The great bathroom debate. This is one of the biggest arguments that stirs the most controversy regarding the rights of the transgender community. You can find many good articles that debunk the myths, or explains from the trans* point of view, to point out a few. I will sum up the general thoughts in a few paragraphs that should hopefully let you see the unfairness that is currently bestowed upon many trans* individuals.
First off, the ever popular fear mongering statement that if trans-women are allowed access to women’s bathrooms, sexual predators will then dress up as women to exploit this, and find their next target. Okay, not only have there not been any problems of this from the states that passed any kind of gender identity laws (which is explained further in the first link I posted), but what’s to stop them from doing this anyways? I mean really, if said sexual predator really wanted to go out of his way to dress up as a woman and go into a bathroom to wait and then rape someone, what is a law to tell him he can or cannot do this in the first place? This is a very common statement transphobic people like to use, and it’s not in any way true or valid to use against the rights of someone who is just trying to use the bathroom.
The other thing people usually try to use against trans-women specifically, is when it comes to locker rooms. They try to say they don’t want to have this “man” in the same place as their daughters because they can just stare all they want like perverted freaks. Specially if they are attracted to women, and just want to go into locker rooms to gawk. Well then if this is what you are afraid of, you’d have to have lesbian exclusive changing rooms to deal with something like that, because hey, there are cis-women who are also attracted to women! If instead really you are just scared of pedophiles looking at your daughter, you don’t realize that your son is at equal risk in men’s locker rooms as well. Now, if you catch someone staring at you in either of those two rooms, that’s when there is a problem and you should do something… other than that, let us just change in peace, and in a space we are safe!
The truth is, you gotta realize that when a trans* individual goes through Hormone Replacement Therapy, their bodies will become that of the gender they are taking the hormones of. This in and of itself should grant them the right to use the bathroom of the gender their bodies now are! I look at it this way… imagine that a trans-woman, who now is emanating pheromones, and pretty much now has the body of a woman, is trying to use the bathroom, but is not allowed to use the women’s and has to use the men’s room. This person is now at equal risk of any other woman of an altercation happening! Why would you want to not allow them this right to be safe? Specially with a trans-woman, where thanks to the hormones the sexual desires have plummeted to the point where another woman should not have any concern what-so-ever!
The verdict? It’s really this simple, just let them use the bathroom they are safest in. To not do so is cruel and inhumane… and even after all this you can’t personally allow this to happen, then you have to make bathrooms that cater to a third gender specifically. Either that or have one person at a time bathrooms that are genderless. You just can’t deny someone else their rights to ASSURED safety just because of false and fear mongering thinking that other people have a small PROBABILITY not be safe themselves.