Target boycotts. Fears. The horror over the possible mingling of sexes in dressing rooms and bathrooms, the fear of sexual deviants pouncing on our children, the denouncing of the idea that a gender other than male-female may exist, the concern that conservatives’ rights are being trampled upon — all this because someone wants to use the bathroom that matches his or her gender identity.
Here are some facts:
For those who fear their children will fall prey to sexual predators if transgendered people are free to use the dressing room or restroom that they feel is appropriate, here are key facts about sexual predators from the Office of the Attorney General:
- Sexual abusers do not find their victims by frequenting such places as schoolyards and playgrounds (read: bathrooms and dressing rooms).
- Child sexual abusers victimize children whom they know and have established a relationship.
- In fact, 90% of child victims know their offender, with almost half of the offenders being a family member.
- Sexual predators gain access to their victims through deception and enticement, seldom using force.
- Abuse typically occurs within a long-term, ongoing relationship between the offender and victim and escalates over time.
For those people who feel their civil rights will be trampled on if they have to share a dressing room or rest room with a sexual nonconformist, it’s actually the other way around. Here are some facts about Violence against Transgendered People:
- They are in far more danger of being victims of violence than you are by them.
- Gender non‐conforming people face injustice and ridicule in their own homes and in school as children, at the workplace, grocery store, doctors’ offices and emergency rooms, and before judges, police officers, health care workers and other service providers.
- The suicide rates of gender-nonconforming people, including teens and adults, due to discrimination and bullying, is sobering.
What is Transgendered?
Some people believe boys are boys, and girls are girls, and that’s that. Why are there transgendered people anyway? Sex is way more complicated than we understand. According to A Resource Guide from the National Center for Trangender Equality:
- A person who has XX chromosomes is considered female. A person with XY chromosomes is male. However, there are also people who have XXY, XYY, and other variations of chromosomes.
- These genetic chromosome differences may or may not be visibly apparent or known to the person.
- Fluctuations or imbalances in hormones or the use of certain medications during pregnancy may cause intersex or transgender conditions.
- Other research indicates that there are links between transgender identity and brain structure.
In Africa, South and Native North America, Asia, the Middle East and other regions, there are accepted variations of the male-female sex. You can read about some of them on Cultures that Celebrate Gender Diversity.
In other parts of the world, unisex bathrooms are commonly accepted. Thousands of stores in the United States, from The Gap to Dick’s Sporting Goods, have unisex dressing rooms. Nobody is up in arms over these stores. I would also venture to say that transgender people have been using the dressing rooms of their choice unnoticed for ages.
I don’t know about you, but it’s my belief that any kind of sexual discrimination is wrong, and tolerance and acceptance need to be part of a civilized world. And it might help if more people understood the facts.
Linda K. Sienkiewicz is the author of In the Context of Love, adult contemporary fiction, a 2016 Eric Hoffer Book Award Finalist.
Angelica Schirrick had always suspected there was something deeply disturbing about her family, but the truth was more than she bargained for.