some states and cities, like North Carolina and Houston, Texas, have already passed bills banning transgender people from using bathrooms that don’t match the sex on their birth certificate.
This has everyone — from your local barberhouse patrons up to the presidential candidates — weighing in, so much so that the issue has gotten noisier and more complex than it needs to be.
Enter Caitlyn Jenner. Being one of the primary faces of the LGBT community, she has used her popularity to raise more awareness and tolerance for transgenderism and other gender identity concerns.
The ongoing public restroom debate has the 66-year-old writing an article for WhoSay, as part of an ongoing series exploring LGBT issues:
“Hi friends, There’s a lot of news out there about bills in different state legislatures that are good or bad for the LGBT community. Lately, they’ve been mostly not-so-good bills. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what kind of message these harmful bills send, especially to transgender youth growing up in these states,” Caitlyn started.
She then went on to note how there are already laws in place that protect people from harm and harassment in public restrooms, and that protecting LGBT from discrimination wouldn’t change that. In fact, she points out how the cities that do not implement said (anti-LGBT) bills show no increase in harmful incidents or otherwise.
“We all want safety and privacy in public bathrooms. But these anti-LGBT bills, like the ones in North Carolina and Mississippi, actually make us less safe, not more safe. They open the door to abuse, aggressive and confrontational behavior in bathrooms, and encourage strangers to demand that women and girls prove that they are actually female in order to use the restroom. No one wants that.”
Caitlyn then talked about how Massachusetts is working to pass a bill protecting transgenders from discrimination in public spaces, and how we need more bills like that…“bills which ensure that every transgender person, no matter what state they’re growing up in, can go to school safely and get the education they deserve . . . We need to make sure they can buy a home and go out to a restaurant or a movie theater without facing harassment. And yes, we need to make sure those trans kids – and all transgender people – can use the restrooms that align with how they live every day.”
Caitlyn ended with a poignant line: “How you’re treated shouldn’t depend on geography – our country is better than that.”
And, hopefully, local and national government are reading intently.