In Defense of Transgender Rights

By Elizabeth Wagele from "The Enneagram Made Easy"

By Elizabeth Wagele from “The Enneagram Made Easy”

For me, there’s only one attitude possible concerning transgender people using bathrooms: let them use the bathroom of the gender they have chosen.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch said, “This is a time to summon our national virtues of inclusivity, diversity, compassion and open-mindedness. What we must not do – what we must never do – is turn on our neighbors, our family members, our fellow Americans, for something they cannot control, and deny what makes them human.”

The New York Times article of May 9, 2016, by Ernesto Londono, states, “In recent years, the Obama administration has taken several significant steps to advance transgender rights. Notably, the Department of Justice and the Department of Education have asserted that discriminating against people on the basis of gender identity constitutes a form of sex discrimination under civil rights law. North Carolina sued the Department of Justice (over the issue of bathrooms), challenging that interpretation.

“In her remarks on Monday, Ms. Lynch, a native of North Carolina, seemed to go further than other administration officials in casting the quest for transgender equality as a civil rights movement. She did so with grace and conviction.

‘This is about the dignity and respect we accord our fellow citizens and the laws that we, as a people and as a country, have enacted to protect them – indeed, to protect all of us,’ the attorney general said. ‘And it’s about the founding ideals that have led this country – haltingly but inexorably – in the direction of fairness, inclusion and equality for all Americans.’”

And in the Philippines, The Liberal Party’s Geraldine Roman is set to be the predominantly Catholic nation’s first public transgender politician. There are no openly gay politicians there now, but LGBT rights remained a huge priority for Ms Roman, She said: “If Jesus Christ was alive today, he would not approve of discrimination. I firmly believe that.” I doubt non-violent Jesus would approve of people carrying guns around either.

Should we make trans people go back and use the bathroom they used when they had been identified by others as the opposite gender? Of course not! They have made a brave choice to be truthful with themselves and with us. It’s time for transgender equality.

On May 24 the N Y Times ran an article beautifully written by a trans woman, Meredith Russomay. She transitioned in 2013 all at once and showed up at work one day as a man, the next day as a woman. This article about her bathroom experience at work is well worth reading. In it she says there is probably no meeker creature on earth than a newly transitioned woman. And she concludes, “In many ways, I have it easier than others: I’m white, and I sort of pass when I’m wearing makeup. I haven’t been assaulted or raped, a common experience for trans people. That doesn’t mean it’s not still an issue when I have to use a public restroom. The fear is still there — that someone will take offense, get angry and attack me, or that I’ll be made to leave a business, that I’ll be accused of sexual misconduct, arrested and sent to men’s jail.

“That’s the main thing I wish the supporters of these laws would realize: We are much more frightened of you than you are of us.”

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