Understandably, many of us take bathrooms for granted because we use them all the time and expect to use them whenever we need to. Going to the bathroom is a basic human right and a luxury we all should have.
Unfortunately, some people do not have that luxury without sacrificing their individual rights.
Such is the case for transgender people in North Carolina and Mississippi.
A new bill was passed that makes everyone use the bathroom of the gender assigned to them at birth, regardless of how they identify.
This means transgender people can no longer use the bathroom of the gender they identify with. To me, a bill like this shouldn’t be passed because of its destructive nature.
One argument people used to justify this bill was that the wrong kind of people would take advantage of the bill and pretend to be transgender in order to gain access to the bathroom of the opposite sex and sexually assault someone.
That argument is not valid. There are no reports of sexual assault by transgender people in bathrooms. According to WCNC, Pat’s Place, an organization specializing in sexual violence, did a study involving 850 children over the past few years.
The study revealed that, out of those 850 children, none had been assaulted by transgender people in the bathroom.
The stats from Pat’s Place have shown that out of 536 victims who were interviewed only 11 people, or two percent, said the abuse involved strangers.
The study also revealed that some bathroom sexual assaults happened to children, but all were committed by someone close to their age. The chances of transgender assaults happening are rare.On top of that, there are overwhelming statistics that show how much harassment transgender people face in the bathroom.
According to a study done by UCLA’s Williams Institute, almost 70 percent of transgender respondents have been verbally harassed in gender-restrictive bathrooms and ten percent have reported physical assault. Based on those statistics, I am certain that these types of incidents will only increase because of the bill.
Why make life for them more difficult when there is evidence they are more likely to be harassed by a cisgender person? I feel that the bill would invite judgement based on the appearance of another person.
For example, a few lesbians in North Carolina have been kicked out of the bathroom for looking too masculine.
One teen, according to an article by the Examiner, Ny Richardson, could not enter the bathroom at a McDonald’s until she proved she was a woman. When she didn’t have her ID to prove to the manager, he kicked her out. There are a few other similar incidents that have been reported and I feel that as long as that bill stands, it will continue to rise.
Why pass a bill that invites only discrimination and fear when we can all learn to coexist and allow people to have the same basic luxury of using the rest room without sacrificing their human rights?
Katherine Glosser can be contacted at email@example.com