Having a six year old and a toddler in the house, we seem to find ourselves engaging in bathroom talk. A LOT.
But today, I don’t want to talk about which child is creating the smell in the family room. Instead, I want to talk about Bathroom Bills.
I remember the first time I saw Kris walk into a men’s public restroom.
My husband (his father) and I were visiting Kris at college.
I stared after Kris as he casually walked into a men’s room in the campus activity center. I entered the women’s room and stared at the shaken expression on my face in the mirror.
I will never forget the complete and utter terror I felt. What if there was someone in there that did know Kris was trans and took offense? I was worried for his safety more than any thoughts of discomfort.
Kris is my middle child. We were told he was a girl at birth. At age 18, Kris told us that he was actually a boy. And 2 months later, he was using the men’s room.
At that time I was still trying to comprehend what being transgender meant. This was just one in a series of new things I would be encountering.
I did not realize that which bathroom my kid used would become such a major issue, even possibly illegal if he chose the bathroom matching his gender identity.
“The disturbing proliferation of anti-trans bills, including 23 that target children in schools and school sports, is part of a stunning surge of more than 175 anti-LGBT bills in 32 states this year.”
–New HRC Report Reveals Unprecedented Onslaught of State Legislation Targeting Transgender Americans
Bathroom Bills. You’re hearing about them all over the place. As more awareness is being brought to the T in LGBT, the issue of which bathroom transgender people use appears to have grown legs and is running out of control. And in many cases, we aren’t talking about just any transgender people. No, we are referring to our smallest and most vulnerable population- children. The number of states trying to pass legislation that requires students to use restrooms and locker rooms based on their anatomy or sex assigned at birth are on the up-rise. The scary part is that legislators are not doing their homework and educating themselves on this matter and others are following their lead.
Just this week South Dakota Republican Governor Dennis Daugaard vetoed such a bill. It is a step in the right direction. Unfortunately this battle won’t end here.
“On Thursday, the South Dakota House of Representatives failed to override the governor’s veto of a “bathroom bill” which would have required public school students to use facilities based on their “chromosomes and anatomy” at birth. The override vote in favor of the bill fell some ten votes short of the required two-thirds majority, with 36 yeas, 29 nays and five members not voting.”
– Vote to Override South Dakota ‘Bathroom Bill’ Veto Narrowly Fails
If you are not transgender or don’t have a transgender child, you might not understand what the big deal is. Take a few minutes to hear from Tyler, a transgender young man, who says it better than I could.
Kris is 23 years old now and he is an adult. But if things continue the direction they seem to be heading, it is only a matter of time before he will be at risk of losing his right to use the correct bathroom. It would be a violation of his civil rights, as these current bathroom bills are a violation of students’ rights.
Fear and ignorance are often the motivation for anti-transgender bills. As we head full swing into election mode, please keep in mind that just as the people writing these bills are sometimes ignorant on LGBT matters, it is equally important that we, as voters, make informed choices to ensure that the people holding public office represent ALL people.