Transgender People and Restrooms


There’s a lot of fuss about the recently passed North Carolina law to prevent transgender people from using bathrooms that don’t match their original biological gender. I have my suspicions as to why, but could be wrong. Let me know if you agree or disagree.
The objection to allowing transgender people use any bathroom they please seems to be that they might be sexual predators looking to mistreat women and girls. Such a thing is probably possible, but is there any history of it having happened? So far I haven’t heard of any.
I read an article earlier tonight saying there seem to be more teens interested in changing gender than there used to be. The article did include a teen who said that there had always been people who wanted to change, but hadn’t felt safe in saying so. That particular desire is alien to me. I always felt that my sexual orientation matched my gender, and never felt any urge to change it. That makes me wonder just why people do feel uncomfortable with the gender they were born with. Is that discomfort something that came about during their childhoods, or is it something they were born with? Would any of them be able to definitively say? Or is there a way to prove it?
My opinion, for whatever it is worth, is that the North Carolina law is an encouragement for people to discriminate against LGBT people, especially since it bans localities from legislating anti-discrimination ordinances. My guess is this is because many people equate transgender people with homosexuals, and many people still fear and hate homosexuals, whom they also equate with pedophiles.
One excuse for that is that the Old Testament calls homosexuality an abomination. It also calls eating shellfish an abomination, as well as pork, and (I’m told) more often than homosexuality, but that apparently makes no difference to those who hate the practice. Their dislike is visceral rather than rational.
My personal feeling about homosexuality is the assumption I came to early in my teens: I never felt I had any choice about my sexual orientation, so I assumed that those attracted to people of their own sex also had little or none. If this is the case, then what my meditation teacher said is valid: Our sexuality is given, and our choice is to deal with it more or less honorably.
There are, of course, bisexuals, which means they do have some degree of choice. Transgender people also have clearly made choices, if surgery and/or hormone therapy are involved. Why exactly do people wish to make such choices?
Camille Paglia, in her book, Sexual Personae, analyzes the work of a number of great writers who seem to have identified with the sex opposite to theirs. This seems, in many cases, to have caused them great distress. I suggest that transgender people must have great discomfort with their original gender to go to so much trouble to change it.
There seems to have been, at about the time that Christianity began, a general anti-sexual feeling, and idea that sexuality itself was evil. The Gnostics, at least some of whom were Christian, believed (at least some of them) that this world was in itself evil, and that one ought to try to escape it to the world of spirit. Sexuality they thought to be one of the things that kept people attached to this world. One friend summarized for me his opinion about the effects of abstention on the early Christians: it made them mean. There are those who currently claim to be Christian who might also be considered mean.
So dislike of transgender and homosexual people may be a sort of shorthand for dislike of sex in general, and a willingness to persecute anyone who engages in sex in ways that some disapprove of. It doesn’t take into account how gay or transgender people may feel, but finds them to be suitable targets for hatred. Hatred may be exactly the political point of this law.
One friend in North Carolina makes the point that transgender people have probably been using restrooms for the gender they’ve acquired for years without anyone even noticing. To force them to use restrooms intended for their original gender might well expose them to assault. People who hate will assault whomever they hate. So will perverts, and I don’t want ANYONE to be more vulnerable: women, children, or transgender people.


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