All this talk about the “bathroom law” in North Carolina got me thinking. You’ve been sharing public bathrooms with Transgender people for years, much like you were around Gays, Lesbians, and Bisexuals for years before they came out to you. How shocking to find out about Cousin Larry? Your daughter’s fifth grade math teacher? Your dentist? Your best friend? The EMT that saved your Mom? Yes, those are Transgender people also.
Transgender people didn’t just start falling from the sky, although it may feel this way to you. Many are getting braver, buoyed by allies who have finally awakened to the fact that the Trans community is under daily attack. Literally. Trans people are being murdered daily. Much like African Americans being stopped by some police, Transgender people are being murdered simply for being. For walking. For talking. For being. Coming out as Trans is not just dangerous, it is heroic.
People fear what they do know, but there is a difference between being in danger and being uncomfortable. The thought of Transgender people may make you uncomfortable but I can assure you that you have nothing to fear. Transgender people have more to fear from non-Transgender people than the other way around. This is evidenced by people such as Liberty Counsel’s Anita Staver, who shall protect herself with her Glock from unwarranted, well, the joke makes itself.
I used to be somewhat Transphobic. Like with most phobias, it was born of ignorance. Back when I was coming out but still unsure of myself, I got this bright idea that the only way I would know for sure whether I was gay was to sleep with a woman. So, I marched myself off to the town’s only Lesbian bar to find myself a willing subject. (This already sounds like it is not going to end well, does it not?)
After drinking away my nervousness, I struck up a conversation with an older (read, hopefully experienced) friendly face and went back to her place. She happened to be Transgender and she happened to have had top surgery but not bottom surgery. Let’s just say it was an uncomfortable experience that we parlayed into a friendship that lasted until I left that town a few years later. We were able to laugh about it, but I’d be lying if I said it didn’t freak me out at the time.
People who claim to be worried about children are misguided. First, I’m shocked anyone would let their child out of their sight in this day and age. Second, the person who is going to molest your child most likely lives in your house or already has regular contact with your child. Last, when I’ve got business to take care of, I want to get it done and get out of there.
The best thing I can recommend is to educate yourself. Please don’t run out and try to find a Transgender friend. No one wants to be your token [fill in minority here] friend. Babies don’t ask to be born Transgender. They are real people. I have Transgender friends. That doesn’t make me an expert. There’s probably stuff in this article I wrote wrong. I’m still learning.
We are all made in the image of the Holy. All means All. Amen.