In the United States, we’ve been reading about all sorts of laws passed by state legislatures, in North Carolina and Mississippi, and elsewhere that discriminate against LGBT citizens. Entertainers such as Bruce Springsteen and Bryan Adams have canceled concerts there, which I find a good and proper thing to do, as Arthur can explain.
I’m against laws that discriminate, of course. But I believe an element of these bills is based on some callow, unsubstantiated fear of transgender people molesting others in bathrooms. Someone commented, cheekily, that more Republican politicians than trans people have been arrested for sex acts in bathrooms.
For me, I would like to suggest a much more prosaic reason to oppose these particular ordinances: they cannot work.
The North Carolina governor has set up a hotline to report anyone not using the correct bathroom. And how is this supposed to work, exactly? Will they borrow some of those discredited TSA screening devices and hire bathroom monitors to check out who has what body parts?
Transgender people are already using the restrooms that correspond to their gender appearance and almost no one even knows the difference. The idea that, suddenly, one has to go by the gender on one’s birth certificate is impractical. Will we require that somebody check IDs before they go into the loo?
Some customers may boycott Target over its transgender-friendly bathroom policy. They have the right to do this, but I have to wonder how many of these people KNOW any transgender folks. Chris Wallace, Fox News host, calls the “bathroom bills” a “solution in search of a problem.”
One of the oddly transformative moments in my life was taking a charter bus from New Paltz, NY to Washington, DC to attend an antiwar rally c. 1972. At some stop very near our destination (Delaware?), we made a pit stop.
We had a finite amount of time, so, as the line to the women’s bathroom started to get long, several of the women started using the men’s room. This was an obviously logical thing to do.
Such simple logic should be brought to the current debate.