10 Steps to Winning the Transgender Bathroom "Debate"
1. Stop Calling It a Debate - If your argument against allowing transgender people to use the bathrooms associated with their gender identity amounts to repeating a lot of garbage that is patently false, it is not a debate. There are truth-tellers and there are liars.
2. God Said... - All ye who are persons of faith and believe gender identity should be respected, even/especially in bathrooms, please stand up and say so. I know that a lot of you are already doing that. We need a lot more. Please.
3. Talk About Harm - Children die. People shove trans men into bathroom stalls and carve “IT” into their chests. Little boys are being beaten to death because they don’t act masculine enough. Teenagers throw themselves in front of moving semi-trucks. Transgender women are murdered at horrific rates. Replace the false, fabricated OMG with the real, horrifying OMG.
4. Transition - I believe our language promotes the idea that transgender people go from being male to female. It is easy to talk about transitioning to female. I did it for years. Then I began asking myself if this was actually helping achieve acceptance and equality, or if it was hurting.
It’s about the way we process our language, subconsciously. “Transition” means that we go from something, to something. When applied to transgender lives, that means we go from male to female. I replaced when I began my transition with when I started living authentically or when I stopped pretending.
I have published more than 100 articles about being transgender and provided nearly 400 educational presentations and workshops. I see the difference in the understanding people take away. It is markedly significant.
I am not saying people can’t say transition. I would ask people to ask themselves - Is this helping achieve acceptance and equality, or is it hurting? Then do what you think you need to do.
5. Trans Men in Women’s Spaces - Can we please flood media (including social media) with images of transgender men in women’s spaces. This is a great counter to the bathroom lie. This is the other bathroom truth (in addition to the fact that transgender people are the ones at risk in bathrooms). Some of this is happening, Not enough. We can make videos too.
6. Not “Gender Transition” - Gender ≠ Sex. If you use the word transition, please don’t use it to suggest we change genders. I express my gender authentically BECAUSE I can’t change it.
7. Not “Gender Reassignment Surgery” - Gender ≠ Sex. Sex Reassignment Surgery is not a particularly good term either. There are many different surgeries. SRS does not relate to all of them. Gender Confirmation Surgery is a good term (IMO) - surgeries related to confirming a person’s gender.
By the way, few conversations about genitals are relevant or appropriate. Determining which bathroom a person should use is NOT ONE OF THEM.
8. The Media - The media continues to be an accessory to hate crimes against transgender people. I am not transgendered. There is no such thing as transgendering. I did not become a woman. I don’t “identify” as a woman. I am a woman. My name is the name I use to identify myself.
When you write about us, please ask yourself why you question our real, lived experiences, but don’t question fabricated, easily-refutable lies.
9.The Bible - The Bible doesn’t contain a single word related to people who are transgender - other than the “love you neighbor” stuff - I think that’s for everyone, including people who are trans.
This is not about being a eunuch, no matter why or how someone becomes a eunuch. Not even the same thing. Genesis says God created us. So I don’t understand the confusion. People be like, “Do you think God made a mistake?” I be like, “No, do you?”
Guess what else is not in the Bible? The Constitution.
10. Stop Fighting Each Other - There is no right way or wrong way to be trans. The only thing that counts is that we work together and unite our strengths. Funny thing, it’s not only effective if we work together, it turns out to be the right thing to do.
We can’t fight with LGBs either. Same reasons. Besides, a lot of us are LGBs or Qs. We just don’t fit into those crazy boxes.
Finally, we can’t forget about trans people of color. Or any of the other ways humanity and oppression intersect with transgender. Same reasons. It is the effective thing to do. It is the right thing to do. It how we become free to pee when and where we need to pee. No debate. Just truth.
© February 02, 2016, Stephanie Mott
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