Thursday, March 24, 2016

Anti-Transgender Bathroom Bills Are Deadly Violence


They're also entirely predictable, but that doesn't make them any less horrible.

It's typical. The general public starts to notice an oppressed population actually exists and responds with state-sanctioned bigotry. But the violence directed against trans people, particularly trans women, particularly trans women of color, is already so intense.

I can't say this enough. The average lifespan of a trans person is 32.

Their suicide rates are through the roof. The rate at which they're made homeless is through the roof. And, of course, the chance that you'll be murdered as a trans woman of color is astronomically terrifying.

You know what else is through the roof? Their rates of urinary tract infections and other complications from having to hold their pee at school, work, and in public because trying to use the bathroom is a flaming gauntlet of stares, harassment, and possibly being kicked out or arrested. And the chances of something like that happening is being made so much worse by these fucking bathroom bills that keep popping up.

I'm not going to pretend for a second like I think any Republican politician gives a fraction of a shit about a trans person. Trans people are just another segment of the population they can throw under the bus to get votes. They can boast about protecting cis privacy and all the transphobes will rally under their banner, and they can justify their shit existence as actual lawmakers.

But when it comes to the common people, let me ask you a thing. How in the fuck are these bathroom bills supposed to work? In Kansas, Republicans recently introduced a bill that will let students sue any public school for $2,500 each time they spot a trans person in a bathroom that doesn't match the gender they were assigned at birth based on their genitals and supposed chromosomes.

Okay so how does that work. How is a student supposed to prove that a trans person dared to use a bathroom? The only way I can figure is to take photos or video of people in the bathroom. What a great activity these transphobes have inspired! Nothing says privacy like filming strangers in the bathroom. And how are you even going to prove someone is trans? Are you going to accost them and force them to submit to a DNA test? Are you just going to force them to drop their pants? Because that won't even work. Anyone can have any genitals. Surgery exists to alter or create genitals. Genitals literally prove nothing, but this bill is encouraging students to creep on each other in the bathroom, peeping on one another with their pants down and snap photos of their private regions.

And this is supposed to be about bathroom privacy.

There are a thousand ways to promote privacy that don't involve frivolous lawsuits, all of which trans people would appreciate since we cis people are clearly the ones being creepy in the bathroom. Make bathroom stalls with walls that go all the way down to the floor at up to the ceiling. Require locker rooms to have secure changing rooms. The end. So simple.

But this isn't about privacy at all. That's clearly a lie. This is about fucking over trans people. And in doing so, they promote the idea that trans people are perverts. It directly encourages the harassment and bullying of trans people in the bathroom, and that's going to bleed right out into the streets. Today we have a report of yet another trans woman of color murdered by a cis person in public. Kourtney Yochum is the 7th victim of deadly cis violence in the U.S. alone this year.

This also comes after the disgusting North Carolina bill just passed that not only overturns a law that made public facilities safer for trans people, it actually bans LGBTQAIP+ non-discrimination ordinances. Anything that would help any of these people? Illegal. Can't even use the democratic process to help them. And, once again, this was done under the guise of protecting cis women like myself.

Fuck you, North Carolina Republicans. I don't want your bullshit "protection" and I don't need any. Trans women need the protection from us cis people.

It's the same story every time. But we cis people have to do everything we can to fight to get through this period of backlash against the existence of trans people because every day we allow shit like this to happen, more trans people suffer and more trans women of color die. The blood of Kourtney Yochum is partially on our hands because we haven't done nearly enough. No more. Make sure everyone you know hears the truth loud and clear. Trans women are women. Trans men are men. They deserve privacy just as much as any cis person, and they deserve all basic human rights.

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