Bathroom Bills: Pride and Transgender Peeing

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 2016 as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month. I call upon the people of the United States to eliminate prejudice everywhere it exists…From this year’s Pride Proclamation from the President of the United States—and relevant to bathroom bills controversy

Including in public places where people do their business, Obama could’ve (and basically has already) added, referring to the current controversy over the current “bathroom bills that aim to violate transgender individuals’ freedom to choose.

Leave it to Kinky Boots, one of the best plays I’ve ever seen, to now actively promote the right to “Just Pee,” a takeoff on their “Just Be,” a song that shines in their show’s stirring closer. Some sample lyrics from the latter:

Alright, now we’ve all heard of the 12 step program, have we not?
Yes, but what you can do in 12, I want you to know that we all can do in 6 now, and it goes like this:
One: Pursue the truth
Two: Learn something new
Three: Accept yourself and you’ll accept others too!
Four: Let love shine
Five: Let pride be your guide
Six: Change the world when you change your mind!
Just be. Who you wanna be.
Never let them tell you who you ought to be.
Just be. With dignity.
Celebrate your life triumphantly.

The above represents important groundwork for recognizing that we should also just be able to “go” wherever it’s appropriate:

Bathroom bills advocating that public facilities be sex-at-birth-specific versus gender-identity-specific have emerged from various myths, one of which is that the legislation in question is needed in order to protect people from harm. Guess what: we already have those laws.

From The Advocate, reasons not to worry about trans folk being allowed to pee where they want:

There is overwhelming evidence nationwide that there has never been a single verified report of a transgender person assaulting a cisgender (nontrans) person in a bathroom or locker room, nor has there ever been a confirmed instance of someone ‘pretending’ to be transgender to gain access to sex-segregated spaces for nefarious purposes.

Transgender kids and adults, on the other hand, are the ones at risk when not allowed to use restrooms that match their identity.

Like adult trans people, trans children are far less safe when coerced into using facilities which match their assigned birth gender. Twelve percent of respondents to the 2011 National Transgender Discrimination Survey (PDF) reported that they had been sexually assaulted in K-12 school. Forcing trans children to use facilities designed for a gender not their own puts them at great risk for this sort of abuse; allowing them access to correct facilities will lessen that risk and help prevent some of the worst kinds of bullying.

Like Kinky Boots, Trevor Noah (The Daily Show) has also effectively knocked the absurdity of bathroom bills, at the same time noting recent societal advances. But for those who believe progress is coming quickly regarding trans rights, his closing lines: “Just imagine for a second being a 55-year-old trans woman and you’ve lived your entire life worried about bathrooms and locker rooms. The only thing trans people are saying right now is, ‘What took you guys so long? Because I feel like I’ve been holding it forever.”

His segment, which is definitely worth watching in full, can be found at this link.

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