“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”
That sentence is found in the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence. While it is not the law of the land like the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence espoused the beliefs that set the foundation for our country.
When the document was written in 1776, the phrase “all men” was a little misleading because of the fact that slavery was alive and well in the newly-formed country. Fortunately, in the 240 years since the words were written, we have established a more holistic view of that certain phrase which we have adopted to mean “all people.”
It is in that spirit that slavery was abolished, women got the right to vote, homosexuals got the right to marry, and now, yes, transgender people get to use the bathroom they gender-identify with.
Now, I think our government has gone amok and is legislating things the founding fathers never imagined they would. For example, I don’t think the federal government has any place in my marriage or my healthcare or who I leave my vast fortune to when I die (pah!), but just because I think the government should butt-out doesn’t mean they’re going to, and the latest place the government has decided to interfere is where I go pee.
Look, I am not gender-expert and as straight, middle-class, white chick, I own the fact that I am pretty clueless about the subject, but my shallow understanding and view on the topic this: gender is a social construct. It is not about having a penis or vagina but how you express yourself. Society tells us that dresses and make-up are “feminine” while chewing tobacco with a buzz-cut is “masculine” (for example) and my experience is that gender a fluid thing. I love going to the spa or getting my hair done but I also love drinking cheap beer out of a camo coozie and watching football on a Saturday afternoon. The idea of hunting holds no appeal to me but I love to shoot a gun. I refused to wear pants until the 4th grade and now I basically live in jeans and a t-shirt. I love being handy and almost resent my husband when he gets to build the kitchen cabinets while I get stuck painting them (but to be fair, I’m not exactly a “detail” person).
I get that those example are very simplistic and I’m not trying to insult anyone with a better knowledge of what it is to be transgender, this is just my narrow understanding and how I’ve been thinking about the issue since the whole North Carolina bathroom-thing happened.
Suffice it to say some of us identify more strongly with what society has told us are “feminine” things while others identify as more “masculine” and the majority of the time, biology and our interests or desires align. Sometimes, they don’t.
Again, this isn’t a well-researched, scientific dissertation on gender identity or even a holistic view of my personal opinions, but I felt like I wasn’t reading a lot of articles that represented my feelings on the issue, so I figured I’d put it out there. For better or worse…probably worse. Thanks, internets.
I am a conservative, Christian, mom-of-four. Because of my conservative values, I think our government has over-stepped its boundaries time and again and I believe this ludicrous directive from the Obama administration is just one more thing. To be honest, I have never noticed if I was in the bathroom with a transgender person before, and I’ve used many a unisex bathroom in the past, so the only thing that bothers me about the transgender bathroom thing is that it has become a thing at all. I’ve heard 1000x more accounts of people policing bathrooms and being in the “wrong” bathroom since the North Carolina thing happened than ever before and it is idiotic. It is impossible for me over-state how I believe our first misstep as a society was to allow the government so much leeway into our private lives.
As a mom, I can tell you that if I am in the bathroom with one or any of my kids, and a person peeps under the stall while my kid is doing his or her business, I will swiftly kick that person in his or her teeth and call the police. I don’t care if it’s a man dressed as a woman, a woman dressed as a man, man dressed as a man or woman in a banana costume, if you’re abusing my kid, I will f*ing murder you. Period.
If I’m not in the bathroom with them (they will be in school eventually) then I exercise my right to send my kid to a school with whose policy I agree…or, send them to public school, whose Title IX compliance has been protecting the rights of kids since 1972. Schools have had to make accommodations for kids for a long time, and this includes transgender kids. It’s not like Joe Senior is going to come to school in a dress one day and declare he is transgender so the principal will let him in the locker room to prey on Freshmen girls; there is a difference between someone who truly feels like they were born in the wrong body and someone who decided he or she wants to have a little peep show in the school bathroom, and hopefully the people whom you trust to educate your kids are smart enough to know the difference.
Transgender people are not pedophiles or rapists, pedophiles and rapists are pedophiles and rapists and they are not a protected class.
I’ve expressed my beliefs as a conservative and a mom, so the last thing I’ll say is that why I understand the fear that comes from what you don’t understand, I’d say we Christians are time and again picking the wrong battle. I don’t dismiss the concerns of my fellow Christians that this is just one more step down our society’s path toward a moral-less culture, but to them I would respectfully say, look around you: we have middle schoolers trading sex for Adderall; every other show on television shows people having sex and glorifying promiscuity; drugs are rampant in our society.
I don’t think we’re headed to a moral-less society, I’d say we’re pretty much there.
Which is why I think it is so important to choose our battles wisely. Every day I pray that my kids are safe, healthy, and happy and using the same bathroom as a transgender person does not put that in jeopardy, but there are a lot of other things that do.
How am I supposed to teach my kids that promiscuity is dangerous and that their bodies are sacred and the giving of them should only happen in the presence of true, abiding love when the sex-lives and naked bodies of celebrities are splashed across the cover of every magazine in the grocery store. How am I supposed to tell them that drugs are dangerous and can harm them and directly impact their brain-development if doctors are over-prescribing medication and our state government says pot is okay? How do I teach them that money is the root of all evil when our whole way of life is centered on the making and spending of it?
All I can do is to teach them what I know—from my own experiences and from the Word of God. And what I know is that we are called to love one another. To personally fight the good fight of faith. Jesus always stood firm on His convictions but never put Himself above others. His desires, His beliefs, He never imposed them on anyone. He clung to the Word of God and lead by example.
For me, when I’m standing at the pearly gates, I’d much rather tell Saint Peter that I complacently peed next to a transgender woman than sat idly by while my brothers and sisters in Christ were being persecuted and murdered ½ a world away.
We live in a messed-up society, and our privilege has blinded us to the real issues in this world—and I include myself in that. I get overwhelmed thinking about what I could possibly do to help Syrian refugees or people persecuted by ISIS, so most of the time I simply ignore those injustices. And that is completely wrong and cowardly. Every day, men and women are being tortured, beaten, starved, raped, and persecuted; in our own country, we have such a vast wealth disparity that there are people who own multiple planes and homes across the globe while toddlers are chained up and starved to death…but the thing we cause a fuss over is where someone goes to pee?
I’m not saying we can fix everything, but I just think that if we gave a damn about the stuff that actually mattered, then we wouldn’t have time to get all worked-up about where someone goes to the bathroom and the government would have to focus it’s time and energy on those things that are actually important instead of policing restrooms.